Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture. The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city. Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature modern art by their namesakes. City history museum MUHBA, includes several Roman archaeological sites.
Barcelona Smart City Agenda 2030
Ending poverty in all its forms and everywhere
Barcelona aims to halve poverty in all its dimensions, ensuring universal access to basic resources and services such as housing, energy, healthcare, and training. It is essential to eradicate extreme poverty, which in Barcelona is expressed especially in the homeless. All of this also strengthens people’s resilience to economic, social or environmental crises and disasters.
End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Barcelona calls for all people to be assured of healthy, nutritious, and sufficient nutrition throughout the year. It’s about eradicating malnutrition and fighting malnutrition. At the same time, the sustainability of food production systems and their adaptation to new climatic conditions must be ensured, with the support of new sustainable, healthy, and fair agri-food models around the world.
Health and well-being
Guaranteeing a healthy life and promoting well-being for all people of all ages. Barcelona is urging to protect human life, starting with mothers and babies. It is about preventing and combating communicable diseases, new and emerging, by tending to zero; and all those that, without being transmissible, cause the majority of premature mortality, from cancer to coronary heart disease; plus other factors that put your health at risk, such as accidents, addictions or pollution. To achieve this, the city must ensure quality healthcare for all, including sexual and reproductive health and mental health, and promote healthy practices such as sports.
Ensure inclusive, equitable, and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Barcelona calls for quality education for all, considering successive stages of learning and making a firm commitment to equality of opportunity. In early childhood, a key moment, all children should be offered access to a quality educational space. According to the United Nations, primary and secondary education must be free and generate good results, in the sense that all students should complete this stage successfully.
Technical and university training, on the other hand, must guarantee the attainment of knowledge and skills suitable for professional life. Generally, educational opportunities need to be offered throughout the life cycle, as well as to foster the transfer of knowledge on sustainable development, human rights, gender equality, a culture of peace and the appreciation of cultural diversity, among others.
Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. According to Barcelona, equality involves the eradication of gender discrimination in all areas of society. This means, in the first place, the elimination of all forms of violence against women, including sexual exploitation. A second key area of employment is the gradual removal of the pay gap and gender barriers for certain jobs.
But equality also involves recognizing and distributing care and work in the family sphere and increasing the participation and leadership of women in the public sphere. To achieve this, there must be laws and policies that safeguard the rights of women and their empowerment, as well as issues such as technology.
Clean water and sanitation
Ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Barcelona focuses on ensuring universal, equitable, and affordable access to water and sanitation and hygiene services, and also enhances citizen participation in their management. The guarantee of long-term supply is based on increasing water use efficiency and integrating water management at all levels, for example increasing the use of groundwater.
In terms of environmental sustainability, the milestones are to prevent any kind of water or sewage pollution, as well as to protect and restore water-related ecosystems.
Clean and affordable energy
Ensure access to affordable, safe, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Barcelona tells us to guarantee universal access to clean, affordable, reliable, and modern energy services, which implies, at first, a commitment to the eradication of energy poverty. In the context of the fight against climate change, this must necessarily be accompanied by much more efficient use of energy and exponential growth in the generation of clean and renewable energy in the city, until they become the majority in the total sum of the primary energy used.
Decent work and economic growth
Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. Barcelona sets the horizon for economic growth adapted to the circumstances of each place. In any case, seeking more economic productivity, through diversification, modernization, and the promotion of sectors with high added value. With regard to tourism, he calls for a sustainable and more culture-focused approach.
Economic transformation involves supporting productive activities and entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation. But it also requires progress towards a more dematerialized and circular economy, and the assumption of certain social commitments, with quality employment, job security, and job placement, with a focus primarily on young people.
Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. On the one hand, Barcelona aims at the infrastructures that are created with a public vocation, for the welfare of society, with special emphasis on transport infrastructures. He called for them to be sustainable, for their economic and social benefits to be clear, and for their access to be affordable and equitable.
On the other hand, Barcelona refers to the industry, committed to clean industrial production, sustained by scientific research and technological capacity. In this milestone, the role of SMEs is crucial, so their access to credit and markets should be encouraged.
Reduction of inequalities
Reduce inequality in and between countries. Barcelona sets out the principle of leaving no one behind, present across the whole Agenda 2030. In the economic dimension, this must be based on an improvement in the situation of the population with fewer incomes, both in absolute terms as relative.
The idea is to promote fiscal, salary, and social protection policies that guarantee equal opportunities and less inequality of results. But the aim is also for the social, economic, and political inclusion of all people, forging links and breaking barriers of age, gender, class, abilities, language, origin or sexual orientation.
Sustainable cities and communities
Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Barcelona focuses on access to housing and the factors that constitute the quality of life in the city: services and public spaces. These must be affordable, of good quality and well distributed in the urban fabric, to guarantee territorial equity. One of the key urban services is public transport, which is essential to transforming mobility into a safer, more inclusive, and less environmental impact model.
Beyond everyday life, cities must plan for their development in a sustainable and participatory way, safeguarding the protection of cultural and natural heritage, ensuring metropolitan and territorial integration, and providing comprehensive and resilient responses to the risks of change climate and other possible disasters.
Responsible consumption and production
Guaranteeing sustainable modes of consumption and production. Barcelona focuses on production and consumption practices. To make them sustainable, the most efficient use of natural resources has been achieved at the outset, which includes, inter alia, reducing food waste and the production of waste in general, through prevention, reduction, reuse, and recycling.
It is also about ensuring the proper management of unavoidable waste, especially those that are toxic. Businesses, especially large and transnational corporations, are being asked to act more sustainably and transparently. The public authorities can also do much, through their fiscal and contracting policies, and by promoting social awareness of sustainable development and lifestyles.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its effects. Barcelona calls for measures to combat climate change, focusing on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the agreements that are being established in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
At the local level, adaptation efforts to the effects of climate change are as important or more important, which include a set of structural transformations – more vegetation, more water use efficiency – and forecasting in exceptional wave situations. heat, storms, or other possible disasters. Logically, such a change requires a substantial investment in human, institutional education, awareness, and training.
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. Barcelona aims to address the serious issues affecting the seas and oceans. There is a set of milestones dedicated to the fight against pollution and acidification of seawater, which is the central question when it comes to preserving life in the environment. It is to protect and sustainably manage the marine and coastal ecosystems, with the prospect of conserving at least 10% of all these areas.
And it is also about preserving fisheries, which is an important economic activity for many coastal areas but regulated with sustainability criteria, with particular emphasis on artisanal fishing. Scientific knowledge and technology transfer will be key to achieving this, and they should be given priority.
Life of terrestrial ecosystems
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, manage forests sustainably, combat desertification, stop and reverse soil degradation, and stop biodiversity loss
Barcelona is concerned with the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, with particular emphasis on degraded soil, forests, and mountain ecosystems. Stopping the destruction of natural habitats and re-naturalizing spaces in the city is essential to preserve biodiversity, which is the other great achievement of this goal.
To this end, it is proposed to eradicate poaching and trafficking in protected species of flora and fauna, as well as increase the prevention and control of invasive alien species. This can only be achieved if local and national development strategies integrate the values of ecosystems and biodiversity and if financial resources can be mobilized for their conservation and sustainable use.
Peace, justice and solid institutions
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and develop effective, responsible, and inclusive institutions at all levels. Barcelona addresses institutional quality and issues essential to the sustainability of the social system as a whole, such as peace and respect for fundamental rights. A key milestone is to reduce the incidence of crimes and violent acts of any kind, by completely eradicating those that affect children. This is to intensify the fight against crime, especially terrorism and organized crime, which traffick arms, money, and people.
The other milestones outline the model to follow for all public institutions: they must be effective, responsible and transparent, fully committed to the fight against corruption, and foster an inclusive, participatory and representative democracy. Otherwise, these institutions must protect fundamental freedoms and guarantee universal access to justice, under equal conditions.
Alliance to achieve the goals
Barcelona is dedicated to the means necessary to achieve all other goals. One of these means is international cooperation since the principle of leaving no one behind also applies between countries.
Thus, in almost every field of action, social, economic, and environmental, the most advanced countries are called to support those who are less so, taking as a reference the contribution of 0.7% of their own income. Often, however, the most useful support can take the form of technology transfer. It is essential to promote regional and international North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation in science and innovation.
At the internal level of each country, region, or city, the most important thing is to formalize a credible commitment to the 2030 Agenda, supported by effective partnerships between public actors, the private business sector, and organized society. Credibility is tested by the consistency of the policies adopted and the establishment of a system to measure the advances or setbacks on the road to achieving the SDGs.
Barcelona Digital City
Utilize technology and data to provide better, more affordable services to citizens, making the government more transparent, participative, and effective. Strike a New Deal on Data to expand socially beneficial uses of data, while guaranteeing data sovereignty, ethics & privacy. Provide access to the Internet for all. High-speed internet connectivity is not a luxury but a right for all citizens; it’s an absolute necessity for economic development and social mobility in the 21st-century economy.
Technology for a Better Government
The City of Barcelona’s government has set in motion an ambitious plan for digital transformation that will place the City Council in the vanguard of efficiency, transparency, and social innovation. This plan includes strategic projects to counter social problems detected as government priorities.
The Barcelona Digital City Plan guarantees that the city has the digital infrastructures it requires for its overall management and to ensure uniform public cover for all the needs of city residents.
These infrastructures are the means for improving the services provided to city residents and to face such major urban challenges as housing, unemployment, social exclusion, health, energy, and mobility.
As city residents, we leave a digital footprint in our everyday lives. The progressive digitalization of society means that this footprint is getting larger and larger, and it can be used for various purposes.
The City Council is aware that data is a prime asset in the knowledge society and it, therefore, believes that it should be socially perceived as a common asset. It promotes this view in order to achieve the democratic, open, transparent, and regulated management of this resource.
Support entrepreneurship and promote inclusion in the digital economy. Support the use of digital technology to address social challenges and promote circular economy models. Invest in research and development, as well as empowering sharing economy alternatives such as platform cooperatives and the maker movement.
Technology has changed the economic environment all over the world, and technological and digital entrepreneurship has become a new hub of activity, Barcelona City Council, with Barcelona Activa as its main ally, aims to contribute to the development of the city’s technological economy and digital ecosystem by offering services, programs, activities, and facilities that are part of its current portfolio and by creating new ad hoc projects that will place the City of Barcelona on the map of cities that wish to become major players in the technological and digital area.
Harness digital technologies in order to create good jobs in communities across the city and fight inequality. Ensure that advances in digital technology preserve citizen’s digital rights, gender equality, and social inclusion. Promote participatory democracy, and establish a policy to leverage the collective intelligence of citizens. Build a stronger and more just digital society by boosting social innovation movements.
Digital education and training (talent factory)
Permanent education and training in the most advanced technologies is the way to make the general public more familiar with emerging technologies. This empowers people and also helps to foster a general public that is aware, active participative, and better-prepared for the tasks of the 21st century. The priority areas are creativity and technology in the classroom in order to foster scientific and technological vocations in children (STEAM), digital technologies for inclusion and future employment in order to train young and active people in digital skills and to provide training as a tool for social, inter-generational, territorial and gender inclusion.
Access to new technologies defines a new type of social fracture in cities, often with a high correlation with economic and educational differences. We must work to reduce this digital gap and facilitate skills, abilities, and access to new technologies, by means of educational programs and coordinating the wide range of city players that are working to maximize the impact of these actions.
Democracy and Digital Rights
The digital society should be built with citizens. Barcelona encourages the use of technology to facilitate active democracy. This means developing new models of engagement in digital environments (open, secure, and free) for new forms of policy-making that are open, experimental, and able to build in the collective intelligence of citizens. The democracy platform Decidim.Barcelona will help us experiment with new ways and methods for genuinely participatory democracy.
By putting citizens at the center, we also aim to increase their digital sovereignty, enabling them to fully exercise their freedom and digital rights, including their right to data protection, privacy, and information self-determination.
Through the open data and data commons strategies and the use of free software tools, Barcelona aims to guarantee improvements in transparency and interoperability based on open data formats and a set of interoperable and reusable applications and services, while adopting privacy-enhancing and rights-preserving technologies that protect’ citizens information-self-determination. This will lay the foundations for a people-centric digital future so that cities can access a policy toolkit that will enable them to develop technologies and platforms based on citizens’ rights to bring long term societal innovation.
Climate changes in Barcelona
Climate change is a reality, but with a few small steps and some not so small, as well as a change of habits and collective action, we can make sure its effects have less impact on our lives. Here is a list of everyday steps that everyone in Barcelona can take to help combat the effects of climate change.
Make sure that any vulnerable neighbors you have are okay on the hottest days. Give yourself an energy check-up (improve power and comfort levels in your home, check your bills, visit your local energy advice point, etc.) Generate power at home (Get information, apply for grants, install renewable energy sources or reflectors on your roof, etc.)
Starting at home:
- Renovate and insulate your home.
- Choose a green electricity company.
- Transform your roof terrace into a green roof.
Transforming communal spaces:
Put plants in your garden and on your balcony and attract wildlife with bird’s nests and those of other animals. Community allotments in your neighborhood or create your own vegetable garden at home.
- Save water whenever you can. Info: Measures to save water in the home.
- Use your private car less often in the city (share it, use public transport, walk or go by bike).
- Get about on foot or by bike; what’s more, you’ll be doing exercise.
- Practice responsible for tourism. Make fewer journeys by plane and save on emissions.
- Look after coastal areas and the city’s beaches.
Consume more responsibly.
- Produce less waste (buy loose goods in bulk, use fabric bags or baskets, etc.)
- Repair, reuse and recycle, and if you are able to, make compost at home with organic materials.
- Buy local, ecological products and eat less meat.
- Get involved in citizen events and climate cooperation activities, and always stay informed.
- Take part in citizen projects to help combat climate change.
- Talk about the Climate Plan with your friends and family and get organized to promote it.