Urban Lab

Application area
Virtualization, Power management, Smart grids, ICT infrastructures, Energy management, E-Services, Applications in buildings, Urban environments, Logistics, Traffic management, Street lighting, Ports, Transport
Activity type
Use of Barcelona’s tech district “22@” district as an urban test lab for companies’ innovative oriented to Green IT and mobility.
Barcelona’s 22@ district (Barcelona)
Start date
End date
Currently operating
Identification date
Last modification date

Description of the practice

Short summary of the practice

Barcelona is highly committed on providing new sustainable initiatives that increases the role of the city as an innovation pole. In this framework, one specific action path is to boost the use of the city as a urban lab, as a testing space for innovative solutions that companies desire to implement proofs in any field: urbanism, education, mobility, etc

What is the core conceptual background

An Urban Lab must be a physical space that integrates a testing space for:
- Those products that involve directly the city’s way of functioning or services provided by the city council.
- Preferably, all the technologies set up in the pilot projects, must contribute to lower the environmental impact in terms of energy consumption.
- Projects that provide benefits for citizens and provide unsolved solutions.
- Those projects that are aligned with the goals, priorities and ways of functioning of the city council.


- Sustainable use of ICT, the promotion of sustainable ICT equipment promoting the use of energy comes from clean sources.
- Moderation, transparency and visibility of emissions data and energy consumption.
- The use of ICT in smart process improvement,

Role of ICT in the practice

Priority area for considered pilot projects.

Implications and challenges

Sustainable use of ICT, the promotion of sustainable ICT equipment promoting the use of energy comes from clean sources. - Moderation, transparency and visibility of emissions data and energy consumption. - The use of ICT in smart process improvement, esp

Main stakeholders involved

Problem owner

Barcelona City Council


1) Companies (SME’s or Large Corporations) 2) Public Entities 3) Barcelona’s citizens

Roles/actors minimally needed

1. Executive Manager 2. Market Researchers 3. Project Managers 4. Technicians 5. Beta users (Citizens in most cases)

Actually involved partners

Barcelona City Council, Clear Channel and Bicitours.

Describe the organizational model

The City Council performs a deep analysis for the companies applying in the program before considering its admission. The company is then required to provide several reports considering technical, human and financial feasibility of the project or company.

Conditions for potential transfer

For a correct transfer process to be successful, each case has to be analyzed individually taken into account economic, political, legal and social features from every city in the world and for every single project

Main issues involved

Virtualization Several initiatives are being carried out to provide more energy efficient solutions for companies settled in the district.
Power management Telematic reading pilot for water, gas and electricity form 150 households. Consumption data could be extracted on-line through this system and transmitted to a central station, avoiding estimated readings and physical collection.
Smart grids Solar-powered pavilion. An innovative solar-powered building The 154 m2 pavilion is transparent, light and portable. It has a modular structure with laminated wood entrances and a photovoltaic roof. In addition to an average daily consumption of 20 KWH a
ICT infrastructures New cooling systems for Data Centers that lower the energy consumption for this kind of infrastructures.
Energy management Testing of intelligent devices (presence sensors, air conditioning regulation systems, water management), in corporate facilities to lower the environmental impact in energy consumption terms
E-Services Some of the pilots being carried out offer E-Services to the users such as where a car is parked via their mobile phone
Urban infrastructures
Applications in buildings Optical fibre installation for households. This domestic FTTH network will increase widely the conventional data traffic capacity from copper wiring.
Urban environments Several bike lanes have been tested in different points of the district to set which one will contribute better to cyclists’ safety and traffic.
Logistics Mobility logistics is affected by many technologies tested in the Urban Lab such as the traffic control cameras, the position sensors in car parks, etc
Traffic management Traffic control cameras connected through optical fiber to the traffic control station to allow real-time traffic management.
Street lighting Implementation of 12 lighting points with LED technology incorporated. These points also have presence, vibration and temperature sensors as well as GSM antennas and webcams.
Ports Position sensors in a car park. They also incorporate a system for indicating the user (via cell phone or street screens) where their car is parked.
Transport Power infrastructures for electric vehicles charge. Two police motorbikes electrically propelled.

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ID    19

Category    Smart Grids


Good practice administrators

Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona
Berta Perez


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