A Tale Of Two Smart City Approaches: Toronto & Barcelona

“This is a tale of two cities – Toronto and Barcelona – that may hold important lessons for others around the world. Both have big ambitions to change the way they operate but reflect very different visions of how smart cities should be run,” writes John Thornhill, Innovation Editor at the Financial Times, in an article earlier this week. Both Toronto and Barcelona have a prominent reputation in the smart city community. The derelict, 350-acre waterfront area now appears destined to be the most advanced smart city project in the world, backed by the technological prowess and deep pockets of Google’s parent company Alphabet. To build their smart district, Toronto enlisted the biggest technology company in the world and the result is likely to be the “Smartest” smart city project in the world. In the Spanish city of Barcelona, there are far fewer concerns about smart city developments. Most Barcelona residents have never heard of a smart city, let alone know that Barcelona has been ranked as the smartest city in the world on multiple years by numerous organizations. Residents of Barcelona may take it for granted that their communal rubbish depository usually has space, or that their air is cleaner than you would expect for a city of its size and geography.


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