World Cities Expo Istanbul 2017, organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) and bringing together leading institutions, organizations and experts from around the world who lead the city with a model of the future by integrating technology and urban planning into metropolises, started yesterday at the Haliç Congress Center in Istanbul. The four-day event the World Smart Cities Fair, where important sessions and panels with famous speakers and lecturers will take place, will continue until May 18.
As Istanbul and other of the world's most popular metropolises are being transformed into smart cities with developing technology, the pioneers of this change will meet at World Cities Expo Istanbul 2017. On the first day of the fair, which opened with speeches from Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin and Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş, the future of smart cities was discussed in sessions titled, "Technology and Innovation," "Digital Entrepreneurship" and "Education and Cultural Life."
During his opening speech, IBB Chairman Kadir Topbaş pointed out that high standards of living in major cities are only realizable through business co-operation, going on to say that that the sharing of information and technology has become a crucial aspect of development and that public administrators have been given great tasks in this regard. Indicating that cities need to allocate $1.5 trillion for this by 2020, Topbaş said that they expect to save approximately $22 trillion by 2050 with simple applications such as smart public transport systems, smart energy-saving buildings and environment and waste management.
‘IBB developed numerous software systems'Underscoring that they have been working to further improve the standard of living for all people, the mayor said: "As IBB, we have developed and put into service numerous software systems. We gained serious momentum in the context of the smart city concept. We have put into full service applications such as IBB Mobile Cep Trafik and IBB Navi. As the metropolitan municipality, we have gathered our own software and all mobile applications on a single platform and Istanbulites can easily access them," said Topbaş. The mayor noted that high-level technology is not adequate to meet the needs of smart cities, saying, "Technological transformation also requires a transformation at the societal level, for which the society must be prepared." Stating that cities get used to benefitting for the suitable technologies, he remarked that as the demand for technology increases, urban areas are being transformed into smart cities.
Smart cities to seal near future
The World Cities Expo, which will continue until May 18, will focus on entrepreneurship and economic development, innovation and technology, large-scale data and urban management, energy, transportation and "smart community" issues in the scope of smart cities. Moreover, many global and local companies will participate at the fair. The event will bring together nearly 3,000 businesspeople and more than 300 international and national members of the press as well as over 10,000 professionals. More than 100 global and local companies will attend the event with nearly 10 national pavilions to emphasize the concept of smart cities.