New report on smart cities in Spain highlights the need for improved digital inclusion of persons with disabilities

Image from IdenCity

The newly launched Smart Index (Índice Smart), the first such tool in Spain to measure the progress of smart cities and identify challenges and opportunities for improvement, indicates that Spanish cities should develop more active and efficient policies to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

The 52 Spanish provincial capitals (plus the city of Sant Cugat del Vallès in Barcelona) assessed in the Smart Index received an average score of 36,64% for digital accessibility. This is reflected, for example, in the open data services on municipal websites, on which only 19% of data and information is relevant and of interest to persons with disabilities. Meanwhile, 75% of municipality websites were found to have at least an AA web accessibility rating (with the maximum being AAA, according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). 

In terms of transportation, 20% of the medium- and long-distance train stations in the surveyed cities offer the Dialoga service, a tool allowing for video interpretation in Spanish sign language so that deaf people and those with hearing impairments can communicate in real time with station staff.

The Smart Index scores are based on 110 indicators, grouped into 17 categories across five dimensions: society, economy, sustainability and the environment, governance, and infrastructure and mobility. The index places quality of life at the centre of smart city assessments, with accessibility as a theme cutting across all dimensions. The index functions on the premise that for any smart city to be ‘smart’ it needs to be accessible.

The Index is created by IdenCity, a consulting firm, in collaboration with Smart City Expo World Congress, Clear Channel, Citelum, Cellnex, FCC, Fundación Once, Alstom and Seat.