IEEE Smart Cities Initiative Affiliate City Profile:
A Coruña, Spain
A Coruña, Spain is a challenging city to manage due to its particular terrain and peninsular shape. The municipality is composed of a central urban space, which makes up less than eight per cent of its total area, but contains 60 per cent of the population and 70 per cent of total employment.
As a result of its unusual geography and space limitations, A Coruña has made a point of establishing links with neighboring municipalities so that together they are structured into a real, functional metropolitan area that is well positioned to transform itself into a smart city. Two key contributors to this transformation are its strong local information communications and technology (ICT) sector and education sector, which includes the University of A Coruña, known for its history of technical innovation, including industrial and urban design and an emerging new media sector.
A Coruña is taking a holistic approach to managing the city, which includes collection of all possible data and converting it into information that can be shared with different stakeholders involved in A Coruña’s development. This will help it identify services and activities that should be prioritized based on their potential impact.
While A Coruña’s technological and entrepreneurial fabric are critical components of its smart city vision, the participation and involvement of the public are also a key strategic asset. A holistic management model also places citizens at its center, with a personalized vision of the city, creating an infrastructure that not only benefits them, but businesses and entrepreneurs, researchers, government bodies and universities, and provides them with an open market of smart services and data.
The vision of integrated city management and public participation was crucial to the conception of the Coruña Smart City project, which focused on constructing an architecture that was robust, standard, open and highly scalable, and encourage the reuse of data and services. It has facilitated the development and deployment of advanced and vertical services and applications across different segments – energy, environment, mobility, leisure, tourism, culture, health and safety.
By taking a holistic approach with vertical integration, as a smart city A Coruña will be able to achieve notable savings in operating costs and improved levels of efficiency. Implementing technology to support a smart city has meant responding to the city’s challenges by constructing a set of technological infrastructures and platforms, as well as setting up mechanisms for information access, capture, management and analysis.
To that end, A Coruña smart city is leveraging cutting-edge technologies in sensors, ultra-low power devices, wireless communications and Internet, as well as taking advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and big data. A Coruña ultimately wants to have an integrated view of all of its components. The city’s approach to IoT will be the development of horizontal technological solutions that can transverse domains, creating applications that dynamically choose between different infrastructures based on their availability safety and quality of service.
A Coruña has a long-term smart city strategy specifically in ICT: “Digital Agenda for A Coruña” aims to develop an ICT innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem to support smart infrastructures. In place since 2012, it carries on through three phases to 2020: building the foundations of the smart city; consolidated and integrated advancements; and, expansion and transformation.
The first phase, now well underway, includes a central platform for IoT and open data publishing for the centralized creation of smart city apps, and 15 smart city public services designed to serve as pilot projects, including monitoring and control of energy efficiency in public buildings, real time traffic optimization, and remote management of supply and sewage networks.
Partnerships have a been a critical component of A Coruña’s smart city initiative, encompassing city council, private sector companies and universities; A Coruña also sees its smart city initiative as opportunity to strengthen its ICT sector by creating consortia that combine government, business and academia.
Long term, the A Coruña smart city model has the potential to be exported to another city or geographic region, with key elements of its vision applicable to different urban environments.
# # #
For more information on the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative visit http://smartcities.ieee.org.