barcelona metroTo Smart City Expo on behalf of Playable City, a show which seasoned visitors described as still evolving – a reflection of the industry on show.

It was interesting that the larger stands, whether countries / cities or tech platforms (e.g. Microsoft & Cisco), tended to be hosting smaller businesses – appearing to be a physical reflection of a sector which has adapted from a one product fits all approach. Unfortunately this proliferation didn’t seem to widen the scope particularly with many competing offerings of remarkable similarity.

From a Playable City point of view there were very few interventions which looked proactively at citizen engagement, and where they did the solutions were app based in the majority – which by definition excludes some of the people.

My favourite idea – which stood out as being unlike anything else at the show – was a small sensor enabled tab, made up by children in a classroom and then flushed down their home toilets. Each individual tab can then be tracked online to map its progress through the water system. A model of simple engagement with the complexity of city infrastructure.

A successful show for Playable City in building new relationships, the culture led approach to smart city engagement resonating here. Now to turn global enthusiasm into activity.

In that vein, the open call for Playable City Lagos can be found here

(To explain the header, as well as pictures out of hotel windows I also collect blurry images of international metro trains….)

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