Costa Rica introduces Smart City Index

Costa Rica has recently issued the Smartcity Index – ICI (Indice de Ciudades Inteligentes) to measure and compare the development of its largest cities. San José is the most advanced, rated at 54%, and already has information and communication technology (ICT) companies from around the world becoming aware of the great potential Costa Rica is promising.

A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection and sensors to supply information used to manage assets and resources efficiently. This includes data collected from citizens and devices that is used to analyze, monitor and manage assets such as traffic, power plants, water supply, waste management, law enforcement, information systems, and many community services. The smart city concept integrates ICT and various devices connected to the network (the Internet of Things or IoT) to optimize the efficiency of city services and to connect with citizens.

In practice, the more global offering there is of ICT-based services, the more opportunity for IoT devices have for recognizing and automatically adapt to local communications standards. Forget roaming, forget country norms…enjoy smartcities!

The construction of the ICI in Costa Rica was carried out based on information obtained from the 81 Municipalities, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), the Ministry of Public Education (MEP), the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), the Ministry of Security (MSP), the General Comptroller of the Republic (CGR), the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), as well as the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE) .

The ICI is the first measurement of this type that is carried out in the country, in which 6 components and 21 indicators are complemented and analyzed, which show an approach to the local and regional reality in terms of digitalization. The actors involved in local development will now have a tool called the First Index of Smart Cities in Costa Rica (ICI), to move towards the consolidation of an inclusive approach to access and use ICTs in a safe, responsible and productive way.

The study was presented by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) in the framework of the Smart Cities Workshop carried out in conjunction with the Center for Advanced Studies in Broadband for Development. The latter is aimed at local governments and has the objective of strengthening the capacities for the development of smart cities in Costa Rica.

Two platforms are making progress in Costa Rica as the potential of the capital San José, is revealed with a rating of 0.54 out of 1.

At the Sigfox´s World Internet of Things Expo, Sigfox announced the incorporation of Costa Rica within its network covering 36 countries.  The platform currently covers 660 million people (tripling in just 2 years) and spanning 2.6 million km2.  This unique global offer is enriched with the new service of Sigfox, Monarch, now allowing IoT devices to automatically recognize and adapt to all the local communications standards of the world without roaming. The Latin American partner WNDCosta Rica is the Sigfox operator, working with CogniX which will allow to expand a low-cost, low-energy and reliable IoT network to Costa Rica.

Another new platform coming to Costa Rica is the strategic partner and application SMART-App-City. Currently it is only present in 5 countries worldwide, however, Costa Rica is the only Latin American country already in the loop.

The EU has developed a range of programmes under Europe's Digital Agenda to shape the digital single market, boost European digital industry and build a European data economy with improved connectivity.  Costa Rica has been involved in many of the projects financed by the European Commission in connection with European partners; just to name a few are LEADERSHIP, PRO-IDEAL PLUS and SALA+.

Examples of Smart City technologies and programs have been implemented in cities such as Dubai, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm, China and New York, among others.

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