Designated as Latin America’s smartest city, Buenos Aires’ digital innovation, sustainability, open government and technology advancements are putting it at the forefront of the trend in the region. The city recently made the IESE Cities in Motion list, ranking number one regionally, ahead of other important cities including Santiago de Chile, Montevideo and Mexico City.
Some of the features that have made Buenos Aires a smart city are digital enhancements to existing transport functions to bring public mobility into the future. These include the smartphone applications Smart Parking, which allows users to find available parking spaces throughout the city; BATaxi, where passengers can request a taxi on their cellphone; and BA Cómo Llego, which lets people map out routes throughout the city, whether walking, biking, driving or using public transit.
The concept of being a ‘Digital Citizen’ is also part of Buenos Aires’ recent developments, connecting city residents closely to both the municipal government and their own neighbors. Economic development and improving the ability for citizens to become entrepreneurs is also spurring business and allowing the city to move forward. What’s more, social factors and human development are not forgotten, with constant awareness of the role that civil rights, public access and participation, quality of life and other humanizing aspects play for those living in Buenos Aires.
These are some of the features that propelled Buenos Aires onto the IESE list, which is part of the "smart" cities ranking of the Cities in Motion 2017 Index, a research platform launched jointly by the Center for Globalization and Strategy, and the Department of Strategy of IESE Business School of the University of Navarra in Spain, which has been ranked as one of the top ten business schools in the world by both The Economist and Forbes.
Among other contributing factors were actively improving air quality conditions and continuously monitoring air pollution levels and other environmental factors through the placement of approximately 1,000 sensors throughout the city. Buenos Aires also created Wi-fi infrastructure to bridge the digital divide for all citizens, including within vulnerable neighborhoods. Another key attribute of the city is Institutional Transparency: Buenos Aires provides accessible data on over 200 categories to the public and is a pioneering member of the Alliance for Open Government.
IESE’s study analyzes 180 cities in 80 countries, based on 79 indicators covering 10 dimensions of urban life, using data from various global agencies, including the World Bank, UNESCO and Euromonitor. The ten areas analyzed in the report include: economy, technology, human capital, social cohesion, international projection, environment, mobility and transport, urban planning, public management and governance.
As the smartest city in Latin America, Buenos Aires was chosen to host the 2017 Smart City Expo World Conference from Sept. 28 to 30, in the newly opened convention center, Centro de Convenciones Buenos Aires CEC. (Hotel deals in Buenos Aires) More than 100 of the world’s leading companies and city representatives will descend on Buenos Aires during the three days of the conference to give a series of talks, panels and presentations to the more than 16,000 participants of the Expo. Nearly 600 cities will be represented, along with nearly the same number of exhibits and more than 400 speeches throughout the event. Over fifty satellite events will take place during the Expo period, all examining sustainable urban planning concepts, open government, digital innovation, city life and other Smart City themes.