Citizentrica’s Public-Private Street Cleaning Program

Madrid City Council and Ferrovial Servicios have collaborated to improve the street cleaning model in Madrid through innovative levers, such as citizen involvement and the application of data analytics and new technologies, in a project called Citizentrica.

The Program is being carried out in the Chamberí District with the purpose of finding solutions, technologies and operations that may improve the cleanliness of the city. Concretely, Citizéntrica applies a methodology based on applied research and experimentation, treating the city as an urban laboratory. For example, references used to identify opportunities to improve the service include:

  • Understanding the citizen perspective: the contributions of citizens, articulated through interviews conducted in person, are one of the pillars of the Program. The main objective is to identify the keys to improve citizen satisfaction with the cleanliness of their urban environment.
  • Analysis of international best practices in innovative road cleaning programs.
  • Application of new technological solutions, such as the robotic cart A1A3, that follow the service’s operator in order to carry out its work in a more comfortable and agile way, by incorporating a tracking system and picker that can be operated remotely.

The Center of Competence of Cities of Ferrovial Services develops and puts into practice programs, solutions and innovative models for urban service providers, working in a collaborative way with the cities and the most avant-garde urban agents. The ultimate objective of this applied innovation is to support the optimization of Ferrovial Servicios' commercial, operational and financial performance as well as its strategic differentiation.

As a result, we have selected this case as a Study Project because for the first time in  Madrid’s history, interrelated public and private teams have cooperated and created joint synergies to improve and innovate in the management and production of a public service (in this case, the cleaning of the city). Specifically, this project has spanned a duration of 19 months (10 months elaborating and 9 months executing, between May 2016 and December 2017) of work, a budget of € 120,000, with 33 leading people involved (both public and private), 4 areas of the City Council in coordination (including: sustainability, environment, innovation and mayor), and 90 citizens interviewed.

In summary, the scope of this project has created benefits including:

1. The ability to collaborate:

  • Obtaining synergies in capacities and resources between the public and private sectors.
  • Detection of collaboration opportunities and joint development of projects of interest with potential for dissemination at the international level.
  • Enables the City Council's role as a strategist in defining challenges and new service models in the long term.
  • Guarantees transparency in management, process evaluation and the sharing of conclusions obtained by the Program.

2. Citizen participation:

  • The Citizen verbalizes the needs and guides the municipal challenges.
  • The Citizen feels involved, giving an opinion on the urban services that are incorporated in the face of planning and improving perception metrics.
  • Relations between local administration and companies that benefit the citizens.

3. Innovation in public service management:

  • Learning from international best practices based on innovative methodologies and technologies.
  • Enabling an agile space in processes, specifically designed to test new processes and products (ie. creation of an Urban Laboratory)
  • Establishes the foundation to execute Public Procurement for Innovation programs.
  • The creation of spaces for public-private participation that contribute and generate innovative solutions to social problems and needs.

In conclusion, we aim to analyze the public-private management model followed in the preparation and execution of this program to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the potential, of this program. This objective will allow us to establish a framework to analyze the capacities of applying a public-private model in the provision of the public cleaning service to a more general context, which is the city of Madrid. Moreover, this study project is socially relevant, as it attempts to analyze the implications and satisfactions of citizens in the execution of a public policy, as well as observe which types of tools can be given to citizens in order to facilitate their participation in future projects that incorporate public-private collaboration.