Global Rankings of Cities

Based on Startup Blink, we can see Global Rankings of Cities on Coronavirus Innovation

  • Top 5 cities are San Francisco, New York, Moscow, Boston and Toronto.
  • From 6 to 10 cities are Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Seoul, Taipei and San Diego.
  • From 11 to 15 cities are London, Barcelona, Seattle, Washington DC and Paris.

The ranking shows that Barcelona is ranked 3rd among the EU cities. Therefore, the Catalan city has showed its excellence to realize innovation during the pandemic. In fact, besides the criteria of the ranking, we can experience several innovations in Barcelona from customers’ point of view. There are online appointment, go green and contactless.

Online appointment

After the pandemic, most organizations including city council, banks and hospital, have introduced each online appointment system. Of course, it seems natural that they introduce online appointment to reduce social contacts and avoid crowdedness as much as possible. However, it was more difficult for these organization to prepare their online appointment system so fast. This was because it depended on their IT team or IT vendors in the country.

Japan is the third largest economy in the world, but there is only Tokyo in the same ranking above. In addition, its rank is 85th and this is far from Barcelona as well as Madrid. Therefore, we can say that Spaniards have adapted the situation earlier and better, and matched with agile culture.

The regional health services are also working very well. Each health service prepares their system to book the appointment for vaccination. As a result, Spain becomes one of the best countries in the world in terms of vaccination rate.

Go Green

After the pandemic, Barcelona city accelerates its greener project. For example, the city has changed more roads for only pedestrians. This change means a lot. From pedestrians’ point of view, they feel more comfortable and safety while walking the roads. On the other hand, the change incentivizes more drivers not to go through the city.

However, the Catalan city set new policies to make it greener before the pandemic. For instance, the city expanded the area of public transportation where citizens can move by the same price. In addition, it decreased the fee of commuter pass that allows them to use public transportation limitless during the designated period. Thanks to these changes, more people are willing to use it.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, some people must use their own vehicle to avoid social contacts. However, the vaccination program will ease these obstacles in the future.


Before the pandemic, many people wanted to use cash to buy something in Barcelona. However, many vending machines including metro are equipped with the contactless payment system. In addition, when we use public transportation, tickets are paper in general. Now, they can use online tickets.

We can go through these examples for innovation in Barcelona, so the city has agile culture. At the same time, we must see how rules and regulations catch up with new innovations. This is because innovations sometime do more harm than good for us. Therefore, new rules and regulations are also crucial to keep our well-being and promote innovations. In fact, we can see the case of Spain in relation to remote work.