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Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
7/25/2014 3:45:35 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Barcelona style
Thanks for the clip of Vincente Guallart, Walter. That's a good question about the "trade offs between the technocrats and other pressing concerns." The complaints I hear/read most often are of gentrification pushing locals out and the drive for tourism overriding locals concerns and turning the city into a theme park. But I'll dig some more to see what some of the finer points might be. 

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
7/25/2014 3:12:27 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Barcelona style
gagnamstyle, doesn't NYC have a similar profile to Barcelona only on a larger scale?

It's true though that Barcelona was helped by its geography. With the mountains on one side and the sea on the other, it was hard to sprawl. It also had some early city planners who applied utopian socialism to layed out the modern city back in the 1850s. Not a term that's familiar these days, but some of its philosophies seem quite contemporary.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
7/25/2014 2:54:25 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Barcelona style
And there's a lot of historic fabric in this city, as you know, Kim. But the city government seems to have been doing a good job of gently pulling Barcelona's 19th century grandeur into the 21st.

The innovations on Paseo de Gracia are nothing particularly startling, it's more the combination of them all together and the fact this new project has been rolled out starting with the most iconic street in the city. 

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
7/25/2014 2:44:38 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Smart Barcelona
@kq4ym, you're right that the cost savings are probably the easiest to measure. And the overall cost for the tech side of things, the sensors etc. was quite small -- just 400,000 euros -- which will probably be recovered relatively quickly.

But yes, the less tangible improvement in quality of life for residents is the real benefit. Paseo de Gracia's revamp -- losing two lanes, gaining two bike paths -- and traffic "calming" will be a great upgrade for one of the city's most beautiful streets.

Walter Fieuw
Walter Fieuw  
7/22/2014 5:16:14 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Barcelona style
Susan, you have been tracking the developments in Barcelona for a long time. Its inspiring to see how all these innovations are coming together. This interview with Barcelona's director of urbanism, Vincente Guallart, is quite interesting: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/video/barcelona-changing-model-city-video

"Crisis are great moments to change cities". "We are going to manage cities differently - in services and not in products"

Barcelona clearly has global ambitions. I wonder what the trade offs are between the technocrats and other pressing concerns...

gagnamstyle
gagnamstyle  
7/18/2014 4:56:03 PM
User Rank Burgher
Re: Barcelona style
Susan,

Barcelona is really such a shining city on the hill in so many ways. And now for reason of ICT too. A denser, livable city like Barcelona is really the right starting point for many smart technologies, the multiplier of goodness is so much greater than in the sprawling burbs. If onlyt the rest of the world could be more like Barcelona!

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
7/18/2014 12:13:43 PM
User Rank Staff
Barcelona style
Note that Barcelona is innovating even in parts or the city where preserving the priceless historic fabric is mandatory .

kq4ym
kq4ym  
7/18/2014 9:25:45 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Smart Barcelona
The Spanish experiment is indeed worth looking at. It will be interesting to see how cost to implement cover the energy savings over years, and the improvment in citizens' lives in the city. The money costs and savings may be lots easier to measure than the other percieved values, although the latter might actually be the most valuable variable.

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