EghtesadOnline: The Ninth Technical Smart City Exhibition held at Mashhad International Exhibition Center in Khorasan Razavi Province mainly focused on smart solutions to urban management issues.
The four-day event ran from Jan. 21-24, Peivast reported.
The exhibition presented ideas, applications and innovative devices developed by tech teams and startups for offering smart public services and developing technological infrastructures, location-based urban services and urban micro-payments, Financial Tribune reported.
The event also featured specialized conferences, forums and technical workshops where gaps in urban management fields and their potential smart solutions were discussed.
Tech and urban authorities, including Mashhad Mayor Mohammad Reza Kalaei, Deputy ICT Minister Sattar Hashemi and Mohammad Farjoud, the head of Tehran Municipality's Information and Communications Technology Department, visited the exhibition.
They reviewed the latest achievements of the two megacities in different tech fields and shared their experiences on the internet of things and the application of smart technologies.
The exhibition also aimed to connect startups with investors and help them link up with other firms.
The event also held a hackathon contest on the sidelines, during which local professional coders competed in developing computer programs to address urban issues using innovative ideas.
A hackathon is designed as a sprint-like event, in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, domain experts and others, collaborate on software projects.
The coders were required to address issues in the fields of public transportation and parking spaces, road toll payment, upgrading of dilapidated vehicles, green spaces and urban data extraction, in a limited time and using urban APIs provided by Mashhad Municipality.
API, or Application Programming Interface, is a package of codes that may or may not do a task independently. A well-designed API makes it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by programmers.
In January 2019, the municipality introduced an open API portal to help startups and fintechs accelerate the transformation of Mashhad into a smart city.
The best coders were invited to sign agreements with companies for implementing and commercializing their projects.
The names and numbers of award-winning competitors are yet to be publically announced.
According to media, last year's event (held in January 2019) also aimed at promoting the application of modern technologies in urban development and tried to propel the city a step closer toward becoming a smart city.
The municipality of Mashhad, which is the second major metropolis in the country after Tehran, has long focused on ways and means of realizing the smart city objective.
Following the Smart Tehran Congress first held in February 2018 in the capital city, the shrine city organized the smart city exhibition to help connect startups with investors and other firms.
During Mashhad's last year event, Mashhad Digital Economy Development Park was launched to house startups and knowledge-based firms active in the ICT and urban development sectors.
An agreement was signed between mobile operator MTN-Irancell and Mashhad Municipality, based on which Irancell was committed to helping the municipality utilize information and communication technologies for collecting, saving, monitoring and analyzing urban data, as well as increasing the efficiency of urban management and public services.
New startups and smart facilities were also unveiled during the event, including Mashhad’s E-Wallet, which is a locally-developed smartphone application that can be used for micropayments, including urban transportation costs, public parking fees and road tolls.
Municipal bodies hope to make the city tech savvy, cleaner and environment-friendly in order to support knowledge-based and technology firms.
Mashhad is one of the largest cities in Iran with a population of 3 million. The application of modern technologies will help urban planners make life easier for residents.
ICT experts believe that the application of smart technologies promotes openness, transparency and accountability.