Barcelona's bid to become a digital city from a technological point of view is becoming reality thanks to Barcelona Digital City Plan 2017-2020. This plan mainly points towards adopting an innovative urban model in which the digital economy will be the main livelihood of the city. Public administrations, universities and research centres will also be sectors that will be positively affected by this plan.
Francesca Bria, Commissioner of Technology and Digital Innovation, and Gerardo Pisarello, the first deputy mayor, have been responsible for presenting the plan to the council. The main purpose of this plan will be to take a step beyond the concept of creating an intelligent city. Everything from technology's point of view has to be of service to citizens and act as a democratisation tool.
Once the plan is implemented, the Barcelona City Council will be able to offer better services in the areas of health, housing, mobility and energy as well as be able to reduce the digital divide by promoting a more equitable connectivity. To do this, the council will significantly expand the wifi network in places that until now, had no access to Internet.
The investment that will be made by the City Council is estimated at approximately 10 million euros. Most of this budget will be aimed at strengthening the economic sector formed by small entrepreneurs and SMEs, which will facilitate the task of plunging into a more innovative environment. This also helps businesses provide training to staff and as a result, there will be easier access to the labour market.
Meanwhile, 65 million euros will be used by the government in order to modernise the management of its services, which will streamline the procedures and will significantly reduce waiting times. This means there will be an improvement in Internet connection that all businesses and residents of the city will benefit from.
A collatera effect of activating this plan is the activation of 'Poble Nou Distric Makers: Fem barri' experience. Specifically, this is an initiative that develops and carries out countless events, workshops and, in general, all kinds of cultural activities in this well-known Barcelona neighbuorhood. The research centres, companies, and university campuses that are dedicated to the technology sector can also participate in this plan. The rapid implementation of this plan is undoubtedly because of the locals' participation in this district.
In short, Barcelona's bid to become a European and world capital city in technology and digital services is confirmed with a firm handshake thanks to Barcelona Digital City Plan 2017-2020 which will come into force within a few months' time.