Education and employability will be crucial

A city built with LEGO bricks is not what you’d expect at the world leading Smart City Expo in Barcelona (14-17 November). Children from the nearby city L’Hospitalet demonstrated their vision on smart solutions for citizens. This project aims to prepare children for the future of robotics, which seems far more essential in the long-run than the many new technologies on

Exhibitors and visitors at the Expo stressed the need for different skills required in the cities of the future. There is already a huge gap between the current education curriculum and the vacant jobs in, for instance, data-analysis, the 3D making industry and robotics. And this is only expected to become worse in the years ahead.

Where digitalisation allows cities to build an inclusive society, will it exclude people from traditional jobs at the same time. This may result in poverty and a division between the haves and not-haves in society. It may also affect the attractiveness of cities for businesses.

Therefore, employability is a key concern for local governments. They feel the responsibility to ensure connectivity at all levels, will they be truly smart.