Murcia is the major city in south-eastern Spain, and the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of the Region (with the same name, MURCIA). It is the seventh largest city in the country, with a population of 439.712 inhabitants (about one third of the total population of the Region). Murcia has a mild climate with hot summers, mild winters and relatively low precipitation. We would say on global terms, “an eternal spring”.
Murcia is an 890 km2 wide municipality at 43m above the sea level, scattered in the city and its 52 parishes in 40 km round.The 2,800 hours of sunlight every year bring that the average yearly precipitation in the Segura basin is one of the lowest in Spain (only 301 l/m2).
The average temperature is (?C): 17.8 ?C. Yearly average relative humidity is 59% Irrigation uses the 85% of the 240 Hm3 consumed in the basin, whilst domestic, industrial and other uses represent only the 15% of the water consumption, 50% of it will soon be supplied with desalinated water.
Murcia, due to its location has high levels of solar radiation during the whole year. Specifically has a yearly average of 5 kWh/m2/day, one of the highest of Spain. The Municipality of Murcia owns 27 PV installations installed on the roof of several buildings to generate electricity, this represents 362 KWp. The income for the selling of this energy is used to improve the energy efficiency installations of these buildings.
On the other hand, there is little rain, reason why Murcia has developed very advanced irrigation system in order to make an efficient use of available water. Traditionally, Murcia has been known for his agricultural activity, and at present, Murcia exports fruits and vegetables along the whole Europe. The shortage of water and its dependency from crops has forced the farmers to develop and invest in high technological systems to get the most out of the available water.
The Municipality of Murcia has a complex land planning. Within a radius of 5 Km reside the 83% of the population and within a radius of 7 km the 89%. The city centre attracts most of the commuters in a daily basis, and it also has the more severe congestion problems.
The City of Murcia has over 252.000m2 of pedestrian zones - just in the city center- and 100.000 m2 in the surroundings districts (see pedestrian areas in orange color). Our Council continues to highlight streets and pathways to further expand the pedestrian zones and enlarge the traffic-restricted areas in order to encourage people to walk on daily basis. So far, we do have in Murcia over 338,000 daily trips made by foot. This accounts for 37% of total daily trips, being equivalent to 0.87 trips per person per day.
The bicycle in Murcia is under a high process of transformation. The Cityhas over 162 km of cycle paths, bike friendly routes and streets with limited speed. The City has 10,100 daily trips by bicycle, which represented 1.1% of total daily trips, (Sept, 2009), nevertheless we are updating the statistics, that are rather closed to 3% nowadays). Of all these trips, 66% may be considered “needed” trips due to different causes. In addition, 60% of bicycle users take the bike daily from Monday to Friday in their displacements.
MUyBICI is another recent and successful project that is working since march 2015. MUyBICI, is a public bicycle sharing systems that aims to foster the use of the bicycles in Murcia. It is compound by 60 sharing stations and 600 bycicles, and it has an APP for Smartphones that informs you in real time about the availability of bicycles in every station. MuyBICI has been devised to provide an smart service for citizens and support them in their daily journeys.
The use of Public transport represents the 10% of all journeys in Murcia, meaning the 17% of all motorised journeys. Regarding the City Bus System, the City has a good set of accessibility to travelers and several bus stops. It offers a good system of bus information and an adequate cover: 300 meters within the Murcia City Center. The tram has very positively benefited public transport in Murcia. Over the last two years has improved the rate of use of public transport. Murcia’s tram has served in those 2 years to 7,047,475 passengers.
Murcia City has a considerable fleet of electric vehicles. Nevertheless, our public electric network of chargers must be expanded. This would Foster the demand of electric vehicles and would gradually grow the number of registered electric vehicles. Great efforts are being made by our Municipality in order to spread out the needs of changing mobility habits. We do incorporate electric vehicles to our usual means of transport, always in detriment of fossil fuels. Murcia City Council is currently looking for strong financing schemes in order to support the development of a proper e-mobility infrastructure, to better facilitate the introduction of electric mobility in Murcia.
Traffic in Murcia indicates that there is a high use of private vehicles for commuting, which accounts for 51% of all trips and 81 % of all motorised trips, (Sept, 2009). Roundabouts are our main Traffic hotspots in the City, where there is the higher volume of traffic. In addition, also make it a place where unfortunately there is the higher level of conflicts, casuistic and accidents. The average speed is quite high in Murcia (22km/h) and there are no significant variations between peak and valley period.Furthermore we cannot address significant traffic congestion in Murcia, though it is a big city. From further analysis, it has been concluded that the global system used for traffic management in Murcia should give more priority to public transport rather than private one.Nevertheless, Murcia offers a massive use of private vehicles, which mainly causes heavy traffic in the roundabouts of the City (here belowMurcia road/s distribution).
Existing studies and surveys show a great interest by citizens to changetheir usual means of transport, as for a more efficient one.Citizens in Murcia give great importance – as mainly everywhere else - to saving opportunities, towards mobility alternatives.
The city of Murcia has had the pushing of a strong construction sector during the period 2000 – 2007, from that time, the property bubble has caused that the city has not had many samples of private smart buildings. With respect to Municipal Buildings, the Murcia City Council has built some remarkable buildings like the “Edificio Municipal multiusos de Abenarabi”, that represents a good example of monitored and integrated systems. It has the last advances in communications and can be consider as a referent in energy efficiency at regional level.
Apart from these examples, the Murcia city Council has been involved in a European Project called “Smart Spaces” that aimed to reduce the energy consumption in Municipal Building using ICT’s and through raising people’s awareness. The Murcia City Council achieved reduce the energy bill by 16% in five of its more representative buildings. The use of metering equipment in such buildings, combined with the recruitment and dissemination activities helped to make it possible.
The pictures show the starting point in every building involved in the “Smart Spaces” project.
Thanks to this Project, the Municipal staff can consult the energy consumption of their building in real time with just some clicks. The “Free Access” to energy consumption data has been very helpful in order to raise Municipal Staff awareness about energy saving. Through the online platform, they are able to get the specific energy consumption of each department and to check how their habits in the office affect these figures.
There is a lot of work to be done yet in the field of monitoring and improving energy efficiency in Murcia Municipal Buildings. There are in total 500 buildings with heterogeneous characteristics and uses, so the big challenge is how to set and adjust a precise and affordable monitoring system that can match all the requirements and provide valuable data to take decisions and act accordingly.
Murcia has taken important steps toward becoming a reference in Smart mobility during the last decade.
One the major projects has been the construction on the line 1 of the Murcia’s Tram which has very positively benefited public transport in Murcia. Over the last two years has improved the rate of use of public transport. Murcia’s tram has served in those 2 years to 7,047,475 passengers.