Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
Goal 13 Climate Action
Cities have a huge impact on climate change. As well as consuming over two-thirds of the world’s energy, they are also responsible for more than 70% of global C02 emissions. In Europe, almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions are created by transport, the main cause of air pollution in cities. In short, if there’s any hope of reversing global warming, then modern urban living needs to be completely re-thought.
This is exactly what is happening in the Spanish city of Valencia. In February 2014, working alongside mobile operator Telefonica, Valencia became the first fully integrated smart city in Spain. With the help of Telefonica’s Internet of Things, the city merged 45 different services into one digital platform, accessible to citizens via the Valencia smartphone app.
A well-oiled machine
Using the app, citizens can receive geo-located real-time information on public transport, parking, traffic alerts and waste management. The app also gives the city council and police department an overview of everything that’s going on, allowing them to run the city more efficiently. Smart lighting and smart water management have cut down consumption by up to 35%, whilst traffic sensors, intelligent traffic lights and up to the minute parking information are reducing congestion. Now 90% of all citizen interactions with city services are done online, no longer requiring paper. And it’s not just the environment that’s being better looked after. Thanks to a new rapid alert system, law enforcement and fire fighting services are able to respond to emergency situations much more quickly.
As of May 2019, 72% of municipal services in Valencia were supported by the city’s digital transformation with 160,000 regular users of the new smart technology. As the third most populous city in Spain, Valencia is seen as a role model for how to transition to smart city projects.
“I use the app for so many things…finding parking spaces, knowing which driving routes are busy, how long until the bus arrives, the list is endless. I even get alerts when Valencia CF are playing home games. It feels like the city is alive and is constantly talking to me. It’s also really comforting to know that we are doing our bit for the planet, it makes me proud to live here.”
Vicente Najarro, citizen of Valencia
Spain 39.4699° N, 0.3763° W
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