Mention Barcelona, and most people think about beautiful architecture, endless Mediterranean beaches and great wine.
Fewer people know that Barcelona is one of the most advanced Smart Cities in the world that has pioneered some of the most ambitious urban IoT projects. Close to 20,000 sensors optimize energy efficiency, automated LED lamppost adapt to the pedestrian traffic, weather monitors control plant irrigation based on air humidity while the highest number of charging stations among EU cities support a fleet of electric cars, busses and bikes.
Thoughout its history, Barcelona has been at the forefront of civic innovation. In fact, a Catalan engineer Ildefons Cerda has invented the term “urban planning”. In the late 19th century, he designed a bold plan for expanding the city beyond the old gothic quarter, where the booming population was starting to feel cramped. The Gracia and Eixample districts that Cerda has built have a distinct Grid-like look that mesmerises anyone who observes them from above. This network-oriented design allowed to unlock the streets for people living in every corner and avoid congestion even as traffic grew over the years.
Today, its excellent infrastructure makes Barcelona one of the global startup hubs. The cosmopolitan city draws entrepreneurial community from all over the world while events such as 4YFN and Mobile World Congress attract attention and funding. As new technological breakthroughs happen every day, this ancient city, built at the times of the Roman Empire, is boldly looking into the future.