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This article is written by Zoheb Iqbal

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By 2030 it is predicted that, 6 out of every 10 people will live in a city, and by 2050, the number will increase to 7 out of 10 people according to Global Health Observatory (GHO) reports. As we attempt to accommodate to the changing needs of citizens within cities the solutions that are being produced in turn becoming smarter. From Sharing economy apps like Airbnb, to crowd sourced urban planning applications, like Brickstarter. Swift Mobile payment systems and Smarter home technologies like Nest, to overall improvements in the way we connect across cities through systems like Google Fiber.

Our cities face a number of major challenges as they grow and technology is playing a major role in attempting to alleviate some of those issues. Technologies to not only create a better connected city but ones that provide richer experiences to users of those cities.

The ‘Smart Cities’ movement represents an emerging vision for this new cities paradigm shift and the emerging environmental, sustainable and social issues that emerge from it.

From Google’s self driving car project to IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative  major companies are continuing to encourage innovation that is now actively addressing the potential of smart cities and the innovative potentials of citizens. A bottom up innovation practices driven by collaboration and innovation is providing a new platform for innovative technologies.

Big data is being used proactively in cities all around the world, collecting and analysing that extensive data generated every second of every day, helping cities to become more optimised and efficient in their operations. One such initiative is a new open source developer platform for Future Internet applications called FI-WARE by the European Commissions intended to unleash the potential of cutting-edge internet technologies crucial to the future of areas such as Smart Cities. A public and royalty-free architecture; FI-WARE open specifications which will allow developers, service providers, enterprises and other organisations to foster innovation and entrepreneurship transforming cities for the better.

At Start Up weekend we believe Smart Entrepreneurs produce Smart Cities. With this collaboration Startup Weekend’s community will have FI-WARE at their fingertips providing a huge opportunity for European startups and entrepreneurs to leverage the power of big data and begin building innovative products to make cities smarter.

Have an idea that will improve cities for the better? Passionate about producing products that aim to make our cities smarter join us for our set of upcoming events leading up to the weekend focussed on making our cities better for living. We’ll be joined by London’s best architects, technologist, urban planners, sustainability experts, government planners, evangelists, researchers, developers and designers to co-create new prototypes to learn, play, share ideas, network, and get inspired throughout the weekend.

And read more here ‘London Startup Weekend Smart Cities’ about the upcoming startup weekend which runs from 27-29th June 2014 and purchase your ticket here ‘Order Startup Weekend Smart Cities’ to pitch and collaborate on some of the most inspiring smart cities ideas and entrepreneurs. Follow us @startuplondon to keep up to date with exciting announcements for the weekend.


SW London is an official partner of our current project with the European Commission called FI-WARE. Their event promotes new cutting-edge technology ideas and prototypes. Just what FI-WARE aims to unleash – FI-WARE is an innovative, open cloud-based infrastructure for cost-effective creation and delivery of Future Internet applications and services, at a scale like no other. Driven by the development of an open source reference implementation and accelerating the availability of commercial products and services based, FI-WARE API specifications are public and freeWe’re really excited for our community to use their expertise and experience to help test and validate the EC’s FI-WARE developer platform.