My friend Mariluz shared this article on Facebook last night, which was special not only because it talks about Bilbao’s efforts to become an intelligent city and ranking among the top five in Spain, but because she is from Donostia (San Sebastian), and still posted the the news.
The original article from ABC was published in Spanish. Believe me, I checked for an English version but I didn’t find it, so please forgive any mistakes I might have made. It’s not even 8 am where I live. I hope you enjoy it!
Bilbao, an intelligent oasis against the economic crisis
The city changes to lessen its environmental impact, increase energy and transportation efficiency, and improve its touristic appeal facing to 2020
Bilbao is in motion: the city is ranked among the top 5 intelligent cities in Spain and has a plan for 2020. As part of the initiative funded by the European Union, the city is completely changing in order to lessen its environmental impact, increase energy and transportation efficiency, and improve its touristic appeal. The goal of the city’s climate change and water consumption awareness campaign is reduce water consumption by 8% in 2020.
Bilbao’s City Hall has already implemented an Action Plan for Sustainable Energy in Bilbao 2020, a step to implement at least a 20% reduction in the pollution caused by transportation, fuel, and electricity in the city.
Bilbao’s Agenda21, a localized version of the United Nations’ initiative, is an important part of the change in this Spanish city. Its goal, to increase the city’s sustainability in order to improve the quality of life of its citizens, being responsible for a change in local politics for a more respectful position with towards the environment, and grants the city with an instrument of great strategic value to face future challenges.
The city’s indicators show a positive progressive change, assisted by a reduction in waste, an increase in green spaces, and a more efficient public transportation system.
Tourism makes up an important part of intelligent cities; something that Bilbao promotes with initiatives such as the bicycle lending service to citizens, as well as the 3D Walking Tour of Bilbao along the city’s urban expansion area (only one of the examples of the city’s work with new technologies.) A 3D video-report has been created that shows this architectural wealth, particularly about the Abandoibarra (Bilbao) area, where one can find iconic buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum, Iberdrola’s tower, La Salve bridge, and the Museum of Fine Arts, among others.
It’s not surprising that in this year’s IDC ranking the city was among the top five intelligent cities in the country, along with Barcelona, Santander, Malaga, and Madrid.
Becoming an intelligent city is worth the inversion despite of the crisis; although the lack of money is obvious, the rewards thanks to the most efficient measures in the city makes it more and more worthwhile. Bilbao, as other cities that made these type of inversions, are an oasis during the recession.
- Warning: politically incorrect post
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