Almost half of the Spanish population lives in cities – we are the third most urbanized country in the European Union – and these, in general, pollute too much, waste energy and do not offer public services that meet the growing demands of their residents. population. On the other hand, 92% of Spaniards have at least one smartphone, which puts us, together with Singapore, at the world leader in the penetration of these devices that have replaced computers as the most used device to connect to the internet.
In view of the data, it is not necessary to think too much to realize that the solution of many of the problems of our large populations passes through technology.
Santander, pioneering smart city
In the Cantabrian capital they are aware of this reality, and that is why they have positioned themselves as pioneers in smart cities, those urban centers that use technology and the Internet to improve services and the quality of life of citizens, as well as to transform the relationship between local public bodies, companies and people.
Santander is equipping itself with a network of 20,000 different sensors (for the environment, parking, lighting, irrigation …) that will collect information that will enable a better service for citizens. It has already saved 30% energy in public buildings through technologies that minimize its energy consumption depending on the climate and activity inside. The SmartSantanderRA mobile app offers city visitors information on parks, beaches, points of interest, tourist offices, shops, transport … And the sensors warn the driver of where there are free spaces through street screens and messages to the mobile.
Malaga, urban laboratory
The sensors to facilitate parking also work in Malaga, another of the smartest cities in Spain, which has a fleet of two hundred electric vehicles that are rented to individuals and companies.
In collaboration with Endesa, your City Council is implementing smart public lighting that saves a great deal of energy. In this Andalusian town, 30% of electricity consumption comes from urban lighting, but spending in this section has been reduced by 2.5 million euros per year through these technologies that increase the lighting of little-traveled streets only when the sensors detect the presence of people or vehicles.
Madrid and Barcelona get on the bandwagon
The two largest cities in Spain do not want to be left behind. Barcelona is developing multiple projects in this area, and Madrid is working with the firms IBM and Everis in the MiNT (Intelligent Madrid) initiative, a platform that will continuously collect and analyze information from the city to improve the management of cleaning and garbage, trees, irrigation, pavement, lighting …
These are just four examples of what is being done in our country, at the global forefront in the development of smart cities. There are now 79 City Councils that are part of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities, and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has drawn up a National Plan of Smart Cities to support this process of technological revitalization that seems unstoppable.