Last month I attended the Smart City Expo in Barcelona—three full days of talks, panels, presentations, and exhibitions focused on innovations that are changing the world’s cities. This was one of the best events of its kind that I’ve seen. With 9,000 visitors from 300 cities across the globe, the caliber of participants and the level of collaboration were extremely high. Mayors were connecting with city leaders from other geographies and sharing ideas for real, viable solutions for their cities.
One highlight was the panel discussion I led on Big Data. Through that conversation with city leaders and the Tweet Chat I hosted on @Microsoft_Gov on December 4, it became clear that Big Data is transforming today’s cities in five crucial areas: transportation, public safety, resource management, tourism, and health and social services. There is also consensus that we don’t analyze Big Data just for the sake of analyzing data; it’s about solving the real challenges that cities face today. I expect we’ll be hearing more about this compelling topic in 2014.
For another point of view on the Smart City Expo, check out what Per Bendix Olsen, Senior Director, Partners, Public Sector, Microsoft Europe, Middle East & Africa, has to say. The Expo website’s blog also shares event highlights.
I look forward to continuing the great conversations with mayors and city managers that started in Barcelona. I hope to see you next year.
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Joel Cherkis, General Manager, Worldwide Government | 11 December 2013