November 17-19, Barcelona: OrganiCity attended the global smart city event of the year and showed urban representatives and the smart city industry what the project is all about, and what possibilities they have to participate.
“It’s important to attend these kinds of events – to join the various sessions, listen to speakers, and so on – in order to remain in touch with how other stakeholders approach smart cities and city challenges,” says Michelle Bach Lindstrøm, OrganiCity project manager at the City of Aarhus in Denmark.
“Besides, it’s of course really valuable for us to be able to present OrganiCity to such a wide variety of smart city stakeholders and discuss our goals and visions.”
Michelle was one of a number of representatives from the OrganiCity clusters and partners attending the event – and one of the people representing OrganiCity in the Danish pavilion. OrganiCity was also present in the UK pavilion and in the congress.
OrganiCity and holistic city solutions
In the expo congress, OrganiCity Coordinator Martin Brynskov spoke alongside city representatives in the session Raising resources and creating platforms to develop more equitable cities. This session was all about city networks, best practices and cases from actual cities, and Martin presented OrganiCity in conjunction with global Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative:
“OASC is a network of networks; a meta network connecting all the stuff that’s already there. We’re not out to replace any existing networks or initiatives, but to join-up and select the key ways of connecting and sharing city-related data,” Martin explained.
“We’re basically talking about fair cities – how people can collaborate and have an impact.”
One of OrganiCity’s goals is to connect with new cities and possibly help them become OrganiCities, much in the same way as London, Santander and Aarhus. The (now numbering 75) cities in the OASC initiative form an obvious pool of cities to connect with, but the relationship between OASC and OrganiCity is tighter, as Martin explained to the international congress audience:
“The OASC initiative started around one year ago and was made with our shared challenges in mind. It’s shaping OrganiCity, and OrganiCity is shaping OASC, based on cities co-creating new practices. To develop open and agile smart cities, we need an iterative loop between a city’s various layers: Operations, procurement and experimentation. OrganiCity plays an important role here, because it focuses on maturing the level of experimentation; on making et easier for cities to experiment; and on linking experimentation to pre-commercial procurement and subsequent operations.”
Next stop on OrganiCity’s Catalonia tour is Green FabLab Barcelona in the green hills of Valldaura just outside the city, where two days of EU review activities are about to take off.