Journal of the Knowledge Economy

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 135–148 | Cite as

A Smart City Initiative: the Case of Barcelona

  • Tuba Bakıcı
  • Esteve Almirall
  • Jonathan Wareham


Information and communication technology is changing the way in which cities organise policymaking and urban growth. Smart Cities base their strategy on the use of information and communication technologies in several fields such as economy, environment, mobility and governance to transform the city infrastructure and services. This paper draws on the city of Barcelona and intends to analyse its transformation from a traditional agglomeration to a twenty-first century metropolis. The case of Barcelona is of special interest due to its apparent desire, reflected by its current policies regarding urban planning, to be considered as a leading metropolis in Europe. Hence, an assessment of the Smart City initiative will cast light on the current status of Barcelona’s urban policy and its urban policy of Barcelona and its future directions. This article analyses Barcelona’s transformation in the areas of Smart City management; drivers, bottlenecks, conditions and assets. First, it presents the existing literature on Barcelona’s Smart City initiative. Then, the case study analysis is presented with the Barcelona Smart City model. After describing this model, we further explore the main components of the Smart City strategy of Barcelona in terms of Smart districts, living labs, initiatives, e-Services, infrastructures and Open Data. This paper also reveals certain benefits and challenges related to this initiative and its future directions. The results of the case study analysis indicate that Barcelona has been effectively implementing the Smart City strategy with an aim to be a Smart City model for the world.


Smart cities Innovation Local governments Urban lab A case study Barcelona 

Supplementary material

13132_2012_84_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (202 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 201 kb)
13132_2012_84_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (76 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 75 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuba Bakıcı
    • 1
  • Esteve Almirall
    • 1
  • Jonathan Wareham
    • 1
  1. 1.Information Systems DepartmentESADE Business SchoolBarcelonaSpain

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