Smart City Live 2020: a post-event review

The virtual Smart City Live event in November 2020 saw a wide range of expert speakers addressing the future of modern cities. Over the following pages we profile some of the organisations that participated in the event

Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts on 18 January 2021
Smart City Live 2020: a post-event review
Smart City Expo

“The current situation will undoubtedly leave its mark on cities and the way they function, but it will do it for good, helping us to build metropolises capable of better delivering the services and resources its inhabitants need and ready to respond to new threats,” said Ugo Valenti, director of Smart City Expo World Congress. “Smart City Live is our contribution to this collective effort.”

Julia Glidden, corporate vice president of worldwide public sector at Microsoft, spoke about what it might mean to live in an intelligent urban environment, as a necessity for now, rather than a vision of the future.

“The challenges ahead are enormous,” she said. “We will not go back to a world where services are not accessible digitally, but we have to maintain a human touch, because we need human contact.”

Jan Schoenig, director of smart cities, logistics and mobility at Siemens Advanta Solutions, says: “At this year’s gathering, we highlighted our city data modelling solution, the MindSphere City Graph. Developed by Siemens Advanta, Microsoft and MindSphere, it helps cities to become more sustainable and enhance the quality of life by monitoring the city’s infrastructure through a digital twin platform.”

Lutz Heuser, CEO of [ui!] Urban Software Institute, says: “Following the vision of the Open Urban Platforms from the European Innovation Partnership of Smart Cities and Communities, [ui!] Urban Software Institute developed a real-time sensor data platform called [ui!] UrbanPulse. The platform – which we presented at Smart City Live – combines the many information sources of a city to better understand and react to the city’s needs.”

Pascal Martinez, director of digital cities business development at Bentley Systems, says: “With over 70 per cent of the population expected to live in cities by 2050, government officials are investing in new technologies to fast-track their planning decisions. Microsoft and Bentley Systems joined forces to help city stakeholders make more informed decisions using a city-scale digital twin platform called OpenCities. It delivers realistic, large-scale visualisation of cities and can simulate the impact of projects or disasters, to improve city resilience.”

Marija Zima, marketing manager for smart cities and solutions at ABB, says: “As part of my session, I shared ABB’s vision on the role of technology in the evolution of smart cities and infrastructure. Digitalisation and cloud technologies offer tremendous opportunities in the shift towards safer, smarter and more sustainable solutions in transportation, buildings, energy and water supply and across businesses and industries. The event has proven to be a fantastic venue for industry-wide collaboration, which can ultimately enable better decision-making and a brighter future for our cities around the world.”

Duncan Guthrie, vice president of Europe at Cyclomedia Technology, says: “With the strange year we have had through the pandemic, we have seen an acceleration from cities to improve mobility. We’ve been working with customers to help them make informed decisions on changing their city infrastructure to enable their citizens to commute more safely. The use of street level data and data analytics such as the automatic derivation of parking bays, road markings, traffic signs and lighting has given cities the complete view needed to make the right decisions.”

Bob Carter, commercial head of justice, public safety and cities at Genetec, says: “An effective public safety strategy is more than reacting to a situation in progress. A better approach fosters inter-agency collaboration, relies on a consolidated view of ongoing operations, and lets you analyse data for insights on how to improve your strategy. Genetec Citigraf is a decision support system that unifies public safety operations across city departments, disseminates timely information, and provides greater situational awareness.”

Audrey Denis, strategy manager at Cubic, says: “At Smart City Live 2020, Cubic focused on data as the foundation for citizen-centric transportation. Establishing a single source of truth across a city’s data assets helps to adapt transportation systems to the needs of the citizens they serve. The event brought together diverse stakeholders across transportation, data, digital twins, and more, which are the kinds of people that need to join together to help cities recover stronger from Covid-19.”

Joris Vanderschrick, business development manager at imec, says: “Smart City Live gave us an opportunity to present a digital twin use case that demonstrates the cross-domain impact of traffic flows on the air quality in a city. We were able to share our expertise and receive feedback from cities about how they are looking at digital twin opportunities to tackle their challenges.”

This article was originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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