What state is Spain in with respect to Europe in terms of smart cities? Why aren’t there more smart cities in our country?
Only 16% of cities are prepared
The report “Fit for the Future Cities: How technology can accelerate sustainable change”an exhaustive report in 10 European countries commissioned by Vodafone and carried out by Opinion Matters has shown some of the points where there is still ground to cover in the concept of smart cities.
Analyzing the state of our country in this regard, it is seen that only 16% of cities in Spain have adequate smart city strategies and willingness to continue investing in this modernization (on the positive side we find that this value is 5% more than the European average), with another 16% who have already started to align their political priorities with digital advances and want to start adopting smart solutions.
Currently there 89 member cities of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities. Urgent political action, such as adequate funding, the creation of smart city task forces and the availability of high-quality connectivity, will be needed to overcome obstacles and ensure that the European Commission achieves its ambitious goal of 100 zero emissions smart cities of carbon by 2030.
Experts consider that the pmain obstacles to the implementation of smart cities are:
- lack of funding
- adequate infrastructure
- Privacy and security issues
- The complexity of contracting procedures
- lack of strategy
- digital skills
National Plan for Smart Cities
The National Plan for Smart Cities includes the government’s strategy to develop a shared vision of the smart city concept: develop cities with the citizen as the center and with the promotion of new industries. The plan provides for aid to local entities (municipalities) and industry, to promote their growth and specialization, in addition to favoring the internationalization of proposals that facilitate their development.
Vodafone, after an award of 6.5 million euros, is carrying out projects in Ibiza, Sanxenxo, O Grove, Plasencia and Níjar within the framework of the Red.es ‘Call for Intelligent Tourist Destinations’, as well as in the Palmas de Gran Canaria, with which it seeks to help public administrations to create smarter and more sustainable cities. This is what these projects are about:
- Ibiza: a beach capacity control system to control the degree of occupation of 33 beaches and their management. Vodafone has developed a digital platform that provides real-time information on the capacity on the beaches, the availability of parking or bus schedules, in addition to the installation of sensors in the water to prevent illegal dumping or the creation of a detection system early fire. In this way, both the safety and the quality of the services offered to tourists in Ibiza are improved, doing their bit for more sustainable tourism.
- Sanxenxo and O Grove: Project “Sanxenxo and O Grove: smart tourist centers” to manage the saturation of the destination in the summer months and improve efficiency in the management and provision of public services with a high impact on visitors. Created a project of smart beach, to monitor occupancy and access, implement WiF connections, and use mobile applications to inform tourists about the weather in the area or the available services. A solution has also been implemented smart parking to decongest high-density areas and promote sustainable means of transport.
- Plasencia: “Smart Destination Plasencia” project that includes the implementation of city management software, parking control and location systems to reduce traffic density and CO2 emissions, optimization of the use of the bus service, an app to access to all the relevant information of the city and the digitization of the Tourist Office, among others.
- Nijar: digitization, automation and simplification of relations between citizens and administrations, through new digital tools. Among them, a free Wi-Fi network has been deployed in the municipal district, in addition to an IoT layer in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park that allows new interactions with the traveler and provides the destination with relevant information for its management.
- The Gran Canarian palms: An intelligent parking project is being carried out on the island with the aim of sensorizing the regulated parking area. With the new sensors that Vodafone will install, the search for parking will be facilitated, providing real-time information on the level of occupation and thus facilitating the rotation of car parks and the traffic congestion that the search for a place produces in normal conditions.