IEEE Smart Cities Initiative Affiliate City Profile
The Catalan City of Sabadell has identified six equally important areas it must focus on as part of its efforts to attain a sustainable and innovative city status: providing real-time information to citizens, decreasing public spending, increasing efficiency and quality of service, promoting the knowledge economy, improving environmental sustainability and ultimately, making Sabadell a model for other European cities.
Some of Sabadell’s objectives depend only on the city’s internal management while others, such as promoting the knowledge economy, have more stakeholders, making them a more complex goal to achieve. Increasing efficiency and quality of services delivered to citizens while reducing expenses has already been achieved in many areas, in part by leveraging information communications technology (ICT), with economic, energy and environmental savings quantified at a project level.
However, while Sabadell is taking advantage of ICT, it is also making a point of letting its municipal departments guide its transformation – ICT is considered a tool to help achieve certain objectives, not a goal in and of itself, and analysis of the usefulness of specific technologies for improving public service is a key element for decisions in smart city projects.
City council has been a primary leader of Sabadell’s sustainable and innovative city activities, including attainment of external funds from the European Commission as well as overseeing the implementation of numerous projects that relate to the environment, e-government, urban mobility, energy efficiency and security. One e-government initiative cuts across several city departments, requiring a holistic view across political and technical infrastructures.
For other projects, cooperation with outside partners is essential. The Sabadell City Council maintains a close partnership with all the innovative ecosystem in Catalonia and the European Union, specially through the participation in projects financed by the European Commission; so far Sabadell is a partner in the 7th Framework programme project “District of the Future” and the Horizon 2020 Lighthouse project “Triangulum”, working together with municipalities, companies and research centres among the most innovative in the EU in the fields of urban management, particularly in energy efficiency, mobility and ict aspects.
On the environment front, Sabadell has a number of projects underway, including complete remote management or irrigation at parks and gardens, waste collection service digitization and enlargement of the reclaimed water network. To improve government services to citizens, it has created new sectoral Websites around urban mobility, parks and gardens management and waste management and will focus on open and big data initiatives, as a model of transparency and for the creation of new value added services. Sabadell is also integrating and optimizing existing connectivity infrastructure, including optical fiber, and has become one of the first “100% optical fiber” city in Spain.
Public transport has been enhanced for citizens with the development of a mobile application with real time information on the bus service. Sabadell is also looking to develop strategies to promote alternative energy in urban mobility, in part through a refresh of its bus fleet and replacing the rest of the municipal fleet with electric vehicles. Other energy efficiency endeavors are to continue to deploy LED-based streetlights, and improvenergy consumption monitoring and smart grid development.
Sabadell has collaborated with the Universitat de Girona and La Salle Universitat Ramon Llull to organize training on smart cities with students placed in charge of drafting 11 projects covering many of these areas, including smart grids, big data open data management, and sustainable urban mobility promotion.
Major initiatives for Sabadell related to energy are the “District of the Future” and the “Triangulum” projects. The “District of the Future” includes a platform for analysis of energy consumption and production patterns for several of its building as well as those in two other European Union cities through a grant from the European Commission. The Triangulum is focused in elaborating a strategic plan for the development of the northern area of the city, including integration of energy management of buildings, clean urban mobility and ict, particulary referring to the planning of smart grids, electric mobility and connected homes.
Two other projects will be presented for funding through the Horizon 2020 program in the field of waste management.
Finally, Sabadell City Council was designated as a finalist at the World Smart Cities Awards along with Copenhagen, Berlin, Buenos Aires and Tijuan, China.
Political priorities for the future are promoting transparency of the local government, contribute to increase the importance of the green and collaborative economy and start a process of urban strategic planning specially in the fields of urbanism, environment and mobility.
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For more information on the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative visit http://smartcities.ieee.org.