Twenty-one cities reveal winning solutions that will improve lives of 110 million citizens

Clare Saxon Ghauri
3 May 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO: Leaders from 21 international cities met at the Living Labs Global Award 2012 in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil today, to announce the winners of a contest to find innovative urban solutions that will improve the lives of millions.

The Living Labs Global Award (LLGA) is a yearly campaign where cities present challenges based on their future investment plans and needs. Solution providers from the business community are then invited to respond by submitting existing technologies to be evaluated by an expert jury.

This year, LLGA - organized by Living Labs Global, Rio de Janeiro, the City of Barcelona, 20 global cities and partners Oracle and The Climate Group - saw 555 entries from over 50 countries presented as solutions to the urban problem areas. 

High level representatives from each of the 21 participating cities including the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro and the Deputy of Barcelona announced the winners at the Living Labs Award Ceremony in Rio. 

Winners include:

  • Endesa won Glasgow’s challenge specifically with their Smart City Malaga project, which integrates 17,000 smart meters with charging points, LED streetlights and a control center
  • Clever Devices, the winner in Mexico City, manages intelligent transport systems for city managers to drive down emissions, and fuel consumption
  • ConnecThings swept four of the city categories. NFC tags (enabling the QR codes on your mobile phone) allow citizens to interact with their surroundings in real time, and enable tourists or citizens to better engage with their city.

Over the next year, winners’ solutions will be piloted in the 21 cities, including San Francisco, Cape Town, Birmingham and Lagos. See the full list of winning solutions here.

Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes said: “We are proud to host the Living Labs Global Award 2012 and Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Cities and welcome our twenty global partner cities to exchange innovations to improve the lives of our 110 million citizens. We are honoured to share our experiences in Rio de Janeiro and gain inspiration when we meet the leaders visiting from Asia, Africa, Europe, North and Latin America.”

Molly Webb, Head of Smart Technologies, The Climate Group, attended and judged the Living Labs Awards. “We need unprecedented innovation if we are to transition to a low carbon economy over the coming decades – what we are calling a Clean Revolution -- and crucially this means providing citizens with better, cleaner, greener cities. Innovation is at heart a matchmaking process between solutions and challenges, and we’re partnering with Living Labs Global Award to support the leadership of these 21 cities to create their own low carbon future.”

Commenting on the winners in a blog she wrote from Rio, Molly declared: "The winners – and the finalists – were up to the task. Having read 500+ entries, I was amazed by the global marketplace I saw unfolding with every showcased solution. Companies that are providing socially networked transport, smart grid, smarter waste solutions, road maintenance, power-generating floors, all manner of intelligent transportation and parking were just a few."

Tomorrow the delegates will join the LLGA2012 local immersion programme to experience some of the projects first-hand.

The Climate Group, Living Labs Global and CityMart are now partnering to increase the transparency of the award's learning process. With the initiative Agile Cities, we will co-design guidance for the ‘pre-procurement’ stage - the crucial point when cities are looking for innovation and seeking global market intelligence.


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