Cities in action: Gijon's Citizen Card

  • culture
  • economy
  • environment
  • knowledge society
  • mobility

Gijon fits in your pocket

Gijon’s Citizen Card won our 2013 award in the ‘smart governance’ category. Why? It’s an exciting innovation that lets citizens access and pay for a full range of city services at the swipe of a card. From shared-use bikes to municipal sports centres, 80% of Gijon’s population now uses a Citizen Card to benefit from city facilities.

As well as making paying for and using services more practical, the card has the additional effect of promoting social cohesion and improved wellbeing. Granting easier access to shared facilities encourages a greater number of residents to use them, and many of these have a positive impact on health and the environment, such as bikes and swimming pools.

Development of the card is happening in phases. It began with the most used services and those with the greatest impact on citizens’ quality of life: public transport and libraries. The card has since evolved to include smart services that allow citizens to interact with the city council, including ‘the city council at home’ and citizens ATMs through which citizens can process payments. It also grants access to a local wifi network and new cards have been created especially for tourists and businesses.

The current phase is called ‘Gijon smart city’ and the card is being used as a driving force for smart, sustainable development. By giving access to rubbish bins, it will help provide tax incentives for recycling and grant access to electric vehicle charging points. New developments such as integration with smartphones are planned in the near future.

On average, the card is used 32,000 times a day. The city analyses the usage data to design policies that respond to citizens’ needs and habits.

Find out more about the Citizen Card in our latest case study, below.