In ancient Greece, the most important meaning of the term ‘polis' came to be ‘body of citizens'. Similarly, for Plato the best form of government was the one that led to the common good. Now, in the 21st century, when more than half of the world population is already living in cities and the share of urban population is projected to increase, especially in Africa and Asia, cities need to regain a holistic understanding of the common good and rethink themselves to be prepared for current and future impacts related to climate change, migration or safety, to cite just a few.
Fortunately, some are leading the way with stimulating proposals. Yet the challenges of a global world are still significant. In coping with them, we need a transdisciplinary approach enabling us to understand the leadership role of cities and their multiplicity of interacting systems, be they technical, financial or societal.Cities are hubs of innovation and knowledge, drivers of economic growth, prosperity, and social wellbeing.
Every city is connected physically and virtually in complex ways, which is what makes them so lively.
As such, putting citizens' and environmental well being at the center of urban transformation has become crucial in order to move to a sustainable and better future. However, this approach still evokes questions and concerns.
Answers are close at hand. Since 2011, Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) has been an unmissable event combining the latest solutions and technologies, and inspirational keynotes on improving life in cities. In 2018, the event intends to reflect on what makes a city livable, what happens when "gentrification" changes the whole social character of a neighborhood, and how sharing can transform the way it operates so that it can become more sustainable, resilient, inclusive and, of course, smarter with a focus on people.
To do so, this year's edition will concentrate on five main topics responding to the key issues facing cities:
This dynamic approach, together with an extended exhibition area full of real solutions, is expected to outnumber 2017 figures and reinforce the smart community all over the world.
Additionally, the Smart Mobility Congress, the International Integrated Water Cycle Show (Iwater), the Circular Economy European Summit and the Sharing Cities Summit will be held in parallel to the SCEWC, thus creating great synergiesbetween the co-located events and contributing to the major objective of creating a better future for our cities.