The city of Santander has managed to implement a range of technological changes with a help of an integrated approach to technology implementation and a clear roadmap. Such experience of foreign colleagues can be very useful for the cities of Ukraine, which are starting their path to digitalization.
On Monday, April 12, took place an online Short Talk hosted by Smart City UA between Yuriy Nazarov, Head of Smart City UA initiative, Chairman of the Smart City Committee of the Public Council at the Ministry of Digital Transformation, and Gema Igual, the Mayor of Santander, Spain.
The theme of the Short Talk was the experience of Santander in times of pandemics.
“Santander is a small city in Spain that has managed in less than 10 years to implement a range of technological solutions to improve the city's infrastructure and involve citizens in its governance. It is a city that listens to its inhabitants and adopts the experience of other smart cities." These are two factors that Mrs. Gema highlighted.
"Digital transformation of the city is impossible without an integrated approach to the implementation of technologies and a clear plan of action. That was the starting point for the cities of Spain and Ukraine, which are at the initial stage of digitalization. They have to analyze the experience of foreign colleagues that have already passed this path.” said Yuriy Nazarov.
Gema Igual noted that Santander is committed to innovation, focusing efforts to build a smart, innovative and open city strategy that offers citizens quality of life, efficient and collaborative services, fostering entrepreneurship as well as the establishment of new business activities.
“Driving efforts to create a more sustainable and livable city, while positioning Santander for long-term economic growth, we are going beyond the classical smart city paradigm. Our innovative strategy - Santander's urban laboratory. Pioneering in participating in EU research projects related to the smart cities, the city itself represents the paradigm of an urban laboratory, upon the massive IoT deployment carried out at city scale within the SmartSantander project.” said Gema Igual.
So, the city has smarter public services. Driven by austerity needs and a commitment to innovation approach, the municipality of Santander has relied on the development of various technologies and optimization methods to improve urban services (transport, water management, waste management, energy, parking, emergencies, etc.) cost and resource consumption, making them smarter, more efficient and more effective.
Integrated city management is developed there. City-wide data from legacy systems, mass adoption of IoT devices, and vertical services are being integrated into the Santander Smart City platform, which provides decision-makers and city officials with new data visualization tools for integrated city management. Moving to this holistic approach will allow us to disrupt traditional operating models and open up access to all stakeholders and potential solution providers in the context of smart cities.
Emphasis is placed on modernizing public administration services and infrastructure. In an effort to improve the efficiency of both internal administrative processes and service to citizens, Santander prioritizes the modernization and consolidation of its IT infrastructure. The promotion of e-government services and the development of the Citizen 360º concept is also a priority for the municipality, aiming to bring citizens to the center of the smart city.
The development of the local innovation ecosystem was also not ignored. Santander makes city data available with Santander Open data, enabling data scientists, entrepreneurs, and other professionals to develop new services and applications for the smart city and come up with unexpected ideas.
“COVID 19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of our city. As a local government, we have been at the forefront of the responses to contain the disease and to mitigate the outbreaks. More than ever, in such a challenging time, we had to rapid react, adapt our services to deliver a proper response, and also implement new measures to provide wellbeing, security, and safety to society. Technology and data-driven solutions are crucial for the resilience of our cities. We have a unique opportunity to upscale innovation and digitization in our public services. So that, we need to continue this transformation process investing in technology-related capabilities and infrastructures.” noted Gema Igual.