I have written several posts about smart cities activities in Spain. Despite their worsening economy, cities in Spain continue to move ahead with long-term investments in smart city innovation. Last year, IDC published its first ranking of Spanish cities. IDC evaluates cities on a range of topics associated with the maturity and ongoing development and initiatives of their smart city strategies. Their framework for ranking cities is not very different from the Smart Cities Wheel I published earlier here and in Fast Company, which I use to rank global smart cities.
The model IDC used last year, which I assume is the same model for this year contains what they call 5 building blocks for smart cities accompanied with 94 indicators (which I do not believe are published). The 5 building blocks are: Smart Government; Smart Buildings; Smart Mobility; Smart Energy & Environment and Smart Services.
There was a change in the results from this year compared to last year in that Barcelona now moved up to 1st place, overtaking Malaga at the top of the Spanish Smart City rankings. This is not surprising to me as I have written extensively about Barcelona’s impressive global leadership in the smart cities arena. In November I will be going to Barcelona for the second time this year, this time to speak at arguably the most important smart cities conference among dozens around the globe, Smart Cities Expo World Congress.
The top 5 in IDC’s ranking for 2012 are:
Just behind the top five were a list of runners up that included: Valladolid, Zaragoza, Vitoria, Donostia and Pamplona.
Benchmarking and ranking of cities has a purpose in that it encourages dialog and debate about what constitutes a smart city and how should we measure progress. Also, smart cities are increasingly competing for resources and talent from around the globe, and quality rankings can provide input into decisions about where to relocate or invest.