The Smart City Expo World Congress has launched a new edition of its Smart City Awards, which provide international acknowledgement for the most innovative smart city projects. The call, which remains open until 13 September, is looking for technology-based ideas that solve city-related challenges, such as energy efficiency, mobility, environmental sustainability, transparency and the improvement of quality of life for all inhabitants.
As the call for the awards states, by 2050 there will be another 2,800 million people living in urban areas, and that means great challenges in virtually all areas of urban management. The focus of the awards, and the Smart City Expo World Congress, consists of highlighting and boosting proposals that offer the most innovative solutions, with potential to generate business and improve quality of life in cities.
The awards are divided into three categories. The first, City Award, is intended for cities that have implemented projects or strategies in at least two areas linked to the smart city, and entries must be presented by the municipal councils themselves. The Smart City Project award focuses on successful initiatives which are already in operation, with proven impact to date, while the Innovative Idea award is for budding proposals. The latter two categories are intended for both companies and entrepreneurs, such as research centres, universities, non-governmental organisations and business consortiums.
The awards will be presented at the Smart City Expo World Congress, which will take place in Barcelona from 17 to 19 November. At the 2014 edition, Tel-Aviv received the smart city award for its improvements based on technological innovation. This city has become the first in the world to offer free Wi-Fi throughout its territory, and has implemented solutions such as DigiTel Resident’s Card, which all inhabitants over 13 years of age can obtain and which allows access to public services, the use the urban parking or signing up for activities and spaces in the city, among many other options.
The award for the best Smart City Project at the last edition went to Copenhagen Connecting, a municipal management initiative based on compiling and analysing data in real time to adapt its services to residents’ requirements. Finally, the Nigerian Omomi project won the award for the most Innovative Idea. This programme, aimed at reducing child mortality, offers families mobile applications to facilitate health monitoring for their children, receive important medical information and share knowledge and support with other families.