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World Data Viz Challenge 2019 Barcelona-Kobe final event in which finalists presented their projects, took place on the 19th of November in the framework of the Smart City Expo World Congress.

In addition to the members of the finalists teams, representatives from the city councils of Barcelona and Kobe as well as judges who assessed dataviz attended the event. Michael Donaldson, Barcelona City Council Commissioner for Digital Innovation, e-Government and Good Governance; Màrius Boada, Director of the Barcelona City Council Data Office; and Taisuke Matsuzaki, Kobe City Council representative and ICT Development Director, were some of the institutional representatives together with Mr. Naohito Watanabe, Consul of Japan in Barcelona.

Both Barcelona and Kobe finalists projects have analysed different city related aspects and how to get ready for the challenges facing smart cities. In this year’s second edition of the challenge, the emphasis has been on a worldwide issue “cities and the climate emergency”, aligned with the Climate Plan, and that is why the majority of projects submitted this year have dealt with this topic, especially the ones from Barcelona, as Enric Rubio, one of this edition’s members of the jury remarked.

The finalists have proposed, among other things, solutions to the global warming consequences with projects that study the relationship between the amount of green areas in the city and the atmospheric temperature, which conditions have the neighborhoods with more vegetation or which are the most recommended alternative routes for pedestrians when the temperature is extremely high in summer. Other projects have addressed issues such as motorbike mobility in Barcelona, ​​the city's most recommended school paths or the impact that online purchases have on the way smart cities function. The interest in the analysis and prevention of natural disasters due to climate changes and earthquakes, especially in Japan, was evident across different projects.

Aside from the Barcelona and Kobe finalist dataviz presentations, the event was also attended by the INS Vila de Gràcia pupils, who presented their winning project from the second edition of the Barcelona Dades Obertes Challenge 2019, as well as pupils from Kobe Municipal High School of Science and Technology and Municipal Fukiai High School, who also presented their projects (See here). Along with the finalists, they were also awarded with a diploma acknowledging the participation.

Once the presentation session was over, the attendees had an opportunity for networking and, to exchange impressions regarding the event as well as to enjoy a catering service offered by the organisation.

The event was conducted by Mª Mercè Fígols, responsible for the Open Data BCN service within the Municipal Data Office that was in charge of the organisation of the challenge together with the Barcelona City Council Department for International Relations and in collaboration with Sr. Iwao Kobayashi, on behalf of the Kobe City Council.

This year’s final event, as it happened in the first edition of the challenge, showed that the two cities, twinned for more than 25 years, share common concerns and challenges as smart cities. Both seek explanations, answers and solutions in the behavior and initiatives of the citizenship, and share the vision that open data from relevant fields can be very resourceful for achieving that.

This year’s final ceremony was a success and the organisation wants to congratulate once again to all the participants and finalists!