40% of Spaniards live in ‘smart cities’

40% of Spaniards live in ‘smart cities’

Spain not only climbs positions in the rankings that measure the urban transformation, it also gradually includes new cities. According to the Smart Cities White Paper prepared by the Public Sector Innovation Center of PwC and IE Business School with the collaboration of Telefónica, this global positioning has been achieved through “European funds destined for urban innovation, which some cities anticipated capture thanks to the leadership of its mayors, the support of companies and universities and the existence of a dynamic business ecosystem ».

A fundamental impulse was the creation of the National Smart Cities Plan by the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda to increase the contribution of ICT to the GDP of the industrial sector, improve the effectiveness and efficiency of local entities, advance in the digital governance and promote standardization, regulation and regulation.

However, what is a smart city? According to the document “Mapping Smart Cities in the EU” (2014) of the European Parliament, it is considered that a city is smart if it has at least one initiative based on disruptive technology aimed at economic, social, transport, environmental, citizen interaction policies or of vital improvement. Among all these lines, Spain is among the countries with the most digital governance projects, along with France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom; and smart mobility, along with Hungary, Romania and Italy.

Currently, there are 81 cities that make up the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI), which add up to 40% of the total Spanish population. The two leading communities with 15 and 14 member cities are Andalusia and Madrid. The objective of the joint work is to promote the automatic and efficient management of the infrastructures, as well as the improvement of the quality of the services, getting to attract the economic activity and generating progress. All this is developed through the synergies between five large workgroups. In matters of social innovation, A Coruña is the standard-bearer; in energy efficiency, the city of Murcia; Rivas-Vaciamadrid and Vitoria are at the head of the group focused on the environment, infrastructures and urban habitability. Electric mobility and intelligent transport systems have Burgos and Valladolid as champions.

In addition to government efforts and the RECI, there are other organizations that favor the development of cities, such as Red.es, a public entity that is a pioneer in the support of entrepreneurs and in the promotion of smart cities. Also the National and Integral Tourism Plan (PNIT) and the Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification (AENOR).

According to the IESE Cities in Motion 2018 Index (ICIM), ten Spanish cities deserve to be ranked among the 165 selected worldwide : Madrid (25), Barcelona (26), Valencia (63), Seville (85), Malaga (89), Mallorca (92), Valladolid (99), Bilbao (103), Vigo (104) and A Coruña (105).