You are about to discover a small and huge city at the same time, a modern “Smart City”, prepared to show the visitor what it needs at any moment.
The city of Santander is the capital of the autonomous community of Cantabria, situated on the north coast of Spain, the “Green Spain”. The city however is orientated to the South, clothed by its unique bay, considered one of the most beautiful in the world, and surrounded by mountains in which large wooded masses coexist with prairies and rocks.
When the south wind blows, the waters of the bay are whipped up into colours unique to this modern cosmopolitan city. From the brilliance of spring to the magic of summer, through the changing moods of autumn to the warmth of winter, landscapes and traditions intertwine throughout the seasons. Beaches, pastures and mountains, sun and rain harmonise to create a unique paradise of contrasts.
Santander with a population of about 173000 inhabitants, is a cosmopolitan city, amazingly beautiful, with more than 30 public parks and many beaches, traditionally dedicated to the services sector. The city has also become an example of Smart City that optimizes resources to achieve a sustainable an permanently connected city with its citizens and visitors.
Santander has a cultural vocation that covers the most varied knowledge areas and artistic manifestations. Proof of this is the birth of multiple institutions of study, dissemination or patronage, such as the University of Santander, each day more prestigious and valued, The Menéndez Pelayo International University, a constant centre of knowledge and cultural encounters; The International Festival of Santander, which shows the best of music, dance, theatre, or the International Piano Competition, in which so many virtuosos of this instrument in the world aspire to compete
A culture so rooted and dynamic which constantly incorporates spaces, such as the Botín Centre, a pioneer in the world for the development of creativity through the arts.
On the other hand, the gastronomy is excellent and enjoys great fame for its quality and its products from the earth, the sea and the mountain: Fish and seafood, meats of the herd of cattle, products of the orchard and the fruit trees, become an authentic festival for our senses after passing through the careful kitchens of our region, some distinguished with Michelin awards.
As a colophon, the inimitable and appreciated “Orujo”, distilled from vines since ancient times. Priceless but affordable.
Santander is also the capital of the region “Cantabria” a bursting region with colour. The greens of the fields and mountains, the blues of the sea and sky mingle with the colours of the stone and shadows, villages and people, pathways and flowers to create a magical and endless universe of colour. Here, at the world-famous caves of Altamira, art was born. The region preserves unique enclaves inhabited by species at risk of extinction that for centuries have lived with man. Many places are reserved for the biosphere or are specially protected. In Cantabria, ancient and modern combine, offering peace and beauty.
Santander, committed with the innovation
Several years ago, Santander decided to tackle the crisis that local administrations were living by preparing for the future, developing the Santander 2020 Strategic Plan, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, which would determine the future of the city over the next years. The idea of advancing towards new productive models driven by the innovation and the culture was introduced in this plan.
With the aim to become a more sustainable city, the city is advancing towards a new governance model, developing formulae for public-private collaboration, that contributes to the city’s economy and social progress and to a better citizens quality of life.
Committed to the idea that the development of an integral smart-city-based model enables to offer new business opportunities to local companies, retaining the talent of our youth and attracting funding that contributes to generating economic activity and employment, the city is making a great effort participating in international forums, explaining this model, and meeting companies from the technological sector with the aim to attract more investments for the city.
The infrastructure deployed within the urban landscape has converted the city of Santander into a unique living urban laboratory in which cyclic innovation processes can be developed focused on the end users, facilitating testing under real conditions of new services and applications in the context of smart cities. In particular, the strengthening of the collaboration with the University, the support of the local companies and productive sectors related to technology, some of them established in the Scientific and Technological Park, is favouring the creation of synergies and transfer of knowledge between companies, University, and other administrations.
All these initiatives developed led by city are integrated within the same innovation ecosystem, which will lead the improvement in the citizens’ quality of life.