July 8, 2020

Red.es does not want technology to eclipse the environment in “smart cities”

There is no better time than today to talk about the cities of the future and discuss the sustainable development and efficient mobility of today's cities. For the Government it is essential to use technological advances to make cities a better place to live, which implies a strong commitment to the environment. This is a unique opportunity to "value" the contribution of administrations and civil society to "care for and protect the space where we live," said David Cierco, general director of Red.es, during the inauguration of the “Smart Cities. Sustainable mobility and climate change ”, organized this morning in LA RAZÓN.

Before attending the unavoidable appointment at the Climate Summit held this month in Madrid, Cierco has highlighted the commitment of Red.es for the digital, ecological and sustainable transformation of cities, which includes a national plan of smart cities and territories, 61 projects co-financed by the European regional development fund and the movement of more than 211 million euros towards the large population centers. In that sense, Spain has made a very intense effort in recent years, but it is not the time to stop. The objective is to continue working to develop a city concept “where the application of technologies is promoted to put spaces at the service of citizens”.

The debate has also been attended by Ion Cuervas, executive director of Wondo at Ferrovial; Nieves Cifuentes, Naturgy's environment manager; Jesús Presa, director of communication at Renault; Marcos Sánchez Foncueva, manager of the Valdebebas Compensation Board; David Pérez, vice president of sustainable impact and public affairs at Cabify; and Enrique Gavilanes, director of strategy and corporate development of Mutua Madrileña.

The importance of city sustainability is capital. They occupy 2% of the earth's surface, but consume 75% of the energy and produce 60% of the greenhouse gases, said Nieves Cifuentes, who added that "the city's transformation vector is energy" . On the other hand, the Valdebebas Compensation Board manager has shared that his idea of ​​a city of the future is to increase its density, green areas and build a “living public space”. Otherwise, we find a more dispersed space, less accessible and with greater mobility needs. Regarding mobility, for Renault the car of the future must have three elements: electric, connected and autonomous.

The “smart cities” are usually associated with the development of technology, but it is not necessary to focus so much on it to talk about smart cities – or smart territories, as discussed during the forum. “Technology is the flavor of summer, but what has to remain is the urban planning approach that is well done, rigorous and that allows a city to promote communication values ​​among people,” explains the director of strategy and corporate development from Mutua Madrileña.

During the debate time, topics such as the difficulty of finding a team prepared to work with big data technology and the urgent need for an education to solve it have been put on the table. "We have data, but we are not able to use them," lamented Ion Cuervas. Something that has coincided with the vice president of Cabify, as it ensures that "we have to compete with large technology companies to form a team."

In addition, the current regulatory frameworks have been questioned, which prevent companies from moving forward. “We had to install a system inside autonomous vehicles that warns when they are not putting their hands on the wheel because European law does not allow them to be removed,” explains Jesús Presa. It has also been urged to foster collaboration between public entities and private corporations.


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