Every November, the city of Barcelona is flooded with smart city professionals from all over the world to visit one of the most important events of the sector: the Smart City Expo World Congress. Since 2022, key EU-funded Smart City projects showcase their important work under the umbrella of a joint European Commission booth at the fair. After a successful edition last year (read full report here), ATELIER joined a group of 30 projects to continue the journey in 2023.

Organized by the European Commission’s Smart Cities Marketplace team, the joint booth provided visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the projects, exchange with professionals in person, participate in interactive workshops at the booth and to get in touch with European Commission representatives directly. To support synergies between the projects, most workshops and presentations were developed jointly. ATELIER representatives had the pleasure to cooperate with projects for a workshop at the booth and to share their perspective on stage in an agora session:

In the booth session titled „Sustainable Cities Powered by Positive Energy Concepts“, Omar Shafqat from ATELIER partner organisation Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and ATELIER coordinator Frans Verspeek from the City of Amsterdam invited partipants of the workshop to share their thoughts on the potential overall impact of Positive Energy Districts on the energy transition. The session was developed in cooperation with our sister projects SPARCS, RESPONSE and POCITYF which also discussed crucial topics related to PEDs in their breakout sessions, such as digital tools for PEDs, strategies to bridge municipal silos for PED development as well as ways to engage citizen in the process.

On the next day, Omar Shafqat took part in a panel discussion titled „Positive Energy Districts as a component for designing the future towards climate neutrality“ on one of the bigger stages placed between the expo booths. ATELIER shared the stage with the sister project +cityXchange as well as the three projects ASCEND, EXCESS and NeutralPath from the newer generation of PED projects.

Overall, ATELIER was well represented in Barcelona through the attendance of the City of Amsterdam, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, TNO, the City of Bratislava, AMS Institute and DNV.

The Smart City Expo World Congress 2023 saw a resounding success with over 1,100 exhibitors, 25,300 attendees, and representation from more than 800 cities across 140 countries. The event featured 577 speakers and 273 sessions, making it a hub for global discussions on smart and sustainable urban solutions.

We’re very much looking forward to the 2024 edition for which the planning has already begun.

Author and picture credits: Regine Wehner, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum