Spain’s historic port of Santander has become the testing ground for Smart City concepts and designs.
Thousands of sensors driven by digital technology have taken the pain out of parking. No rubbish bin overflows and grass is watered only when needed.
The northern resort metropolis, known for grand hotels and high-end casinos lining its beach, is now a high-tech laboratory.
An app allows payment for the parking and enables extension of the time with smartphone.
Santander, with some 175,000 residents, is getting funding from the European Commission and a handful of foreign universities to experiment with Smart City technologies.
About 20,000 sensors are up, down and all around—under the asphalt, affixed to street lamps and riding on top of city buses.
The pilot project has made Santander the most connected city in Europe in terms of installed infrastructure.
Sensors installed in bins for inorganic waste warn when they are full and ready to be collected. Sensors ensure the automatic irrigation system in public parks starts working only when the soil is dry.