Following on from the success of the 2016 edition of the show, on 19th September 2017, WEX and GCP Consulting, in partnership with Digital Wallonia, organised the second edition of Smart City Wallonia’s biggest event: the Smart City Wallonia Congress.
This year, Eurofiber took part in the show alongside CityBeacon as part of their partnership aimed at fighting against the plethora of applications, information panels and connection options. CityBeacon does more than just provide useful practical information, such as the location of the nearest car park, where the local café is or handy details of how to get there: you can also use CityBeacon to connect your smartphone and benefit from free WiFi.
The success of projects such as CityBeacon relies on the quality of the connectivity available. Eurofiber has set itself the goal of ensuring that data can not only be sent and received quickly, but is available at all times. Eurofiber offers a terrestrial fiber optic network, linking all of the datacenters in Belgium and providing a direct link to all of the major Cloud platforms. This means that all of the data stored in the Cloud is instantly available at all times, as well as totally secure.
Interactive totems have started appearing in the city of Eindhoven. The two partners are preparing to launch this concept in the major cities of Belgium to convert them gradually into smart cities.
Smart Cities in relation to municipalities in Wallonia: from theory to practice
All of the municipalities and local authorities in Wallonia are facing a number of challenges that vary according to their specific features: increases in population, mobility, the efficiency of public utility services (water, energy, waste, etc.), protecting the environment, budget constraints, civic involvement, territorial competition, the ageing population, the digital divide – and so on. There are appropriate solutions in place – or new ones that can be co-created.
During the congress, a succession of speakers, observers and experts in the field of Smart Cities provided information and explanations about practical questions.
- What is Wallonia’s strategic vision?
- How does a village implement a Smart City strategy?
- How does a hospital fit into a Smart City?
- Is it possible to implement a climate plan in a local authority?
- Should a town or city be required to share its data?
- How do we incorporate civic participation?
- Is the creation of ‘third spaces’ necessary?
Also on the programme of this second edition of Smart City Wallonia:
- Plenary presentations by experts from the academic, public and private sectors
- Targeted theme-based sessions
- Sharing successful experiences in Wallonia and elsewhere
- An exhibition area featuring some sixty exhibitors displaying solutions geared to the needs of local authorities
- Presentations of solutions at the show in a space specifically dedicated to exhibitors
- A workshop reserved for mayors, to enable them to better understand the Smart City concept
- A start-ups village
- The inaugural Smart Region Marketplace.
This year, Smart City Wallonia played host to no fewer than 656 visitors.[ssbp]