StartupBlink Blog

Smart City Expo World Congress

Since the dawn of time, humans have been drawn together, for love, for protection, for improvement, for inspiration. Just as the first urban settlements became a beacon of development, they also became a mirror to envision the potential that lies within us. Throughout history cities have inspired artists, scientists, and politicians to drive civilization towards the future. But who or what inspires cities? At Smart City Expo World Congress, we believe that cities are inspired by people.

Cities: an expression of their citizens

Every city is different. To the untrained eye, many cities might look similar to one another but they are not. Under the seemingly chaotic tapestry that a city is, there are an array of singular fibers interweaved that end up creating something unique. Those fibers are its citizens and as there are no two cities with the same citizens, there are no two cities alike. As we’ve stated many times before, cities are an expression of their citizens and the wonders that each city breeds are equally unique. Furthermore, cities drive innovation to humankind but it’s people who fuel those cities, take them to new levels and inspires them to become the very best version of themselves. Smart City Expo World Congress will showcase examples of this. On November we will gather once again cities, governments, companies and experts from all over the world to share ideas, to showcase innovative solutions, to make better cities together.

Ron Finley, the Gangsta Gardener

A well-known phrase in Barcelona says that small changes are also powerful. This is one of the facts we’ll be able to witness at Smart City Expo World Congress this November. Ron Finley, who will be speaking at the Congress, is a paradigmatic example of this. Known around the world as the Gangsta Gardener, 10 years ago Ron set out to fix a problem in his Los Angeles South Central neighborhood parkways. He reclaimed the neglected dirt patches next to the streets by planting vegetables. After a turf war with the City of Los Angeles for gardening without a permit in public spaces, Ron managed to force the city council to change the law and allow local communities to use parkways as communal gardens. A decade later his gardens have not only grown vegetables and flowers but have also created healthier and more responsible and sustainable communities, inspiring a better city of Los Angeles. This is one of the many examples of how cities are inspired by people.

Entering a new decade of shaping what’s next for cities

In a scenario with ever-growing environmental challenges and a geostrategic shake of the global stage, Smart City Expo World Congress 2022 will also show that the urban innovation ecosystem is back on track and the event will return to prepandemic figures with over 20,000 attendees, 1,000 exhibitors and over 700 cities represented. After ten years helping smart cities flourish, we enter a new decade with a global, ever- growing community of urban leaders shaping what’s next for cities. We must keep spurring the smart urban revolution towards human-centric cities, sustainable cities in which public transport coexists with new mobility options; inclusive cities where streets and public services are accessible for all; safe cities which address both security and privacy concerns; collective cities where collaboration and participation becomes a pivot to build a better, thriving future. In short, Cities Inspired by People.

Director, Smart City Expo World Congress