Experts from science and industry and representatives and political leaders from cities all around the world will soon be gathering in Berlin for Metropolitan Solutions, transforming the city into the global headquarters of smart, sustainable urbanization for three action-packed days. Held from 20 to 22 May at Berlin's CityCube complex, Metropolitan Solutions is the world's biggest combined exhibition and congress on smart, green urban development. It brings together 27 conferences and workshops featuring around 450 speakers, including two EU Commissioners, plus 130 industrial-sector companies and numerous visitor delegations. The event takes in a broad sweep of themes ranging from energy supply, transport and connected lighting and sensor systems to innovative financing models. "The daily task providing populations with sufficient energy, food and living space while at the same time minimizing environmental and climate impacts and resource use is a challenge facing all cities worldwide," said Germany's Minister of Education and Research, Dr. Johanna Wanka, who is also the official patron of Metropolitan Solutions. "The purpose of Metropolitan Solutions is to facilitate in-depth dialogue on these matters in the context of international cooperation.
The show is an international catalyst of new ideas for innovative urban development," she added. With the global urbanization rate currently sitting at 50 percent and predicted by UN forecasts to hit 75 percent by 2050, the need to transition to a more intelligent, sustainable model of urbanization has never been more pressing. And these figures are merely global averages; the actual rates in Asia and Africa are even higher. Cornelia Yzer, Senator for Economics, Technology and Research of Berlin: "Berlin is the perfect venue for the world's largest smart city trade show and conference. Even though the German capital doesn't have the dimensions of megacities on other continents, here we are creating the solutions for the challenges that cities face tomorrow. Here the urban technologies are developed, brought into the application and scaled for the world market. Smart City 'Made in Berlin'. " "In times of climate and demographic change such as these, cities need to be incubators of innovation and pioneers of new ways of thinking," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, the member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe in charge of Metropolitan Solutions. "Cities are a key part of our collective social, political and economic existence. As much as 80 percent of the world's gross domestic product is generated in cities.
Metropolitan Solutions puts the spotlight on the central issues confronting the world's big cities as they look to the future: What are the best IT solutions? How can we become more efficient? How do we manage change? How do we secure the financing we need? The plans for the revamped Metropolitan Solutions in Berlin originally envisaged around ten conferences. But that figure has since been revised upwards to 27 international conferences and workshops. It's an impressively rapid growth rate, especially given that the new Berlin location was unveiled only a year ago - and it's due to the show's unique format. The key to the show's success is that all of its conferences are organized and operated independently of one another by specialists. What's more, the conferences are flanked by an exhibition populated by 130 companies from various industries, who will be showcasing a whole range of technologies and solutions for tomorrow's sustainable, smart cities.
The big names here include Siemens, Microsoft, Oracle, Audi, Phoenix Contact, Doppelmayr, Osram, Panasonic, Schneider Electric and Philips. This multifaceted format provides an unparalleled speaking and dialogue platform for stakeholders from all parts of the urban development spectrum. That's everything from industrials, municipalities, banks and NGOs to startups and think-tanks. Together, the conferences and workshops will cover all the issues and challenges along the road to intelligent, sustainable urban development. There will be input from first-rate speakers and thinkers from all around the world. Among them will be the EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, and the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger. Both will speak at the General Assembly of the Market Place of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP SCC).
Other speakers include Manjalamkuzhi Ali, the Minister for Urban Development of the India's Kerala State, who will be delivering a keynote at the "100 Smart Cities in India" conference. Other conferences, such as the "Sustainable Mobility for Smart Cities" conference, will look at smart mobility, clean air and intelligent transport systems. The "City as Project" conference will examine a number of key building blocks of effective urban development. Its speaker lineup includes Richard Sennett, who teaches sociology and history at the London School of Economics and New York University. There will also be a strong focus on the Asia region with the "Sustainable Urban China" conference and the "Berlin Dialogue with Asia" business and technology conference. Urban development in the Middle East will be on the agenda at the "Cities of Tomorrow: Sustainable Solutions in the Arab World" conference.
Metropolitan Solutions will also host numerous visitor delegations, including groups from China, Israel, Thailand and Korea and from cities such as Kampala (Uganda), Moscow and Warsaw. Various cities will also present their smart city projects within the event's integral expo. Among them will be Amsterdam, the Paris metropolitan region and a number of cities involved in Germany's InnovationCity Ruhr/Modellstadt Bottrop project. Of all the participating cities, extra attention will be focused on Vienna, Lleida and Berlin as this year's Metropolitan Solutions Partner Cities. Lleida, a mid-sized city in Spain, is at the forefront of socially inclusive smart city development; Vienna is a pioneer in many areas of intelligent urban development; and Berlin, as the host city, likewise has a strong smart-city commitment. Berlin's political leadership has set its sights on turning the city into one of Europe's foremost smart cities.
Internationally, Berlin has made a name for itself as the capital of Europe's energy transition - a topic of great interest to urban decision-makers worldwide. For the exhibitors, Metropolitan Solutions is more than just a platform at which to showcase their latest automation, energy technology and IT solutions for tomorrow's cities. They will also present their ideas and solutions in the course of discussions both in the exhibition area and at various conferences. In this way, the exhibition area will double as a discussion platform, providing key thematic linkages to the conference program. Most of the conferences will be conducted in English. With the exception of Smart Lighting and Smart Sensing, attendance at the conferences is free of charge for Metropolitan Solutions ticket holders (although registration is required). Metropolitan Solutions tickets cost €49 for industrial-sector participants and €25 for public-sector participants.