School libraries are dead?
On the 24th of march 2015, we interviewed the school’s librarian, Antonio, about his views of international libraries and the worth of libraries in general. He said that the libraries were important for enriching the culture of the users through mediums such as books, films and music from different countries. He thinks this is advantageous because libraries give an enchanting and peaceful experience to be with other people while learning about different topics and cultures. However there are also drawbacks of libraries as the original writer or director does not receive profits for thier books or films as borrowing from the library is free of charge. To counteract this there are cash prizes for the best libraries in order to help them improve their funds for new materials, this encourages a positive experience for those who visit the libraries, as they have more choices of book genres and authors, films and different types of new music.
We asked Antonio the contriversial question ´´what can the library offer that the internet cannot?´´ he responded that although the internet offers a lot of quick access to the new materials, people have stopped reading books as the manuscripts are not available online. The library can offer a quiet environment to read a book for those who prefer a traditional way to consume new media. He also said that with the internet, less people are attending libraries, therefore less people are not reading paperback books as the authors intended.
Carlos Platero, a professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, spoke to us about the challenges of integrating renewable energy into power systems. He told us that the most important thing about generating energy is being able to generate enough to reach the demand of the consumer. This is problematic because renewable energy such as wind and solar energy does not produce enough energy to meet the demand of everyday life becaue it depends on the weather.
Furthermore, such energy is not able to be stored, therefore it is used as soon as it is produced and unfortunately that is not enough. As a result, we still depend on energy produced by conventional power plants. In the future we still do not know if we could depend on the renewable power plants because they are unreliable but we hope to find a way to use them as a main producer of energy.
Tres Cantos isn´t a smart city. But not too many people really know what the “smart” stands for. Education is one of the most important thing to become a smart city. People have to know thing about it, before they can change something and have an opinion. (Not too many people know about the smart city and stuff.) We, as the people of the world, have to change two things. We have to consume less, by maybe buying 1 thing in stead of 2. Also we have to use the rigth technologies, in order to have a smart city. Organisation of things is also very important. If we all word together, the worl will become a smart world, instead of little smart city´s!
Today we spoke to Ignacio López of Universidad Politecnica de Madrid about his views about the environment and Tres Cantos as a smart city. His views were quite controversal; he told us that he does not believe that there is such thing as a “smart city”, only a city that can be environmentally friendly. We can only be efficient to an extent depending on the technology that is available.
As a geothemic engineer, he is aware of the benefits and drawbacks of being a smart city. If something is efficient he told us that we need to take into account the costs involved in creating this. For example, hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius are considered to be efficient, however the production involved is less efficient and also expensive.
However, Tres Cantos is making small steps of progress towards being more environmentally friendly. Solar power is one of the techniques used. He told us about the different types of solar energy such as thermal and photovoltaic energy. These both are efficient sources of energy.
Overall, Ignacio believes that, in order to become more environmentally friendly, it is both the job of individual conservation of energy and efficient technology that will enable us to become like a smart city.
A sustainable city for all!
When we arrived at the City Hall of Tres Cantos, we interviewed both the architect and the Mayor of the City Hall, Jesús Moreno García, about their views on Tres Cantos being a smart city.
Firstly, they both agreed that Tres Cantos could become a smart city in the future with more improvements as well as the changes that have already begun. For example, Tres Cantos has already introduced solar powered street lights, recycled water, reduced paper usage and have reduced their electricity intake by taking heat from the earth in order to heat their houses. Similarly, they have introduced a new car park at the train station from Tres Cantos to Madrid, the journey takes approximately 28 minutes. This was done to reduce carbon emissions from excessive use of cars on the highway. Also, many bike paths have been introduced in order to achieve the same goal. The Mayor was very excited about future plans for Tres Cantos and the architect reinforced these ideas by telling us that he hopes that this will promote eco-friendly plans for other cities across Europe by the means of economic and technological development.
The Mayor told us he was very proud of the youth in Tres Cantos as they share his ambitions of creating a smart city for everyone. He also believes that they receive excellent education which will enable them to get into higher education within Europe to help them achieve their career goals. It is also a common belief that Tres Cantos has the perfect balance between family life and work life, for example, multiple programmes have been introduced for the youth of Tres Cantos. These programmes enable their parents to continue working during the holidays while the students have access to educational workshops which will enrich their knowledge. These worksops include topics such as bullying, domestic abuse and energy conservation in order to include them into the plans for the city.
From these interviews, we have concluded that with the progress of this community, Tres Cantos is on its way to being a smart city.
by Cristina Cano Álcazar, José Alix, María Lara, Alejandra Hernández