GCSCI organized a delegation led by Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady to our sister city of Seville, Spain.
Joining the Commissioner on the delegation was Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, Julie Fox with The Ohio State University, Emmett Kelly with Frost Brown Todd LLC, Mark Patton with Smart Columbus, Lauren Rummel with Franklin County, Jim Russell with the Pizzuti Companies, Jean Carter Ryan with the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority and COTA, Jim Schimmer with the Franklin County Deparment of Economic Development and Planning, Cassy Sleeper with the Bruner Corporation and Tim Sword and Sameen Dadfar representing GCSCI.
The delegation’s first stop was in Madrid, where they met with the U.S. Embassy and received a briefing on the status of Spain’s economy as well as current U.S.-Spanish relations. They also learned about the Madrid transportation system and renewable energy initiatives in the city.
The group then traveled to Malaga, where they were welcomed by Mayor Francisco de la Torre and members of their City Council. During their time in Malaga, the group met with the region’s Smart City Project team and learned more about the various initiatives that private companies, such as Telefonica, are currently developing. Much of this is similar to the work that Smart Columbus is working on with the execution of our Smart City Challenge.
The delegation’s final stop was in Seville, where they were greeted by Mayor Juan Espadas and Deputy Mayor Carmen Castreno. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Columbus and Seville. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor expressed their desire to create new connections between our two cities. The group also met with City Council members and private companies who presented on the housing and transportation sectors in Seville. The delegates participated in other activities such as touring the Port of Seville, which is the largest inland port in Spain.
The trip was a success and the group learned about various transportation, smart city and renewable energy initiatives in Spain.