How Do Southern European Cities Foster Innovation? Lessons from the Experience of the Smart City Approaches of Barcelona and Milan

  • Mila GascóEmail author
  • Benedetta Trivellato
  • Dario Cavenago
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 11)


Innovation, and technological innovation in particular, can help city governments meet the challenges of urban governance, improve urban environments, become more competitive, and address sustainability concerns. To prevent and manage these challenges, cities need to operate in an innovative way. In this context, the smart city approach is emerging as a way of solving tangled and difficult problems. However, there is not a unique and right strategy to develop a smart city. By drawing on a comparison between the experiences of Barcelona (Spain) and Milan (Italy), this chapter aims to explore similarities and differences in the way these two Southern European cities, both being the second largest in their respective countries, are building their smart city agenda. The ultimate aim is to identify the main features of two still developing approaches, which appear to be influenced by the increasing integration of smart dimensions and initiatives in the cities’ strategic agendas and the related opportunities and challenges.


Smart cities Barcelona Milan Urban planning Innovation 



Bureau International des Expositions


European Union


Information and Communication technologies


Information Technology


Local Government Plan


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mila Gascó
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benedetta Trivellato
    • 2
  • Dario Cavenago
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Public Governance and ManagementESADE-Ramon Llull UniversityBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilanoItaly

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