Organisation : San Sebastian/Basque Country/Fomento San Sebastián , Spain

SmartKalea is a pioneering initiative in Spain, implementing multiple energy solutions on a single street whose integration and coordination can become a pilot experience and be gradually extended to other parts of the city. SmartKalea could be replicated in other districts, achieving the same energy use and saving results in less time as a result of the know-how already acquired and the coordination of private and public local participants already in place.

Agendas addressed
DecarbonisationWater resources and air qualityClimate change
Public spaceHousingLocal economies and employment
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Create and close local value chains
  • Apply innovative financing approaches
  • Implement sustainable procurement principles
  • Wisely select and apply smart technologies
  • Accelerate sustainability and innovation through public procurement
  • Guarantee equal access to information & digital services
  • Support open data standards
  • Prepare policies for socio-cultural changes due to innovation

Donostia-San Sebastián is city with a population of 186,000, undergoing transformation from an economy based on tourism and services to another one based on innovation and talent within the framework of a smart city. In the face of this transformation, San Sebastián is now facing thehas the challenge of promoting the participation of both public and private actors for the implementation of the transformation model. In addition to connecting all city actors (citizens, businesses, shops, institutions, etc.) in a common project, there is another, equally important, challenge: finding the necessary funds to implement the SmartKalea policies.

In Action

SmartKalea is an innovative response from the city authorities for public-private cooperation by a variety of actors under a smart city approach: . citizensCitizens, businesses, technology companies and municipal government agencies,  are coordinated by Fomento de San Sebastián, the municipal agency in charge of promoting economic development at the city level. SmartKalea encourages environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, citizen participation and transparency, using state-of-the-art technology from local partners and integrating data in a smart database for monitoring and indicators. SmartKalea is aimed at turning Donostia into a smart city with improved living standards and greater benefits for businesses and shops as a result of the use of ICT and the rationalisation of environmental and other resources. In particular, the projects goals are:

  • To turn Donostia into a smart city with improved living standards.
  • To increase energy and money savings in households, shops and urban infrastructure while promoting environmental protection.
  • To encourage citizen participation and raise awareness of energy efficiency and sustainability among citizens and shopkeepers/restaurateurs.
  • To create new business opportunities for shops and technology partners
    • Shops: Support business management improvement processes.
    • Technology partners: Internationalisation, showcase for goods and services.
    • Business opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs: Business lab for smart products or services by local companies, used as a showcase and a test bench in a real environment.

In 2014, SmartKalea began to be implemented on Calle Mayor, an iconic pedestrian street in the Old Town in Donostia. The good positive results of the pilot test encouraged the team to extend it to other parts of town. In 2016, the project was replicated across the Old Town and in another district, Altza, with the financial collaboration of the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa. In 2017, the project is being extended to Sancho el Sabio Street in the district of Amara. After that, it will be carried out in most areas in the city. SmartKalea is the recipient of several prizes, including the Smart Cities Award 2015, granted by SOCINFO Foundation, and the Award for Best Private-Public Partnership 2017 from CNIS.


Saving energy in businesses and shops

As many as 35 establishments already have power monitoring devices or platforms. Several businesses and shops have modernised their facilities for greater energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

Replacing traditional light bulbs with LED lights has resulted in 60% less power used (18,327kWh/year), which translates into money savings for of 2,149 euro Euros a per year (investment payback period: two years).

Optimisation when buying energy is expected to result in 23% savings, or an annual average of 1,600 euro. Energy efficiency in air conditioning, machinery and so on can save up to 5123 kWh/year, which translates into almost 1000 euro a year. The use of water flow reducers has led to savings of up to 75%. It has also reduced gas consumption for water heating.

Saving energy in households

Real-time consumption data analysis and counselling to households (good practices, consumption measurement vis-à-vis city and street averages, etc.) led to savings of up to 12%.

Saving as a result of smart lighting

Up to 74% power has been saved by replacing sodium-vapour lamps with LED lights. Likewise, the use of presence detectors has cut down power use by 53%. Finally, longer light lifespan and remote control have led to 75% savings. On the whole, savings in street lighting amounted to 88%.


Citizens: Cutback on expenditure and greater environmental awareness.

Shops: Consumption savings; marketing efforts to make the street look distinct and special.

Businesses: Smart city lab to test, validate and show products or services.

City authorities: Improvement in city management at the department and inter-department level (smart water meters, smart street lighting, etc.).

Challenges and lessons learned

To have our strategy and avoid the interests of lobbies, big companies or research centres.

To create spaces for citizen participation, aimed at identifying needs by age groups, areas of activity and so on, and to boost growth with technology solutions.

To include local small businesses in public private partnerships or international consortiums, and to offer show rooms in the city.

A smart city must be based on leadership, integration, participation, and public-private cooperation rather than city branding or international position rankings. This requires managing complex issues and multiple interests. In public organisations, the challenge is to develop cross-cutting projects.



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