A city in Spain uses technology to make life easier for its citizens and visitors.


From VOA learning English. This is the technology report. Santander is a port city on the northern coast of Spain on the Atlantic Ocean. It is also the home of a project started seven years ago by the University of Cantabria. 

The project is to bring smart technology to Santander. A city is called Smart when it uses technology to make life better for its citizens and visitors. Santander uses 20,000 sensors, or technology that measures motion and other things. 

The sensors are put on buildings, street posts, buses and underground. They can point drivers to the nearest parking space. As one car drives away, a sensor says that a parking space is now free. The sensor sends a message to street signs and satellites. 

Using a smartphone app, drivers can find empty parking spaces more easily. Sensors also help in other ways. Trash is collected only when the containers are full. Signs at bus stops show exactly when the next bus will arrive. 

Public grass is watered only when. Gets dry. Luis Munoz is a researcher at the University of Cantabria. He meets with local citizens to talk about making their city even smarter. For example, the university helped a woman create an app that shows the easiest path for walking with a baby stroller. 

Another app shows the amount of home water usage. It is not all easy. It is difficult to let all citizens know about the technology and teach them how to use it. The Santander Project is getting the attention of large cities looking for smart ways to fix city problems. 

For VOA learning English. I'm Jonathan Evans. 


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