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A chat with STARDUST: meet Pamplona

In the past decade the capital of Spain’s Navarra region has embarked on a journey to become smart and sustainable. Its participation in the EU project STARDUST will help the city develop its ambitious plans

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Worldwide, Pamplona is often associated with the old tradition of the running of the bulls. But just a few people are aware of its role as a leading smart city in Spain. Yes, that’s true. If we talk about smart city innovations, Pamplona has been a pioneering medium-size city in Spain. For example, we approved our Smart City Strategy back in 2012 and Pamplona was one of the founders of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities. Nowadays, smart city innovation is spreading quickly all over Spain. But through initiatives such as STARDUST, Pamplona will be able to keep its role as a frontrunner city in Spain’s smart innovation. Concepts such as “Smart city”, “Smart innovation” and so on are often perceived as rather vague. Can you provide some tangible examples of what they mean, at least in Pamplona? We can mention the five strategic dimensions of STRATEGY 2030, Pamplona’s Urban Strategic Plan: urban sustainability, climate and mobility; social inclusion; innovative public management; culture and sustainable tourism; and knowledge economy and innovation. These are all tightly connected to key challenges faced by the city and they identify the main areas where we are intervening with a smart innovation approach. And such interventions would be in line with the EU Green Deal and its goal to make Europe climate neutral in 2050, right? Yes, correct; we can say we are quite much in line! On top of STRATEGY 2030, Pamplona also signed the Covenant of Mayors in 2009 and renovated its commitment in 2020 with 2,030 climate goals. And we shouldn’t forget that Pamplona is preparing its Energy Transition Strategy for 2030 as well! Right, energy transition is indeed a central part of Pamplona’s strategy, and that’s why most of your actions in STARDUST focus on renewable energy sources, also known as RES. No wonder, after all, if we consider that the Navarra region itself is a pioneer in RES and it is home to the STARDUST coordinator CENER, the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre. Fostering the adoption of RES is definitely the main focus of STARDUST here in Pamplona. I can mention some examples of the actions we are carrying out, such as the installation of fast-charging stations for taxis or the so-called “plug&play” roof on the city police building. This roof, in particular, is completely modular and it includes a number of building-integrated photovoltaic panels, which will provide the building with clean energy for self-consumption. And among the main examples we shouldn’t forget our smart grids, of course! Can you say a few words on that too? For us a smart grid is a grid with a brain! Basically, a grid able to take the best decisions in the management of energy. For example, it decides when it is the best time to use the energy that is being produced with the photovoltaic panels or to store it in batteries or electric vehicles. All this is made possible by dedicated software and other IT solutions. But we need to analyse the grid in detail first. Energy production, consumption, network supply, storage capacity, costs, and energy usage by electric vehicles and so on: only once we have this data we can set our goals, such as providing cheap energy or maximising the use of renewable energy, and then design the best strategies to achieve them. Speaking of electric vehicles, e-mobility is yet another sector in which your city has been a pioneer in Spain. Absolutely, the development of clean, electric mobility has always played a central role for us. We approved our e-mobility plan back in 2010 and we even tested an e-car-sharing system for several years... Read the full article here:


urban sustainability, climate and mobility, social inclusion, innovative public management, culture and sustainable tourism, knowledge economy and innovation, smart cities, energy, renewable, e-mobility