Barcelona in Busan

After the plenary session of World Cities in Seoul on 14.03.2017, delegates from Barcelona visited Busan from 15. to 16.03.2017. Following the initial introductory meetings at Busan City Hall, the Barcelona delegation visit to Busan followed four thematic areas of cooperation:

  • Cultural Regeneration of Idle Spaces: Visit to F1963, KISWIRE, Suyeong Overpass
  • Clean Energy City: Visit to hydrogen fuel cell power plant
  • Public Transportation: Adopting Automatic Fare Box System on buses – visit to Samwon FA facility
  • Establishment of Smart City Platform: Visit to Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency

Areas of Future Cooperation

Based on the Busan site visits and Busan-Barcelona bilateral working meetings, the following areas have been pre-identified by Barcelona and Busan as potential avenues of city-to-city cooperation.

  1. Smart cities: Both cities will explore the possibility of exchanging pilot projects in areas related to smart cities. Busan is currently testing 26 services (smart streetlights, CCTV video analysis, GPS tracking systems, etc). Some of these projects could be tested in Barcelona, and in the same way Barcelona could test in Busan some of the pilot projects that it is carrying out. Busan has also prioritized exchanging experiences on implementing new smart technology projects for citizens and its expansion.
  2. Public transport fare system: Busan and Barcelona will exchange information about the bus fare payment system that is being used in the two cities. Communications are ongoing to reflect on shared opinions and exchange of experiences in the public transportation sector and continuous cooperation in this field.
  3. Clean energy: Although Busan’s hydrogen fuel cell initiatives are not readily applicable to Barcelona due to its own initiatives in solar energy, avenues of cooperation in clean energy still exist. Due to its excessive dependence on nuclear energy (98% of the total energy production), Busan will promote the gradual introduction of renewal energy sources to reach an electrical self sufficiency rate of 30% through renewable sources in 2030. In this context, Busan has expressed interest in learning from Barcelona’s experiences in solar energy through the benchmarking of solar thermal ordinances.  
  4. Regeneration of city spaces: Both cities will exchange information about best practices in the regeneration of urban spaces into cultural or innovation areas. More specifically, bilateral city-to-city communications are currently ongoing in order to apply the model of Barcelona’s 22@ model of creating urban innovation spaces to Busan.
  5. Universities and research centres: Barcelona has expressed interest in establishing collaboration agreements between universities and research centres from Catalonia and Busan, particularly in the field of Smart Cities.
  6. Culture and tourism: Communications are ongoing in order to host Barcelona’s Sonar electronic music festival, as well as Barcelona’s Smart City World Expo Congress in Busan.