IDC Energy Insights, a Massachusetts-based consultancy, released a study on the smartest cities in Spain. The IDC defines a “smart city’ as a local entity ‘” a district, city, region or small country ‘” which takes a holistic approach to employ information technologies with real-time analysis that encourages sustainable economic development. IDC ranks cities based on the IDC Smart Cities Index using 94 criteria, such as government transparency, building efficiency standards, local economic dynamism, average education level, and access to e-services.
In the case of Spain, the study concentrated on six key areas, energy generation, delivery and usage, environment, mobility, buildings and government. Out of 44 cities evaluated the top five are:
1. MÃ¡laga is currently measured as the “smartest’ city in Spain. MÃ¡laga achieved the number 1 position due to its high scores in smart energy and environment, and smart services, despite its relatively low final score for enabling forces (people, economy, intelligence or ICT). In terms of the energy and environment domains, its ultimate goal is to make a 20% energy saving by adopting the measures for optimal integration of renewable energies into the power grid, ringing generators closer to consumers by establishing new models of distributed energy resources management, using batteries to store the energy generated, leveraging new smart meters and advanced communication systems for real-time control and energy management. MÃ¡laga scored also high in security and emergency services offered to its citizens, and the strong availability of e-education.
2. Barcelona is in the second position. The city benefitted from high adoption of ICT and mobile solutions and excels in smart mobility. Barcelona is a leader in Spain in terms of revolutionizing its transport sector, and has been designated the hub of innovation for electric vehicles.
3. Santander is in the third position even though it did not excel in the enabling forces criteria, scoring just above average for all three evaluation criteria. The city made up for this with a very strong performance in smart buildings and smart energy and environment. Santander is one of the smallest cities in the top 5 cities index, along with Donostia-San SebastiÃ¡n, with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants, but it has been proactive in trying to position itself as a future smart city through its SmartSantander project.
4. Madrid is measured as the fourth “smartest’ city in Spain. The city has very strong enabling forces, specifically with regards to its economy and ICT base. Madrid scored high in the smart government evaluation criteria, as well as in smart services and smart mobility Similar to Barcelona, Madrid is heavily focused on improving its mobility and traffic situation.
5. Donostia-San SebastiÃ¡n, is placed in the fifth position because of a good balance between enabling forces and a very high score in the people, economy, and ICT evaluation criteria. While scoring below the other top 5 cities in the smartness dimensions, Donostia-San SebastiÃ¡n scored well above average in smart services and, to a lesser extent, in smart mobility.