For three whole days, Berlin is hosting high-level dialogue on the way forward for the world’s urban centers as they seek to navigate the challenges of the future and become smart cities. As of today, political leaders, urban planners, municipal decision makers, scientists and businesspeople from around the globe are converging on Berlin’s CityCube complex for Metropolitan Solutions 2016, one of the world’s leading events on smart city themes. What’s unique about Metropolitan Solutions is that it is a multi-format event comprising 26 world-class, independently organized conferences and workshops plus an exhibition featuring some 100 technology companies. IT and industrial companies like Siemens, AWS Intel and Doppelmayr are using the event to showcase sustainable, smart solutions for tomorrow’s cities. The show as a whole addresses a wide range of topics, including renewables and energy efficiency, infrastructure for low-emission urban mobility, resource sustainability, and new approaches to public buildings and the design of public spaces.
Among the big highlights this year is the German Habitat Forum 2016 – Germany’s main contribution to the UN-Habitat III program. Organized by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation and the Berlin state government in partnership with several federal-level government agencies, it is a key platform for discussion on sustainable solutions for tomorrow’s cities. The ideas and concepts that emerge from the German Habitat Forum will be fed into Habitat III – the 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – which will be held from 17 to 20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador.
Other conferences address topics such as “Sustainable Urban China,” Municipal Finance” and “100 Smart Cities in India.” The speaker lineup at the latter includes Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendricks. Metropolitan Solutions also features the 5th International E-Bus Conference organized by the trolley:motion action group, a workshop on the Bertelsmann Foundation’s “Smart Country” project, and the “Logistics and Mobility – Digital Africa” conference, which is co-organized by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Also among the big highlights is an expert symposium themed “Refugees welcome? Refugees integrated!” Organized by Network Migration in Europe, the symposium deals with the big challenges associated with accommodating and integrating large numbers of refugees.
Berlin: the perfect location for focusing attention on urban issues
This is the second time that Metropolitan Solutions has been staged in Berlin. And, as locations go, it’s a great match. To quote the city’s Governing Mayor, Michael Müller: “Our goal is to develop Germany’s capital into one of Europe’s leading smart cities.” What’s more, this year’s Metropolitan Solutions features about 30 organizations from the Berlin area. Highlights here include a group pavilion for Berlin businesses, a presentation on ten locations considered pivotal to Berlin’s future development, and the CHORA city & energy department of Berlin Technical University with its giant-sized “Brainbox” installation.
Metropolitan Solutions runs from 31 May until 2 June and is aimed at both urban development professionals and members of the public with an interest in tomorrow’s smart cities. Admission to some of the events – including the German Habitat Forum – is restricted to invited guests. For further information on individual conferences and the conditions for participation at Metropolitan Solutions, visit www.metropolitansolutions.de.