According to magazine Fast Company, Barcelona is the fourth top smart city in Europe, behind Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Vienna, and up four positions on the 2012 ranking to stand ahead of Stockholm, Paris, Hamburg and London.
Barcelona is today an international benchmark in terms of its leadership in promoting smart cities internationally and for the city’s many technology development initiatives aimed at smart city management. Internationally, the capital of Catalonia organizes the annual international congress on smart cities and it is also the promoter of the City Protocol, a global standard for measuring progress on creating more sustainable and smarter cities.
Barcelona has taken on a number of initiatives in its role as a testing ground for smart technologies developed by prestigious technology companies like Cisco Systems, GDF Suez, Schneider Electric, HP, Microsoft, Telefónica and Abertis Telecom, with notable pilot tests in the area of intelligent traffic lights, traffic control, optical fibre, sensors in selective waste collection bins and noise sensors, the smart metres for household water and gas and street lighting using LEDs. Other energy efficiency measures worth highlighting include support for electric vehicle use, a policy that puts Barcelona in seventh place in the world in terms of electric mobility, according to the International Energy Agency (EV City Casebook 2012). Apart from this, there are a lot of projects being developed as part of the world mobile capital 2013-18 and Open Data competitions that complement the city’s commitment to technology to enhance citizen services.
Moreover, this year the United Nations has chosen Barcelona to locate its Specialized Centre in Public-Private Partnerships for Smart and Sustainable Cities (PPP for Cities), a research and innovation centre with advisory services for public administrations, which consolidates the city’s position as a platform for research and development and new market opportunities in the field of smart cities.