Over 160 delegates from across Europe are about to explore the SMART features of the southern Spanish convention destination of Malaga. They’re heading to Spain for the 6th EFAPCO Congress, dubbed a SMART Congress in a SMART city.
Much of the Congress programme on Friday (January 17) is devoted to examining the ways in which a SMART destination can enhance the overall delegate “experience”, with time out for a “SMART dining experience” and environmentally-friendly high-tech city tours.
Malaga has been a crossroads for diverse civilisations for 29 centuries – different ways of life, languages, customs and richly rewarding access to human innovations and ingenuity. The city’s openly welcoming nature was consolidated in the 19th Century by local and foreign entrepreneurs from across Europe. Then in the 20th Century Malaga specialised in tourism services as capital of the Costa del Sol, and now, in the 21st Century, it features in the vanguard of urban, social and economic sustainability, improving the quality of life for its citizens and visitors – tourists, congress delegates and exhibition participants alike – all in balance with the natural environment.
New projects have all embraced the spirit and directives contained in the European development policies laid down in the Horizon 2020 and FP7 objectives and the urban innovation model that Europe is seeking to implement. They include:
• SOHO, a new urban -planning model aimed at regeneration and strategic partnerships with creative industries in areas like efficiency, sustainability and growth.
• The Zem2All initiative combining smart, sustainable mobility along with better use of energy resources offering everyone the chance to use transport that is free of polluting emissions
• OPEN LAB, which encompasses all municipal efforts in the field of entrepreneurship with business incubators and accelerators encouraging development of an ecosystem of innovation centred on digital and creative industries.
Having led Spain’s Smart Cities ranking in 2011, it still retains a place in the top five, and was named City of Science and Innovation in 2012. It is also a world leader in zero-emission transport according to the E-Visionary award.
And now, Malaga has submitted its candidacy for iCapital, the European Innovation Award 2014, emphasising its collective dedication to innovation and the challenge of the European Horizon 2020.
Then Saturday’s Congress programme focuses on the Federation’s own highly innovative European Observatory project, EUROBS.