Reaching Smart Cities through Partnerships

October 18, 2019

IESE Business School

New York City

 PPP for Cities | IESE Business Sch Catalonia Trade & Investments

The 21st century will be the century of cities, as all the population forecasts are showing it. Aware of this reality, city officers need to focus on how to reduce the challenges of living and working in cities.

While climate change and digital revolution are the main threats identified, the policies to overcome the negative impact of these issues are still on their way to be fully implemented. Budget constraints and the difficulty to innovate inside Public Authorities might explain why the solutions are still being discussed. Partnerships between the Public Sector and Private companies might be the solution to implement innovative solutions to mitigate the climate change.

Smart Cities, in a sense, can be viewed that way: using innovation to improve already existing policies, such as transport system or supply of energy. At an end, the success of these new ways of implementing policies will be determined by the capacity to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Therefore, the center PPP for Cities, is organizing its 1st USA conference, where several good practices of smart solutions will be presented, with the main characteristic that the implementation has been done through Public-Private Partnerships. On top of the cases presented, the attendees will have the opportunity to listen to experts that will discuss how to reach the Sustainable Development Goals through Public-Private Partnerships.

This conference is a unique opportunity to learn about smart solutions, such as a tramway or a smart energy grid, and to discuss with the authorities and the companies that have implemented these solutions in other regions. The conference will end with a networking lunch.

The conference is organized by IESE’s research center PPP for Cities with the support of Catalonia Trade & Investment, the Agency for Competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia.


08:00 – 08:15 – Reception of the participants

08:15 – 08:30 – Welcome & Opening Words: How we adapt PPP to Smart Cities?

Prof. Joan Enric Ricart, Carl Schroeder Chair of Strategic Management, IESE Business School

08:30 – 09:00 – Is it possible to start a tramway system in a city without recent tramway operational experience?

Presentation of Barcelona’s Tramway system experience: mobility challenges and its integration into an existing public transport network

Mr. Lluís Alegre, Technical Director at Barcelona Regional Transport Authority (ATM)

09:00 – 09:30 – Challenges of managing and operating tramways in Barcelona

Presentation of the Barcelona’s Tramway operation

Mr. Humberto López-Vilalta. General Manager. TRAM, SA. (Barcelona tramway managing company)

09:30 – 10:00 – Q & A with Mr. Pere Torres, CEO of Barcelona Regional Transport Authority (ATM)

10:00 – 10:30 – Coffee break

10:30 – 11:15 – Improving energy efficiency through Smart Grids

Presentation of NY State Smart Grid

Mr. Sean Sullivan, Program Director, Smart Grid Innovation responsible for Energy Smart Community at AVANGRID

11:15 – 12:00 – Mobility Simulation for Cities & Autonomous Vehicles

Mr. Alex Gerodimos, Chief Operating Officer at Aimsun

12:00 – 13:00 – Round table: How to reach People First PPPs? Smart solutions as tools to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

NY Local Authority representative, TBC

Mr. Xavier Vilalta, Smart Strategy at Catalonia Trade & Investment

Mr. Lou Celi, Chief Executive and Founder, ESI ThoughtLab

Moderator: Prof. Joan Enric Ricart, Academic Director at PPP for Cities

13:00 – 14:30 – Networking Lunch