Sharing ideas about the upcoming urban spaces at Smart City Expo

Published by Juan Campillo Alonso Smart Cities

Cities are smart by definition. A great number of them have been saving money over the past years thanks to smart city technology. For instance, smart energy solutions that allow up to 30% of absolute energy saving,  and fleet management systems that enable up to 20% cost cuts by optimizing vehicle logistics y large fleets.

These are some of the solutions that are already working in many urban environments, along with smart buildings, smart homes, smart meters, smart grid.... Other technologies, such as NFC, smart city platforms and smart parkings are not as widespread as the ones previously mentioned, but its implementation is expected to grow in the next years.

For these technologies to fully develop in the cities, the smart city platform must be perceived in an horizontal sense. This will allow the launch of services oriented to specific areas of the city.

Last week, the second edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress showcased different approaches and solutions for smart cities. The Expo was a success in three fronts. The first one was attendance: 7.065 people from 82 countries visited Fira de Barcelona, a 14% more than in the previous edition.

The second success were the panels, chats and conferences, in which critical actors (policy makers, enterprises, architects…) discussed the future of the cities. We must make a special mention to Carlo Ratti director of SENSEable City Lab from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who gave us the opportunity to witness a clear exposition of what is coming for smart cities. Rattis’s conference was one of the most followed through social networks.

Telefónica’s Paco Salcedo’s speech also generated a lot of interest during the City Platform panel, which explored the challenge of providing a platform to connect all systems and devices, integrating all the available information.

Finally, the third success was the ability of companies to tackle the needs of their clients. Many people found what they were looking for years and were able to order the services they need to be implemented within a week if they wanted.Telefónica’s Gestión de Flotas, our fleet management service for Spain, was one of the stars of our stand, with many people attending our demos and inquiring about the product.

Other services, such as NFC, which allow payment through smartphones, have created a great expectation. Besides, it is a technology mature enough to impact the market. 2013 will probably be its year and Telefonica will be ready for the challenge.

It became clear that it’s time to work together to make possible all those advances. Policy makers such as European Commission officials came to talk about issues as varied as energy, sustainability and urban planning. Majors from cities with smart projects all over the world took the opportunity to share their experiences. 

In our stand, we had the pleasure of attending and performing more than 20 demos of our already available products for very interesting visitors, such as mayors Íñigo de la Serna and Xavier Trias, from Santander and Barcelona, two of the most celebrated smart cities in Spain.


When the third day ended, we packed our stuff and took apart our stand, taking with us a great baggage of experiences as well. The second edition of the Smart City Expo was an absolute success, after generating more interest and participation that the 2011 edition.

Juan Campillo Alonso
M2M Global Product Manager - Smart Cities