[Photo Sparks] Entrepreneurship, architecture, IoT – how to become a Smart City
PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In this photo essay, we explore the amazing design spirit of Barcelona, consistently ranked as one of the Top Five creative cities in the world!
In the earlier 50 posts, we brought you a wide range of creative photographs from an art fair, world music festival, painting fair, telecom expo, art museum, mobile showcase, math museum, social hackathon, bookstore, co-working space, sensorium, international design week, flower show, outdoor ads, startup roadshow, computer museum, startup T-shirts, business cards, art therapy, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, Vesak, jazz festival, modern art gallery, ecopreneurs, painter-poets, health activists, eNGOs and digital innovators.
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia in Spain, is widely regarded as an international model for urban and public design. Though some of the sheen is coming under stress due to high levels of unemployment, the city continues to make new forays into digital entrepreneurship and Smart City initiatives.
Barcelona draws around 35 million tourists a year to its attractions including the architecture of Antoni Gaudí (many of his creations are now designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites), cultural museums, culinary delights, and the legendary Las Ramblas street with 1.2 kilometres of cafes, kiosks and mime artists. The summer GREC Music Festival also features a range of music genres such as flamenco, rock and jazz, at indoor venues and the spectacular outdoor Greek Theatre.
The grid-like plan of the city was drawn up over 150 years ago, with wide pavements and tree-lined roads; the metro train lines were launched in 1924. Barcelona has free city WiFi, every bus stop has a kiosk with digital information services, and the garbage bins in every street square have IoT tags. Since 2007, Barcelona has been host to the annual Mobile World Congress (see my earlier startup showcases here) and will continue to do so until at least 2023. The city was designated as Mobile World Capital from 2012 onwards, and also hosts the annual Smart City Expo and Conference.
During the recent Mosaic Summer School on Creativity and Management, I had a chance to meet the pioneers behind the Barcelona Urban Platform, clusters for med-tech and media startups, smart buildings, citizen science projects, the Glories Entrepreneurship Centre, Museum of Ideas and Inventions, and even the Roca gallery to promote awareness about sanitation and design.
From heritage architecture to smart buildings, take a photographic tour of creative Barcelona in this photo essay – and think of how you too can make your city a Smart City!
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