Santander is one of the main cities of the North coast of Spain, with a population of over 172.000 inhabitants. The Santander City Council has a strong and proved commitment towards innovation and technology deployment for advancing quality of life of citizens, and as a lever for the creation of employment and economic activity.
The city wishes to better simulate and explore objective comparisons about the relative benefits and impacts of a new intervention such as the remodelling of a street for its older population. Having digital twin capabilities will offer planners greater value through more objective and deeper multi-criteria analysis which can inform decision making in specific neighbourhoods, as well as the city as a whole.
3 target urban areas were identified in which the digital twin should gather as much information as possible, in at least one of them. There are the following: “Entrehuertas” at the southern slopes of “General Dávila” street (District 3), census sections from no. 03.002 to 03.009 and from 03.013 to 03.014; “Barrio del rey”, close to the downtown, full census sections no. 02.008, 02.009 and 02.013; “Arrabal de fuera” between “Vargas” and “Alta” streets (District 6), the full census section no. 01.011, and partially 06.004, 01.009 and 01.010. These three areas have been chosen because their characteristics, especially for their need of urban regeneration. In fact, one of them is included in a specific action plan within the municipality and the other two are of great interest in the new urban planning action under development. The needs of those involved in making decisions about the city and those who must implement those decisions must be considered. It is important to highlight that these needs are directly related to their professional responsibilities and this is a factor that impacts on their awareness and expectations on the results. Two important stakeholder groups must be considered. The first of these would be politicians and high-level civil servants. The socio-economic context in which this group has to work creates new challenges and demands for them. First, decisions become more complex, and the optimisation of solutions becomes more and more important. Secondly, there is a challenge in the growing f accountability of their decisions, in a society that is becoming more knowledgeable and more willing to participate in decision-making. To properly achieve the above-mentioned projects and initiatives, civil servants must have tools that allow them to carry out their responsibilities easily and more efficiently. The expected outcomes pursued can be divided into three aspects: (1) on the social side, it is important that public investments are made with the highest possible degree of optimisation, seeking for a fair and legitimate balance between the different stakeholders and areas of the city and with the greatest possible transparency in all processes, but mainly in decision-making. (2) On the political side, having the capacity to make informed decisions, with adapted upcoming information and adapted values of parameters, to the level of responsibility of the civil servants. e.g. appropriate level of data abstraction allowing them to be more effective within the political agenda and timing. (3) On the communication side, in addition to the transparency mentioned above, there are additional important aspects. The initiatives taken within the Urbanage project are other examples of the city council's commitment to improve municipal services and create new services adapted to the current innovative technological context, and particularly with the Smart City concept, to which Santander has been committed since 2010. The co-creation activities developed in the project make citizens aware not only that the city council takes their opinions into account on an ongoing basis and not only in specific situations, but also that a greater degree of participation is required on their part in the provision of their needs and their points of view, working to share responsibility in the development of the city and in the search for and implementation of solutions to the new challenges that arise. The activities and the general results of this project can set an example of the way to tackle new initiatives and also an example of good practice in the development of responsibilities of public administrations.
Improved co-creation processes based on the information provided to the citizenship. Integration of the URBANAGE Ecosystem with the rest of Smart City components of the municipality i.e. Smart City platform and SmartCitizen among others forming an advanced system for decision making based on objective data and future scenarios modellin Appraisal of the areas and segments of population in which the URBANAGE Ecosystem produces the highest impact on the way decisions are taken.