Istanbul is the perfect scenario for The World Cities Expo 2017. Awarded the 2015 European Capital of Culture, the Turkish capital has always been a very significant historical site. It is the only city that borders two continents–straddling the Bosphorus strait which separates Europe and Asia—and has served as an imperial capital for almost 16 centuries, during the Constantinople, Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman empires.
Now Istanbul wants to take a step into the future and become the capital of technology. The World Cities Expo 2017 organized by the Istanbul City Council (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality), aims to become an international benchmark for entrepreneurship, innovation, and the digital transformation of cities.
The announcement was given at the at the Mobile World Congress 2017 by the Secretary General of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Dr. Hayri Baracli,. “We have two reasons to celebrate the launch of the World Cities Expo in Barcelona, whose culture, architecture and advanced urban solutions make it a global city. Firstly, Barcelona is a sister city of Istanbul, and secondly, we want to showcase to the world the Smart Cities of the future, through the bonds that exist between these global cities. “
The General Secretary of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality highlighted the importance of celebrating this expo: “The use of technology is increasingly widespread as a key component in solving the problems of cities. Nowadays urban cities are becoming smart cities and, in fact, it is estimated that by the year 2021, cities will have invested about $ 1.5 trillion in resources to become what we know as Smart Cities. Predictions point to the fact that, thanks to advanced initiatives for public transport and energy saving in buildings, by 2050 the Smart Cities will have saved about 22 trillion dollars”.
The World Cities Expo will center around key innovation topics related to Big Data, new technologies for urban management, energy, transportation. The event will hold conferences, networking sessions to foster synergies between organizations, an area for sharing experiences, exhibitions, and more, all aimed at bringing together leaders and organizations that drive digital transformation.
In this second edition, the attendance of more than 100 international and local organizations is expected, with about 10 national pavilions. The World Cities Expo 2017 will attract about 3,000 businessmen and more than 300 members of the international press, as well as more than 10,000 professionals.
AkuaroWorld had the opportunity to speak with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Dr. Hayri Baracli at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona.
See the interview below: