As the smart city landscape advances into the new decade, a full slate of conferences and trade shows await.
Discussion topics at these events range from technology to equity, affordability to the next generation of mobility, and both established locations and up-and-coming cities will get the chance to shine. Smart Cities Dive has compiled a list of some of the most exciting city-focused conferences in North America in 2020.
Date: Jan. 8-10
Location: Las Vegas
The country's biggest technology event continues its push into the smart city arena. This year's show includes several days in which organizers promise discussions on "[internet of things (IoT)], 5G connectivity, transportation and smart automotive, energy and utilities, health and public safety, artificial intelligence, and data analytics."
Date: Feb. 19-21
Representatives from the public sector, transit agencies, economic development authorities and private businesses will gather in Phoenix for the three-day summit, where attendees will share successes and best practices in their fields and predict the challenges that lie ahead.
Date: March 13-16
Location: Austin, TX
While recognized as a famous cultural festival in Austin, TX, South by Southwest is quickly becoming known as a hotbed for city-related content in its Government and Politics track. Panels cover a wide range of topics, from inspiring public trust to the opioid crisis, while fostering innovative partnerships and initiatives in areas like mobility.
Date: March 17-19
The summit bills itself as one of the largest conferences to directly focus on challenges and solutions in shared mobility, with a special focus on equity in 2020. It promises "cross-sector collaboration dedicated [to] achieving equitable, accessible, affordable, and clean mobility."
Date: April 2-3
The team behind the CoMotion LA conference (held in November) is branching out this year with a new, Miami-based event that aims to highlight "the extraordinary dynamism in Miami and south Florida, and in Central and South American cities."
Date: April 6-9; Nov. 17-19
Location: Denver; National Harbor, MD
One of the leading smart city-specific shows in the United States, Smart Cities Connect returns this year to Denver and National Harbor, MD. Previous editions have tackled a variety of topics from 5G to the need for regional problem solving, to ways city leaders can build public trust. Best of all, many panelists are captivating and recognized smart city leaders that can relate to challenges faced by their peers.
Date: April 20-22; Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Location: San Diego; Washington, DC
Headed up by the Smart Cities Council, Smart Cities Week will return to San Diego and Washington, DC in 2020. With the city-level response to climate change sure to remain a key topic, honorees in the council’s various challenges will be seen as leaders at the local level.
Date: June 10-11
In 2019, Smart City Expo Atlanta — a U.S. offshoot of Smart City Expo World Congress — held its inaugural show, focusing on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion. Panelists made sure to weave these themes into conversations regarding the management of everyday systems like water and trash collection, and the 2020 show hopes to push even more attendees to "redefine smart."
Date: June 24-25
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
As Europe's biggest cities pilot various mobility projects, speakers will discuss how to find a win-win between the public sector's sustainability goals and the private sector's aims to have a financially viable business model.
Location: Los Angeles
CoMotion LA continues to expand, having added a second stage in 2019 for varied conversations around mobility partnerships, equity and congestion pricing, and techy topics like flying cars. With so many key issues to discuss in a city grappling with the dominance of cars, the conference will surely be key in efforts to improve mobility options.
Date: Nov. 17-19
Location: Barcelona, Spain
One of the world's leading smart city conferences, Smart City Expo World Congress will return to Barcelona for its 10th annual show in November. With a bevy of speakers — like top leaders from Sidewalk Labs or Mastercard's City Possible initiative — as well as honors for the world's best-performing smart cities and a thriving exhibit hall, SCEWC has proven to be a can't-miss event for thousands of global leaders.
CORRECTION: The reference to Smart Cities New York has been removed. SCNY did not confirm a show for 2020.