Smart City Business Review

With the rapid population growth in cities, it is essential to apply a combination of the latest technology, systems and solutions in all areas such as energy, telecommunications, water, traffic, education, architecture, waste disposal and the environment, with a competent management, writes Lucas Lacombe and Ricardo Demarchi from MEI. Such a need for development is bringing great business opportunities.

Brazil’s economic growth is being pushed mainly by Pernambuco’s economic development whose GDP reached almost 10% in 2010 and 4.5% in 2011. As a result, the migration flux reverted and companies and employees are now leaving the south-east to go to the north-east. In order to cope with the changes, Pernambuco is experiencing a unique moment with 14 new planned cities and neighbourhoods, where the local government is encouraging the implementation of technologies and know-how available, thus transforming life in the cities of tomorrow.

The Smart Business City Conference, which took place in Recife in October 2012, gathered some of the world’s most modern smart cities projects and technologies and took as a reference the international standards of successful projects. The event’s overall objective was to introduce to the market the best investment alternatives in technology for the Cities of the Future. It brought together more than 250 Brazilian and international participants – government officials, entrepreneurs, urban planners, architects, consultants, engineers, investors and opinion makers – in an atmosphere where everyone could converge in a significant opportunity.

Experts and leaders from major global companies in various sectors came to Recife to present and discuss solutions for current and future issues. Among the speakers were Steven Lewis – CEO of Living Plan IT, Marcos Lessa - president of the Consortium Arena Pernambuco, Cesar Taurion - new technology manager at IBM, Gustavo Rabelo - Smart City director for IBM Brazil, Shinya Kukita - chief manager of NEC Japan International Sales, Herberto Yamamuro - president of NEC Latin America, Kevin Rieger – senior vice-president of AEG Real Estate, Stephen Engblom – senior vice-president of AECOM, Ted Tanner - executive vice president of AEG Real Estate, Rodrigo Abreu – president of Cisco Brazil, and Angelo Bellelis – vice-president of Cone. Expertise exchange, networking and business opportunities were striking factors of the three-day event.

Next year’s edition is already being planned for the month of October. The Smart City Business 2013 conference will have a broader international aspect as Recife aims at being the Latin America cluster for smart cities. The main theme, yet to be confirmed, should tackle the quality of life for the human being in the cities of the future. Once again, it is set to be a great business opportunity for interested companies worldwide.

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