By John Ensor •
Published: 09 Feb 2024 • 12:55
Aerial view of Barcelona.
How does urban innovation shape our world? The latest Iese Cities in Motion (Icim) index, released this year, places Madrid and Barcelona among the world’s thirty most advanced cities.
On the global stage, London and New York secure the top spots, showcasing their unrivalled urban innovation.
Madrid and Barcelona, however, are not far behind, with Madrid taking the 20th position and Barcelona ranked 29th. This achievement highlights the strides both cities are making towards becoming smarter and more sustainable urban areas.
The Icim index evaluates cities based on a variety of criteria including economy, human capital, international projection, urban planning, environment, technology, governance, social cohesion, and mobility and transportation.
It’s a comprehensive assessment that looks at how cities are preparing for the future.
Madrid excels particularly in mobility and transportation, where it’s ranked eighth globally, and international projection, securing the tenth spot.
Barcelona follows closely with impressive standings in mobility and transport (11th) and international projection (15th). Additionally, Barcelona stands out in urban planning, ranked 15th, highlighting its strategic approach to city development.
Madrid is at the forefront of smart waste management in Europe. The city is installing over 12,000 containers for various types of waste. These containers are equipped to send data to a software platform, optimizing collection routes.
‘The capital has begun to install the most advanced smart waste management in Europe,’ the report notes, showcasing Madrid’s commitment to sustainability.
Barcelona, on the other hand, tops the Sustainable Mobility Index of the Provincial Capitals of Spain (Imsce) in several categories.
The city is praised for its physical infrastructure, demand for mobility services, and effective management and governance.
‘In the city 90 per cent of the population has access to high-speed internet,’ the publication states, underscoring the digital accessibility that allows residents to utilise over half a million public administration services.
This year’s Icim index reveals that 24 per cent of cities fall into the top two performance categories.
Meanwhile, a significant number of capitals, including several from Spain such as Valencia, Malaga, and Sevilla, show average performance. The analysis covers 183 cities worldwide, with the lowest ratings going to Karachi, Caracas, and Lagos.
The Iese Cities in Motion initiative aims to foster local innovation, making cities more sustainable and intelligent.
It focuses on promoting a sustainable economy, innovative activities, equity among citizens, and a connected territory, setting a high standard for urban development across the globe.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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