Since the beginning of time, human beings have been drawn to love, protection, enhancement and inspiration. Just as early urban settlements became a beacon of development, they also became a mirror to glimpse the potential within us. Throughout history, cities have inspired artists, scientists and politicians to propel civilization into the future. But who or what inspires cities? At Smart City Expo World Congress, we believe that cities are inspired by people.
Every city is different. To the untrained eye, many cities may appear similar to each other, but they are not. Beneath the seemingly chaotic tapestry that is a city, there is a set of interwoven singular fibers that end up creating something unique. Those fibers are its citizens, and since no two cities have the same citizens, no two cities are alike. As we have said many times, cities are an expression of their citizens and the wonders that each city engenders are equally unique.
Moreover, cities drive the innovation of humanity, but it is people who fuel those cities, take them to new levels and inspire them to become the best version of themselves. The Smart City Expo World Congress will show us examples of this. We will once again bring together cities, governments, businesses and experts from around the world to share ideas, showcase innovative solutions and make better cities together.
A well-known phrase in Barcelona says that small changes are also powerful. This is one of the facts we will be able to witness at the 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 the parks of his Los Angeles South Central neighborhood. He reclaimed the abandoned plots of land next to the streets by planting vegetables. After a land dispute with the Los Angeles City Council over growing without a permit in public spaces, Ron was able to force the council to change the law and allow local communities to use parks as community gardens. A decade later, his gardens have not only grown vegetables and flowers, but have created healthier, more responsible and sustainable communities, inspiring a better Los Angeles.
This is one of many examples of how cities are inspired by people.
In a scenario with increasing environmental challenges and a geostrategic shake-up of the global scene, Smart City Expo World Congress 2022 will also demonstrate that the urban innovation ecosystem is back on track and the event will once again reach pre-pandemic figures with over 20,000 attendees, 1,000 exhibitors and over 700 cities represented.
After ten years of helping smart cities flourish, we enter a new decade with a growing global community of urban leaders shaping the future of cities. We must continue to drive the smart urban revolution towards human-centered, sustainable cities where public transport coexists with new mobility options; inclusive cities where streets and public services are accessible to all; safe cities that address both security and privacy concerns; collective cities where collaboration and participation become a lynchpin for building a better and prosperous future. In short,Cities Inspired by People.