Metropolitan mayors gather in Istanbul to build smarter cities

Published 01.06.2016 23:50
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş welcomed 150 metropolitan mayors on Wednesday at the opening of the Smart City Expo.
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş welcomed 150 metropolitan mayors on Wednesday at the opening of the Smart City Expo.

The Smart City Expo, a three-day event that started in Istanbul on Wednesday, brings more than 150 metropolitan mayors from around the world together with business circles that aspire to develop smart city projects and invest in the area, while offering an opportunity to explain and evaluate studies concerning innovative, environmentally friendly, solution-oriented and more livable city life.

The event, which has been held in Barcelona for five years since its inauguration, is at the Haliç Congress Center this year. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality with help from the Association of Municipalities of Turkey and the Association of Municipalities of Marmara is hosting the fair. Prominent company managers and city leaders can present their own innovative solutions to over 150 mayors from cities with populations in excess of 100,000, some state leaders and 10,000 professionals.

Delivering a statement about the Smart City Expo, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş said that Istanbul, which joins continents and hosts many civilizations, is a leading force in Turkey. Referring to businessmen that aspire to have a place in the city, Topbaş noted that Istanbul is a source of inspiration for everyone due to its historic fabric and natural beauties. He said: "Istanbul is a city where members of all cultures and religions live peacefully. Mass conventions are held in Istanbul now, and when participants learn that a congress will be held in this city, they become happy. Istanbul is successfully hosting Smart City Expo like other gatherings of this kind."

As part of the exhibition, which offers an opportunity to follow the latest developments in smart city practices and the latest city planning technologies, the 11,000-squaremeter parking lot of the Haliç Congress Center has been closed as a fairground. Furthermore, projects and prototypes developed by more than 200 companies are displayed in the huge exhibition area. The fair, which helps participants develop ideas to make city dwellers more comfortable, is expected to attract around 10,000 visitors.

The fair program includes a convention where ideas and studies about smart cities are being shared. More than 80 city designers and specialists are delivering speeches and making presentations to inspire enthusiastic participants. World-renowned institutions, organizations and companies are attending the convention, which consists of three main sessions, six plenary sessions and 12 minor sessions. The issues of transport, innovation, technology, energy, smart society, entrepreneurship and economic development, which constitute the basis of smart cities, are addressed in all six plenary sessions.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and companies related to it showcase their new projects to make the city life easier for people and solutions regarding urban cities in a 900-square-meter area. In case of demands for the showcased projects and practices, the municipality will discuss exporting these technologies.

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