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SAP @Smart City Expo and World Congress 2018 – Building the Intelligent City of the Future!


With more than 21.000 attendees from 700+ cities across the globe, the 2018 Smart City Expo and World Congress in Barcelona took all of us a step further to shape the future ‘cities to live in’!

Our visitors experienced how SAP empowers the intelligent city of the future to solve tough challenges faster by digitally transforming across the city’s symphonic ecosystem. Government, utilities, transportation, and other businesses will become intelligent enterprises engaging the community to drive livability and prosperity. Together with our partners, we took the visitors on four different journeys through the intelligent city, empowered by digital transformation. Cities that will be green and sustainable, easy to get around, accountable to their citizens and have happy and healthy communities.


First stop: Urban Environment in the Intelligent City

The future Urban Environment will be resilient, clean, green, and enjoyable. Citizens like “Jennifer”as well as local businesses will go from passive consumers, to active prosumers that will interact with utilities to optimize energy and water supply and demand. Prosumers will be life-style customers that produce their own energy and take part in energy communities. Digital technologies, like blockchain, machine learning and IoT, will connect the grid infrastructure in a swarm-intelligent way that will better balance the energy grid that is affected by the unpredictability of decentralized renewable energy sources.

Utilities will turn into service companies that partner with cities to constantly optimize access to energy for citizens and businesses and offer the best new services to prosumers. Community organizations and citizens will benefit from business commitment to a circular economy that reduces waste and wastewater. Cities will be more resilient and work with utilities to take proactive measures to minimize outages, economic damage and injuries due to extreme weather events that are becoming more frequent.

Leveraging the digital core and adding innovations with our Leonardo portfolio like blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence etc, SAP is a strong partner for the utilities to enable the transformation, innovate business models and turn citizens of today into prosumers of the future.


Second Stop: Mobility in the Intelligent City

The future of mobility will be connected, autonomous, shared, and electric. Moving people and goods around the city will be seamless, safe, easy, clean, and sustainable. There will be seamless access to different transportation modes at any time – from autonomous vehicles, to underground and long-distance transportation.

In the future, cities leaders, automotive OEMs and transit authorities will combine their experiences to make it possible for citizens to get around flexibly. Mass transit systems and connected, autonomous, shared, electric vehicles for people and freight will co-exist. Sensors and devices on the road will generate granular insights to manage traffic and reduce congestion. Vehicles will be autonomous edge devices that use on-board artificial intelligence to optimize the journey, while keeping people entertained or facilitating work while enroute. Mobility will be available at our fingertips and citizens like “Jennifer and Rob”will no longer need to own their own car and still experience personalized comfort. First and last mile delivery of goods will benefit too, with intelligent routing, logistics hubs and autonomous fleets.

SAP is helping all participants in this journey with our vision and technology to achieve Mobility as a Service for Future Cites.


Third Stop: Governance & Finance in the Intelligent City

The future of governance will be responsive, efficient and accountable to their citizens. Data-driven innovation will drive transparent and cost-effective resource allocation. City planners like “Antoine” will use the City Dashboard to get real-time information and predictions for innovative planning.

But - when data is the new oil, where is the engine? Big data delivers the basis, but processing must be designed based on citizen needs and requirements. City administration will transform from simple de-materialization to real digitalization. Public Administration will keep pace with the speed of technology in all areas of their citizen’s life. It requires robust, solid and easy to use solutions to process basic tasks like tax collection or spending for procurement or social engagement. In parallel it will require state of the art capabilities to simulate and predict expected demographic, economic, and social trends. Decisions on new programs for social inclusion, or capital investments will be improved, because the more comprehensive analysis will identify causalities.

SAP empowers city administrators to be innovative stewards of public resources.


Fourth Stop: Inclusive & Sharing Intelligent Cities

Future, inclusive cities will catalyze civic participation, public innovation, and a collaborative economy. They will be fair and just, where all people are valued and can contribute positively to the community. Future Cities will use data-driven policies and regulations to make the sharing economy work for all citizens and businesses.  Cities will ensure that development will minimize the displacement of residents, preserve affordability and enable local business to grow and prosper.

Governments need to offer comprehensive but simple service using conversational AI chatbots that bridge the digital literacy gap and increasingly personalize response through 360° understanding of citizens’ needs. As part of the citizen engagement platform families, like the “Ballesteros”, that moved to an inclusive & sharing city of the future get to store all their important documents electronically in a blockchain powered digital citizen wallet.  All documents are digitized, validated and controlled by the family.  It will be easy for them to apply for benefits and services as the digital citizen wallet removes the need to fill in new documents with the same information over and over.  The omni-channel services the intelligent city offers, will make it easy for families like the Ballesteros to find jobs, a new home and schools for their kids, like Maria and Carlos.

SAP enables data-driven policies and omni-channel engagement to generate prosperity for all.


Next Step: Building the Intelligent Cities of the Future

Disruptive new technologies like for example nano-technology, quantum computing and emotional artificial intelligence will bring new opportunities to make the cities even more intelligent, safe and provide more personalized services. Breakthrough innovations like the plastic road which is made of 100% recycled plastic from the oceans will help to achieve zero waste in a circular economy.  The digital transformation will help the cities of the future to achieve livability and prosperity and be vital contributors to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Cities and their ecosystem must embrace new technologies like machine learning, IoT & artificial intelligence, and enter the digital transformation now, to be ready for that future and to become cities to live in!

Learn more about SAPs’ Future Cities vision and solution portfolio and join us on the journey to the intelligent, livable and prosperous cities of the future! Cities we all want to live in!


Max Claps – SAP SE, Vice President Global Future Cities

Simone Maienfisch – SAP SE, Director Global Future Cities