Published On: March 29, 2016

Smart City Exposition in Curitiba

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On March 28, 29, and 30 the Smart City Business America Congress & Exposition came to Curitiba at the Unimed Conference Center on the Positivo University campus, located in the Ecoville neighborhood.

The theme of the Exposition was “The Challenges of Sustainable Urban Transformation.” Its purpose was to provide a forum for experts in innovative and transformative initiatives in urban living to meet with civic leaders as well as the public to share information and points of view.

Curitiba has long been a focus for international visitors interested in urban renewal since the days of Mayor Jaime Lerner, an architect and urban designer who transformed Curitiba into the eco-friendly city it is today. In order for any city to continue to grow without losing its most valuable asset – quality of life – solutions must be found to the ongoing challenges of urban existence.

Foreign language translation services at Exposition

Foreign language translation services at Exposition

By providing such an opportunity for lectures, discussions, and debates, the Smart City initiative promotes tested solutions and successful scenarios from leaders in the fields of urban design, transportation, and technology.

Hundreds of sponsors to the Exposition provided valuable opportunities for all parties interested in sustainable growth to view the numerous booths on display, share experiences, and exchange knowledge in open panel discussions and lectures on such topics as “Anticipating decisions through strategic vision and infrastructure,” and “Politics and strategies to strengthen the fiscal capacities of cities.”

Technology booth at Expo

Technology booth at Expo

Sponsors of the Congress ranged from technology giants such as TIM and Promon Logicalis to government groups such as the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and Brazilian federal government’s Education Ministry.

Fecomércio PR was also a major sponsor of the event and has a large booth outlining the various efforts promoted by Sesc, Senac, IFPD, FIEP, SESI, SENAI, and IEL in Paraná and throughout Brazil in the fields of health awareness, education, and community development.

Urban transport sponsors at the Expo included ALSTOM, the French multinational rail transport company. Volvo had on display one of their well-known biodiesel/electric bus chassis, which are manufactured at the Volvo factory in Curitiba. As the complete chassis and engine were on view minus the bus body, the inner workings of this essential urban transport tool can be examined at close range. Volvo currently has 300 buses in operation in Curitiba alone, which are 35 percent more economical than standard diesel engines and have 50 percent less CO2 emissions.

Volvo Biodiesel bus manufactured in Curitiba

Volvo Biodiesel/electric bus manufactured in Curitiba

As is evident in the explosion of the Internet in the 21st century, technology companies were a large presence at the Exposition. These companies include Autodesk, SigmaOne, and Cloud 4.

There was also a booth dedicated to education on sustainable living. The education group is called iCities, an organization dedicated to smart solutions to urban challenges. A “smart city” is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets.  In April, iCities is initiating an 18-month post-graduation program at Positivo University in Curitiba. It is the first post-graduation program in Brazil focused on Smart Cities.

In addition to the numerous booths on display, there were lectures and discussions scheduled for each of the three days of the Congress, averaging about ten forums and debates per day. More than 150 panel experts are speaking, including financial and information experts, entrepreneurs, urban planners, mayors, as well as company CEOs. Many of the lectures and discussions are being assisted by simultaneous translations offered in Spanish and English.

For anyone interested in the sustainable future of the modern world, where most people live in urban areas, this conference and exposition provided a critical source of new ideas as well as a glimpse at the next frontiers in sustainability.

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