Blog / Disruptive Technologies

Urban Case Study: Barcelona

Barcelona is a great example of a Smart City under construction.

  The City Council has created the Urban Habitat Department which will be leading the urban planning process for the next few decades. The objective is to create an urban space the guarantees a greater quality of life and a greener economy, in favor of a city that generates its very own energy supply.   Some of the initiatives already put in place are the following:
  • More than 500.000 houses have electronic services installed especially for the older population
  • There are more than 8.500 devices inserted in streetlights to make crossing the street safer for the visually impaired.
  • There are more than 800 free Wifi spots
  • There are 50 sensors installed in the Eixample neighborhood to measure the travel times
  • Some neighborhoods, such as Vila Olimpica, count on 19.500 electronic meters to measure light consumption.
  • Some buildings have incorporated elements that facilitate their own energy production
  • 77 fountains are controlled electronically
  • 40% of parks already have a centralized system for watering.
  • “Superblocks” or “superillas” have become a reality where vehicles no longer have priority, preventing through traffic within it and freeing up space for playgrounds, picnics, and sports.
  • More than 152 kilometers of bike lanes run across the city.
For anyone that has lived in Barcelona, there is no arguing the amount of traffic or the difficulty of finding parking. In order to address this issue and reduce CO2 emissions, the city has plans to facilitate the use electric cars and bikes and make this the primary form of transport in the city, while also implanting a system that makes parking easier. In the upcoming years, the municipal government will be putting forth large SMART projects. Among them, a new urban lighting plan, an energy efficiency plan for buildings to create the thermal energy necessary to regulate temperatures and a new plan for water management. For anyone interested in the development of Smart Cities in a mega-city, keep an eye on Barcelona.   Want to get involved in the implantation of Smart City initiatives and urban planning around the world join our Master’s in Smart Cities.

Zigurat Global Institute of Technology