MURCIA SMART CITY- INTERNATIONAL POINT OF REFERENCE
Murcia (Spain) has been selected by the EU as an international point of reference for its model of intelligent urban development.
The announcement was made by the Mayor of Murcia, José Ballesta when outlined the strategic lines of the Murcia Smart City project at the “Future Cities in Latin America and Spain Congress” held at the International University Menéndez Pelayo in Santander (Spain), organized by one of the most important business forums “Future in Spanish,”. And Murcia will exchange experiences and best practises with the cities of Buenos Aires, Campo Grande, Guadalajara and Montevideo.
At the International Forum Mayor José Ballesta announced “our ‘smart’ model has been selected by the European Commission as a reference at a European and International level, and we would be more than happy to share it with the capitals of Latin America, and within the Transfer Network Sustainable Urban Knowledge (URBELAC) performing an exchange of experiences with the cities of Buenos Aires, Campo Grande, Guadalajara and Montevideo”.
Furthermore, Mr. Ballesta stated “the ultimate purpose of a Smart City is to achieve efficient management of every area that comprises city (urban planning, transport, services, education, health, security, energy, etc.), while meeting the needs of the city and its citizens, and in Murcia we have a solid project to achieve this goal.”
The strategic lines of intelligent urban development project MiMurcia have been organized into four areas:
A COMUNICATING CITY COUNSIL: Its aim is to create a direct communication channel with citizens to provide flexible and personalised information through geolocation, as well as the option for citizens to receive information on, and subscribe to, different cultural or recreational activities, for which alerts can be established.
A PROBLEM SOLVING CITY COUNCIL: A single Web portal where citizens can perform most of the current administrative procedures using e-Government services is being created.
A CITY COUNCIL OPEN TO ITS CITIZENS: Aiming to promote citizens’ initiatives, transparency and participation, and the availability of open data sets. Under this initiative the prototype of the TuMurcia participation platform has already been launched, focussing on mobile devices, which allows you to send ideas for the city, warn of incidents or urban imperfections, participate in surveys or access a direct chat for citizen services.
A SUSTAINABLE CITY COUNCIL: The main objective is to promote the optimal use of the cities facilities making them energy efficient, with an intelligent lighting system, an efficient method of waste collection and efficient city traffic management.
“It isn’t a time of change; it is the change of an era”, José Ballesta said, “we are not only living a time of change, but the change of an era, an era in which cities are the new engines of the global economy.
The Mayor also made special reference to the projects the City of Murcia is involved in, mentioning, amongst others, the Roadmaps for Energy Project (R4E), of which he stated, “an innovative project, and example of cooperation and sharing of best practises between partners” the project was introduced as an initiative under the European “Horizon 2020” initiative, focussed on the model of citizen services cities and municipalities should offer, “the main areas of the R4E project are; smart buildings, smart mobility and smart urban spaces, using a Smart City approach”.
There are “cities with a project”, and “cities without a project”. But only with a strategy of steady growth, solid leadership, and the input of all sectors of society, will we reach and attain a “smart balance” between the three main components of urban growth: economic competitiveness, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability.”
The mayor also stressed that “technology can not only make our cities more efficient and more sustainable, but also more equalitarian,” adding that “promoting a Smart City does not just involve technology, instrumental or functional, it involves placing the people, our citizens, at the centre of urban and social development.”