In recent years Barcelona has been dealing with the problems of an ageing population and a local recession of its own, yet the government of the Catalonia capital have consistently found new ways to boost the infrastructure of the city and create new jobs.
Much like the other cities on this list, Barcelona employs smart parking and traffic systems to monitor congestion, but the city is also incredibly energy efficient.
Barcelona enjoys a much higher level of sunshine than a lot of other developed cities and takes full advantage of that. In 2000 the Barcelona Solar Thermal Ordinance required all large buildings to produce their own hot water and in 2006 it became a requirement to use solar water heaters.
It also boasts one of the cleanest public transport systems in the world with it’s fleet of hybrid buses, as well as it’s smart cycling initiative ‘Bicing’ which gives access to over 400 bike stations through a yearly subscription or via phone payments. The city has made it’s waste management system simpler by deploying pneumatic tubes under city waste bins that eliminate the need for large disposal trucks.
A number of apps can also be used to assist with day to day living; the Transit app uses live traffic cams to help navigate along the cleareast route and Bustia Ciutadana acts as a customer service line for the city with which citizens can file complaints on things like potholes and broken lights. All of this data is then sent to a central location to help the city in future.
With regards to privacy and transparency of data, Barcelona officials say they are committed to making the city as transparent and democratic as possible. The Open Data BCN service is a huge wealth of information that is completely open to the public and acts to serve as something citizens and business alike can use to track the economy or locate gaps in services.
Barcelona, continues to expand these systems and plans to introduce more with the use of Barcelona Urban Lab which allows companies to pilot new smart tech for the continued betterment of this truly smart city.