With Gothenburg, Malaga is European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020. While the title might not be such a surprise for Gothenburg, a creative eco-friendly city in Western Sweden, it sounds more unusual for Malaga, perceived as a typical Spanish sun and beach destination.
However, Malaga managed over the last decade to reinvent itself. It has been incorporating the concepts of sustainability, innovation and culture into their strategic plans for many years. There is a constant exchange between visitors and the government’s tourism services, so that Málaga can do more to meet the needs of visitors.
In terms of sustainability, Málaga works in all spheres – it has installed public LED lighting, offers over 20 bike hire stations and created bike lanes that now add up to over 40km. The city has installed smart watering systems for parks and gardens in order to save water and has introduced an Air Quality Sectoral Plan to reduce air pollution, monitor pollen levels and improve noise quality. Málaga has also upgraded street cleaning equipment and has worked on better waste separation in the city centre.
In terms of nature, Málaga has much to offer. The city has almost 50 hectares of protected natural areas, 60 hectares of botanical gardens, more than 400 hectares of green space and 5 beaches. Málaga revitalised many of their natural spaces, such as its wetlands, creating ideal spots for bird watching and nature walks.