Barcelona for iCapital title?
The Catalan capital Barcelona is well on its way to securing an iCapital title, in recognition for the innovative solutions the city has employed over the years to distinguish those cities with an ecosystem that links citizens, government agencies, associations and companies.
Most notably, the board of experts selected to judge the prize are said to be particularly impressed with the raft of new technologies implemented throughout Barcelona designed to bring the city closer to those who live in it.
A number of technology-focused events hosted within its borders have only furthered this reputation, including the Smart Cities Expo and most recently the Mobile World Congress earlier this year.
The Bicing bike-sharing project with more than 6,000 bikes has been recognised as providing great mobility, while innovations that have lead to sensors being placed on everything from noise and air contamination to traffic congestion make it an easy city to navigate.
Numerous free Wi-Fi spots around areas that are often visited by tourists – including Plaza Catalunya and the Olympic park in Montjuic – have also made things easier for foreign visitors who may wish to share photos or stay in touch with loved ones back home.
The iCapital, or European Capital of Innovation Award, rewards intelligent design in cities and is judged by a board of experts nominated by the European Commission.
Places that are given the honour are offered a grant of 500,000 euros to be invested in upscaling the achievements already listed.
It will be announced which city will be given the honour at the Innovation Convention 2014, Europe’s premier innovation event, which will take place in Brussels on March 10th and 11th.
Barcelona has always been charming, but emerged as a much sought-after holiday destination after it hosted the 1992 Olympics, with tourists flocking to see the unique architecture created by Gaudi and to experience its wonderful cafe scene.