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The future of Cities

Smart City Expo

People first

Smart cities are no longer just about technology and innovation. Today, we look at the cities of the future as cities thought for people. We are witnessing a new paradigm in city management, with municipalities increasingly attentive to the real needs of citizens and the constant improvement of their quality of life. With the digitization of the 21st century, we also see a change in the minds of the citizens themselves, more concerned and watchful of the urban life of tomorrow.

"Based on this new approach, cities look for different ways to be a step ahead and companies find out how to help them drive this strategy."

Partners point of view

With an eye towards the future, during our trip to Barcelona, we wanted to talk to those on the ground, thinking of people and doing it differently. And we spoke with Monique Calisti, Martel Innovate’s CEO, a Swiss-based company with more than 20 years of R&I experience in European projects.

Monique demonstrates with excellence what it's like to be one step ahead. It all starts with the new term: Next-Generation Internet. An initiative launched by the European Commission in 2016, whose main objective is to raise awareness and create a movement to value the Internet as a service for people.

Today the Internet is fundamental in any activity, and this trend will continue to grow in the coming years with the internet becoming an increasingly indispensable tool. However, there is still speculation about the security and reliability of the Internet. There is still a need to create greater involvement and participation from people, and hence the need to create a new Internet, aimed at the Human.

Very involved with the NGI term, Monique, together with Martel, believes that it is essential not only on the Internet but also in cities, to ensure that the services used by citizens are safe for the future of the city. Although we know that there is currently a disruption in cities due to 21st-century digitization, this digitization has risks and benefits and it is necessary to think about how people can benefit from it. It has been based on this vision that Martel has done its excellent work, impelling the creation of projects that mirror innovation and significantly improve the quality of life of citizens.

"For this, they have partners like Ubiwhere, to show how small players have high potential in the digitization of society and how, in a professional environment, they create such solid relationships. For Monique, Ubiwhere is for Martel a love relationship."

Similarly, thinks Sandra Baer, president of Personal Cities, a New York-based smart cities company, which aims to support the entire ecosystem of a city by helping it understand how a city improves the citizens’ quality of life. For Sandra, the problem is not technology, because it is "behind the scenes" and what "is ahead is the people". For Sandra, technologies like those developed by Ubiwhere have great potential in both directions because they allow interaction not only by the municipality but also by citizens.

In Portugal, the story continues. Miguel Castro Neto, deputy director of NOVA IMS University, told Ubiwhere that the way cities are managed is subject to change due to the integration of technology. The implementation of urban platforms, such as Ubiwhere's, is giving cities the ability to integrate data that allows them to predict what will happen and make timely decisions.

This integration, so real and tangible, is a major step in the sustainability of cities. Miguel Castro Neto firmly believes the future, once again, belongs to the people and not technology. And that is why Portugal is doing a consistent job with Portuguese cities. Almeida Henriques, president of the Intelligent Cities Section of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities, told us that there are already 136 associated cities in search of a future increasingly innovative and intelligent.

And the city where you live, is it one step ahead of technology?

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