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CleanTECH San Diego at Smart City Expo in Barcelona, Spain

  |   Cleantech San Diego, Events, Smart Cities San Diego

November 19-21, CleanTECH San Diego Chair Jim Waring participated in the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Smart City Expo is a three-day gathering of several thousand people from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities in creating sustainable cities. Making cities sustainable is critically important, and will become more important as urban populations grow from 3.5 billion people to an estimated six billion by 2050. CleanTECH San Diego was invited to present due to its leadership around Smart City San Diego and its emerging Sustainable San Diego pilot project.

Jim Waring summarizes his thoughts from the Smart City Expo:

While there is great diversity in today’s three plenary sessions and numerous breakout presentations, there are consistent and reoccurring themes that are applicable to cities striving to remain relevant and become more sustainable. A few key points that are applicable to the Sustainable San Diego project are:

  • Cities are at a pivot point. During the next decade, cities such as San Diego will actively embrace the technology and generationally driven opportunities to become more sustainable or they will be eclipsed by the many cities that opt to sustain themselves.
  • Technology can seem overwhelming, yet there’s always been technological change. Not that long ago urban potable and waste water systems where considered technological marvels. Now we take it for granted.
  • Technology means nothing in terms of sustainable cities unless it enables and empowers its citizens.
  • Strong political leadership in setting goals and expectations is essential.
  • Equally important is a process that involves the broader community in design and implementation. The data that flows from the technology supports this involvement.

Will San Diego rise to the challenges and the opportunities? I expect so and CleanTECH San Diego will help drive that charge. Without a doubt, we have the opportunity and the human and physical resources to do that. It is ironic to listen to so many different discussions connected by a common thread of leadership on Special Mayoral Election Day in San Diego.

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