Barcelona is reaping the benefits of its investment in smart technologies.
“Barcelona is saving $58 million annually using smart water technology, and that the city has increased parking-fee revenues by $50 million annually utilizing smart parking technology” indicated Barcelona Deputy Mayor Antoni Vives at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The Smart City Barcelona initiative was launched in 2012, aggregating 122 smart city projects across all areas of city operations. Barcelona’s Smart City Strategy describes technology as “an enabler for the city” which aims to create a sustainable, productive and connected city with zero emissions.
Smart initiatives include the implementation of a SCADA smart irrigation system uses in-ground sensors to monitor live data on sunlight, rainfall, humidity, temperature, wind and atmospheric pressure, enabling automatic adjustment of irrigation according to requirements. The City of Barcelona estimates that the system will reduce cut water consumption by around 25%, saving about EU€500,000 a year.
Smart street lighting has reduced electricity costs for the City by 30%, and is projected to save approximately EU€42 million over 10 years, according to a report by Cisco. Fitted with WiFi and motion detection capability, the smart LED street lights automatic adjust according to light and weather conditions, only turning on when motion is detected. The smart lights also have the capability to detect free parking spaces, full waste bins, count vehicles and detect suspicious movements of people.
The new hybrid smart street lights installed at Barcelona’s Llevant beach can operate for up to 6 days without sunlight. The hybrid LED lights are unique in that they are both wind and solar powered, and are the only the only kind in the world that can operate at with wind strength below 1.7 m/s. Specially designed to suit Barcelonas wind conditions, the hybrid lights generate all the energy required to operate, without needing to be connected to mains electricity.
Other smart initiatives include a smart parking sensors automatically send an alert to city officials when the meter expires, and in-ground sensors that help drivers quickly find available parking spaces.
New road paint is made with smart materials which absorbs the CO2 emitted by traffic.
Nearly 2,000 apartments are fitted with sensors that detect possible water and gas leaks, and a lack of movement within the home, automatically alerting social services if problems are detected.
Implementation of a Smart Waste Management is projected to save the City of Barcelona 10% on waste collection costs. Wireless sensors installed on waste bins indicate how full bins are, allowing waste services to prioritise collection of waste, making the waste collection process more efficient.
Smart transportation initiative focuses on zero-emission transportation options, such as promoting the use of electric vehicles and bicycle sharing “Bicing”. So far more than 500 hybrid taxies and 294 public electric vehicles have been deployed, with over 260 electric recharging points installed across the city.
For the latest updates see Barcelona’s Smart City website.
Review Barcelona’s Smart City Strategy.