The current Coronavirus situation has significantly influenced individuals and society as a whole. Major cities like New York, Paris, London, and Madrid, became the epicenter of COVID-19, resulting in a worldwide economic recession. Local authorities had to slash city budgets, thus causing the stop of funding for tech innovation projects.
However, Madrid’s government has decided to rely on Smart City technology to combat Pandemic impact. Thus, it has been agreed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the city while rebuilding its economic growth using artificial intelligence and sensors for government initiatives modernization.
6 Key Smart City Solutions Implemented in Madrid
Madrid’s government has already started to implement the anti-post-COVID strategy with a series of improvement policies to enhance the city’s current state. Here are the six main Smart City initiatives Madrid is going to enforce in the nearest future.
1. Public Policies Improvement
Technologies play a vital part in terms of connecting citizens with the different city councils. Therefore, today, Madrid’s government aims to provide its residents with an application for better interaction with local authorities. But why is it so important, especially in the COVID-19 era?
Due to the research, in places where citizens can directly participate in decision-making related to various budgetary items, 7% less debt is generated. Residents manage the local budget more rationally, thus, the Madrid City Council will establish policies based on residents’ decisions.
Moreover, with the updated “Avisos Madrid” platform, citizens can now monitor every incident’s progress in all details. In addition, the app allows municipalities to follow the alerts, as it uses the same system as the city council’s phone line, website, and social media accounts. So, thanks to this fantastic Smart City solution, Madrid residents can delve deeper into interaction with the council.
2. Electric Mobility Development
To recover from the COVID-19 crisis, Madrid’s government has also decided to implement Smart Transport System Solution. Once public transport is strengthened, the city’s transport system will be efficient and resilient to future crises. Thus, the residents of Madrid will be able to take advantage of electric mobility soon.
According to the strategy for sustainable and smart mobility, the local authority will apply 82 initiatives during the next four years. As a result, the reduction of emissions will reach 90% by 2050. The government aims to achieve an accessible, safe, and affordable transport system for all locals and tourists. Moreover, as Frans Timmermans, the Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, says, today’s Smart Transportation strategy will improve the way people and goods move across Europe.
Madrid’s transport system will stay the course towards an innovative and sustainable future thanks to the following short-term and long-term goals:
- large-scale deployment of automated mobility;
- doubling of high-speed rail traffic;
- carbon-neutral collective trips of less than 500 km;
- commercialization of zero-emission vessels in 2030;
- commercialization of large zero-emission aircraft in 2035.
In 2050, virtually all new cars, vans, buses, and heavy vehicles will be zero emissions. Besides, a trans-European transport network (TEN-T) will provide high-speed connectivity for sustainable and smart transport not only in Madrid and Spain but across Europe.
3. Technological Revolution in Metro Network
Besides the smart transport solutions, Madrid’s government is going to implement in 2021, there will be applied an innovative metro system technology. Gran Vía will be the first “station of the future” of the Madrid metro, which will start a real “technological revolution.”
The metropolitan company has already started the installation of futuristic lathes in Gran Vía. They will have an intuitive and accessible system so that everyone could easily use it. Besides, the online recharge of transport cards will be agreed with the telephone companies for creating mobile coverage in all stations.
The design of the new metro will be adapted to other stations in Madrid in the nearest future. Thus, the entrances to the subway will be modernized with colored lights and a loudspeaker. Besides, the lathes will also be tailored for people with disabilities.
4. New Smart Lighting Solution
Another step on the road to becoming a smart city has a modern infrastructure. Urbanization and digitization force the development of new solutions for cities and municipalities, and Madrid is not an exception. The local government started implementing a unique lighting solution for outdoor lighting, reducing street congestion by 25%.
The smart lighting technology includes:
- monitoring and control of lighting in real-time;
- dynamic lighting that directs attention;
- “adaptive” traffic-lights management systems;
- smart parking management, etc.
Such systems can help Madrid’s authorities save up to €500 per person yearly due to lower congestion-related costs by 25%. Besides, thanks to public lighting’s interconnection, the city’s municipalities will obtain information in real-time, saving the city’s residents. In addition, light on demand decreases energy consumption and light pollution at night.
5. Sustainable Recycling Technology
Sustainable recycling technology is an integral part of any “Smart City” strategy, allowing the city to gain economic, social, and environmental points of view. Therefore, Madrid’s government has established a recycling service at the end of 2019, which is called ReMAD.
This organization is located within Madrid’s clean points and deals with the objects’ waste and reuse. ReMAD has a catalog where users can publish the articles they want to get rid of and reserve objects left by other people. All the residents have to do to consume this platform is to register on it. In addition, this service is entirely free of charge.
Thanks to this initiative, the city’s number of waste has considerably reduced, thus preventing landfills. The service already enumerates about 4,500 registered users with more than 15,500 objects. As a result, the reuse rate is 78%, which means the average monthly estimate of kilos not sent to the landfill has been 1,300.
6. Climate Neutrality Implementation
With the Smart City solutions mentioned above, The Madrid roadmap for climate neutrality marks a 65% GHG reduction in 2030. To fasten this process, the Spanish capital government would follow the Green Deal set up by Europe, endorsed in 2020 by the European Council.
The Madrid City Council expects that in 2030, the number of emissions will be lowered to 4.5 million tons, which will significantly improve the country’s climate situation. Moreover, according to the municipal action plan, around 1.4 million tons of CO would remain in 2050. This would be compensated with complementary measures like absorption CO through forest plantations.
Since fossil fuel consumption is the key problem of greenhouse gas emissions, this part of the “Smart City” strategy will be focused on the electrical system decarbonizing and the commitment to a more efficient urban model. For this reason, Madrid aims to apply effective environmental policies that accelerate the decarbonization process until the goal of a common neutrality climate in 2050 is achieved.