This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
GB
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Cities Today > Cities Today CC March 2018 > Power to the people

Power to the people

Francesca Bria, Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer, Barcelona is leading a backlash against technology vendors and big tech as she seeks to give citizens a right to control their data. Richard Forster reports from Barcelona on why one of the world’s so-called smartest cities is moving in a very different direction
Francesca Bria, CTO, Barcelona
Photo: Ajuntament de Barcelona

Against a backdrop of revolution and protests on Barcelona’s streets over the last 18 months, Francesca Bria has been conducting her own battle to tear up the strategy of her predecessors and put citizens at the head of the Catalan capital’s new ‘smart city’ strategy. It is a fight not only about rights to privacy but also to protect the jobs of her fellow citizens in the new digital economy.

Before she became the city’s Chief Technology Officer, Bria had been a long-term advocate of what she calls e-democracy. Having completed a PhD in Innovation Economics at Imperial College London, she worked for the UK’s innovation foundation Nesta and led the EU’s D-CENT project, to show how data needs to be protected for citizens and used for their benefit.

She had laid out the benefits of such a strategy in a special briefing for the city government of Madrid only for it to fall on to the desk of the new mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, who promptly hired the Italian to develop a new digital strategy for her city. Not for the first time, the Catalans’ foreign stars had outplayed their closest rivals.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Cities Today - Cities Today CC March 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - Cities Today CC March 2018
FREE

View Issues

About Cities Today

‘Data is a public right’ Barcelona’s CTO explains why cities must get tough on tech companies