Posts by: Rebecca

Nathalie Guri (EUROCITIES project and knowledge-sharing Director) and Berend de Vries, (deputy mayor of Tilburg)

The press release can be downloaded here.

On the occasion of the spring meeting of EUROCITIES Environment Forum in Antwerp, the city of Tilburg has confirmed its commitment to use information and communication technologies (ICT) in the fight against climate change.

Berend de Vries, deputy mayor of Tilburg signed the Green Digital Charter (GDC), which promotes the use of ICT solutions to reduce cities’ carbon emissions, help them become smarter, and ‘green’ their ICT equipment. The revised Charter commits cities to working together on the EU’s objectives of expanding the use of digital technologies that improve the life of their citizens and addressing the challenges of growth, sustainability and resilience.

Tilburg is the 52nd signatory city of the Charter.

“There is an interesting dilemma: With increasing ICT applications, we can create flexibility, avoid mobility and thus reduce CO2. On the other hand, ICT is growing to be a large user of energy. The city of Tilburg will support the network of 52 signatories of the Green Digital Charter in looking for ICT-solutions which reduce the carbon footprint.”
 – Berend de Vries
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This article was originally published on the Raconteur.net website

Daniël Termont is the mayor of Ghent and EUROCITIES president.

 

Daniël Termont, Mayor of Ghent and EUROCITIES' current president

Daniël Termont, Mayor of Ghent and EUROCITIES’ rotating president

“In Ghent, we combine our historical façades with a forward- looking vision. By 2020, I want my city to be open, inclusive, smart and child friendly. Key to this vision are our citizens – we want to build the Ghent of the future together.

Discussions around smart cities are too often driven by technology and industry. I believe cities, and their citizens, are at the core of the smart city transition. Technology is an important ingredient of course: we are looking to innovative solutions to manage our energy and transport systems better, manage, process and visualise data, and make life easier for all.

But we’re not overlooking the low-tech solutions that complement these: well-organised bike paths, for example, and vertical farming.

Technology for us is a means not an end and becoming smarter is about a whole lot more.

We need to find new ways of working together so we can make the most of everyone’s expertise. Public administrations, citizens, businesses and research institutes: we are all part of the same urban ecosystem and we all have something to offer. By pooling our resources, we can create better solutions that truly address our challenges and are owned by the entire city.

In Ghent, we have several tools to make this happen, such as the Ghent Climate Alliance, which is behind our vision of becoming climate neutral. Our Ghent Living Lab is an innovative platform where citizens, developers, researchers and businesses can co-create their city.

Smart cities rely on data, so opening up data is an important initiative for Ghent. Students and developers can use it to work on new solutions, including apps that make life easier for residents, such as a waste collection calendar and an app, ‘Parkmobile‘, to locate available parking spaces in real time.

We’ve even turned it into a competition: our annual hackathon, Apps for Ghent, invites developers to turn our open data into exciting new apps, such as Studio Dott’s PopBike (video), which enables users to calculate the best bike route and share bikes, and Ghendetta, a game that encourages users to explore city districts.

One of the challenges many cities face with opening data is protecting privacy. Citizens need to be able to access, use and manage their data, and for this they need adequate digital skills. This is a priority for Ghent as we want to make sure technology is accessible to everyone.

It is essential then that we create a level playing field. We need common and open standards and better interoperability between systems. This would open the market to more actors and would also bring down costs, and maximise the release, accessibility and usability of data, helping businesses grow.

Working together on projects is a must for testing and scaling up new solutions. Ghent is involved in several, including the Green Digital Charter, through which we commit to reducing our carbon footprint with smart ICT. We also need direct dialogue with European Union decision-makers.

With the Urban Agenda for the EU and the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities, we see new work processes that support the joining up of different levels of government and different sectors. This is a step in the right direction to address European and urban challenges together.

I am looking forward to the journey ahead and I am pleased to be sharing it with my colleagues at EUROCITIES, the network of major European cities. This is where I can bounce off ideas, discover new solutions and find ways to address shared challenges.

As a mayor, I know every corner of my city and have daily contact with citizens. This knowledge is crucial for making smart city solutions work. Working with cities means working with citizens, so by strengthening the links between EU institutions and cities, we are building a stronger Europe.

 

SELECT City Skyline

In February, the SELECT for Cities Initiative launched its call to support the development of an Internet-of-Everything (IoE) platform for open innovation in Europe.

Selected organisations will get contracts from 36,000€ to 800,000€ each. The procurement is financed by three cities – Antwerp, Copenhagen and Helsinki – with support from the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme.

To learn more about the innovation competition and access the tender documents, please visit www.select4cities.eu/tender

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Heraklion_architecture (2)-smaller-sizeOn 28-29 September, Heraklion will host the second annual Smart Blue City Euro-Mediterranean conference on ’Smart, inclusive and resilient small and medium-sized cities and island communities in the Mediterranean: exploring current research paths and experience-based evidence’.

Combining a scientific conference with an exhibition, the event will bring together city and regional authorities with representatives of industry, SMEs, academics, and professionals to discuss smart solutions to the challenges faced in the region and to explore new market opportunities.

For more information, visit www.smartbluecity.com/ – [leaflet] –

 

EIP

European Innovation Partnership – Smart Cities and Communities

The conference is organised in the frame of the EIP-SCC ‘Smart Cities in the Mediterranean’ strategic partnership (SMART-MED action cluster).

It will focus on areas where ICTs, energy and mobility policies overlap, and will seek to identify transferable solutions.

www.smartcitiesmed.com

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Infographic_webinar_GDC-SharingCities

At 14:00 CET on 14 March, EUROCITIES hosted a public webinar on citizen participation and co-creation in smart cities, where the experiences gathered from the Sharing Cities and Green Digital Charter projects were shared with the participants.

WATCH THE WEBINAR
Reykjavik 
Better-Reykjavik-logo

Reykjavik

[PRESENTATION]

Magnus Y. Josefsson presented the Better Reykjavik collaborative online platform, through which citizens can submit policy proposals to the municipal government.  ‘Better Reykjavik‘ was among the shortlisted projects in the “Citizen participation & impact on society” category of the 2016 edition of the GDC Awards.

Find out more about Reykjavik’s SMART projects and priorities here.

Milan 
Milan

Milan

[PRESENTATION]

During a recent peer-learning visit organised in Milan in the frame of the Sharing Cities project, ‘fellow’ city representatives heard a presentation about the host city’s civic crowdfunding practices.

Find out more about Milan’s SMART projects and priorities here.

About Sharing Cities

Sharing Cities (www.sharingcities.eu) ‘lighthouse’ programme is a proving ground for a better, common approach to making smart cities a reality. By foestering international collaboration between industry and cities, the project seeks to develop affordable, integrated, commercial-scale smart city solutions with a high market potential. The project partners work in close cooperation with the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) and with other ‘lighthouse’ consortia. Sharing Cities offers a framework for citizen engagement and collaboration at local level, thereby strenghtening trust between cities and citizens. The project draws on €24 million in EU funding. It aims to trigger €500 million in investment and to engage over 100 municipalities across Europe.

 

 

 

Ⓒ URBAN-EU-CHINA

Within the framework of the existing cooperation arrangements between the EU and China, a new H2020 project (URBAN-EU-CHINA) with a consortium of 12 European and Chinese partners will soon be launched. The project will develop an evidence-driven, bottom-up approach to complement the existing top-down strategic approach to cooperation in sustainable urbanisation.

The partners will develop a coordinated series of actions that include a research and innovation agenda; networking events; benchmarking; monitoring; and peer learning activities. The underlying ambition is to address the disconnect between strategic visions and operational realities. The expected results of this 36-month, €1.5 million support action include joint policy strategies, a nursery of joint projects, and city-industry-science partnerships.

EUROCITIES will lead work on matching cities and organising event clusters.

The kick-off of the platform will take place from 19 to 21 March 2017 in the Chinese city of Putian, at the occasion of the 2017 EU-China Forum on Sustainable Urban Development. The partnership will then be officially launched at the occasion of a ceremony hosted in Brussels at the end of March.

horizon2020_0URBAN-EU-CHINA is a Cooordination and Support Action (CSA) funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme. CORDIS

OpenYourCity.com

This article has been originally published on OpenYourCity.com under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved

“If I were to decipher the message that 2017 is bringing, I would say that data sharing and co-creation will certainly boost urban innovation in the forthcoming years. And that, in Zaragoza, we have some interesting tools to make it happen:

  • our smart Citizen Card, our “de facto” digital platform upon which we can build all sorts of services, from gamification to citizen participation
  • our Open Urban Lab, the co-creation lab of the city, located at the very core of Zaragoza’s flagship innovation hub “Etopia Center for Arts and Technology
  • a thriving civic and innovation ecosystem and a program “100 Ideas ZGZ” conceived to set bottom-up ideas in motion, using the city as an innovation platform

The good news started in Luxembourg. After pitching the Citizen Card in late January on the Big Data Info Days on Horizon 2020 we are overwhelmed by the number of agents from either industry and research arena that have proposed to partner with us in big data-related H2020 calls. Almost simultaneously, four groups of design students from the University of Zaragoza presented four innovative ideas for new services on the Citizen Card. They had been working on them for three months both in the classroom and in the Lab.

A week later we took a plane to Brussels: on Jan, 25th Zaragoza’s Citizen Card received the Green Digital Charter (GDC) 2016 Award on ‘Citizen participation and impact on society’. During the conference ‘Cities in Transition – the role of digital in shaping our future cities’ held in Brussels we had the opportunity to present our current and future data policy and discuss it with an engaged audience from government and academia. Take two concepts already developed in these blog’s pages: Big (open) Data, and Data Sharing.

From left to right: Daniel Sarasa, Carlos Alocen and Gerardo Lahuerta after receiving the Green Digital Charter (GDC) 2016 Award on 'Citizen participation & impact on society'

From left to right: Daniel Sarasa, Carlos Alocen and Gerardo Lahuerta after receiving the Green Digital Charter (GDC) 2016 Award on ‘Citizen participation & impact on society’, Brussels, 25 January 2017

We need European funding to materialize these and other ideas, so we’ve been working very hard with the team on several European proposals for using data to spark and guide the co-creation of new public services. We have already tested this principle within the project CITYkeys, where data has allowed us to identify gaps and opportunities for new transport services: that’s how the future network of bicycle parking spots started to be designed. A path, that of the co-creation of new public services based on data insights, that we intend to develop further.

On Feb, 6th we enrolled on a learning trip to beautiful Cascais (Portugal) to join the “Smart Life Incubator” think tank. We were ‘locked’ by the outstanding TM Forum staff alongside other city policy makers from Tokyo, Liverpool, Nice, Porto, Saint Quentin, Cascais and Utrecht. It was an intense 3-day working session focused on addressing urban challenges through innovation and cooperation between stakeholders. We dealt with problems such as mobility, talent attraction, unemployment, on-line services,… We shared strategies to bring deprived public space back to life, or to improve city response in case of catastrophe. Surprisingly, data sharing was identified as a common enabling vector for most of the challenges. The bad news is that no one seems to know how to make it happen without compromising, either legitimate organization assets or personal privacy: the relationship between big data and governments is still heavily cluttered.

So while everybody talks about co-creation, there is an astonishingly small number of succes stories out there. Most projects, like the “Co-creating responsive urban spaces” initiative in Amsterdam, are just starting.  And data sharing is something we all think should be happening (for the sake of humanity, right?) but that no one has seen yet. In my Master on City Sciences’ thesis I pointed out that there are gigantic organizational and behavioural (psychological) barriers that block the way. As more projects on co-creation start in the following years, and small scale urban data sharing examples are being built, we expect that a whole new body of knowledge about the subject will appear. This knowledge, of course, will blossom on the urban ground, since it is the natural environment where people’s ideas and big (urban) data can turn into solutions.

The story of co-creation and data sharing is just beginning. We’ll be here to write it.”

Daniel Sarasa Funes is urban innovation planner and Smart City Program Manager at Zaragoza City Council. He is co-author of Zaragoza’s digital agenda 2012-2015 “Towards a Smart Citizenship” and co-editor of OpenYourCity.com

iCapital poster – European Commission website

At the end of March 2017, the European Commission will launch the third edition of the European Capital of Innovation award. After Barcelona (2014) and Amsterdam (2016), which city will be recognised as the most innovative in Europe?

The contest will be open to cities:

  • from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme;
  • having over 100 000 inhabitants (in countries where there is no such city, the largest city is eligible to apply);
  • running innovative initiatives which have started after 1 January 2016

The contest will be presented to interested cities during a webinar on 4 April.

Applicant cities will be judged by an independent panel of external evaluations on their innovative solutions to relevant societal challenges. Three cash prizes will be awarded to the best city initiatives creating the right environment to innovate. Deadline for applications is 21 June 2017, 17:00 (Brussels time).

More information can be found at www.ec.europa.eu/icapital

#iCapitalAwards

 

 

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The 4th ICTFOOTPRINT free webinar held 23 February 2017 focused on ICT energy efficiency Calculation tools and sustainable ICT insights on energy services.

 Agenda

speakers of ICTFOOTPRINT.eu 4th webinar – 23 February, 15:00 CET

  • Thomas Corvaiser (CEO of Greenspector) introduced the concept of software eco-design, and told us how it helps lowering the consumption of IT resources while preserving performance and user experience.
  • Frédéric Croisson (Deloitte Sustainability) showcased the ICTFOOTPRINT.eu Self-Assessment Tool for Services (SAT-S), a useful, quick and easy-to-use tool that calculate the carbon footprint of your ICT services. The tool helps users not only to make informed decisions about how to make an ICT service sustainable, but also discover the impact of ICT devices & activities in terms of Green House Gas emissions and primary energy consumption. (SAT-S will be launched very soon).
  • Karen Robinson shared some sustainable ICT practices and presented the save@work initiative, which encourages public sector employees to come together in teams to reduce the energy consumption of their building by making small changes to their everyday energy consuming behaviours.

The webinar was moderated by Silvana Muscella, project coordinator of ICTFOOTPRINT.eu and CEO of Trust-IT Services.

WATCH THE WEBINAR

More information on ICTFOOTPRINT.eu website.ICTfootprint.eu

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The year, Eindhoven‘s annual Beyond Data Event will be held on 30 March 2017.

This edition will see a swift from pilots and trials to real life cases. Cities are asked to come forward with their best practice cases, however small or big, and share them with other cities.

Beyond Data Event, Eindhoven, 30 March 2017

During this year’s ‘On the Edge’ edition, inspiring speakers, critical players, strategists and policy makers will take you on a journey to connect data organisations and data users.

Some of the topics to be discussed on 30 March 2017 include:

  • Innovation in data, Smart Cities & Internet of Things
  • Developments in the use of personal data: healthcare, social care and more
  • Embedding smart cities as a backbone of infrastructure, equipment, protocols
  • HELPDESK of cities and data science labs
  • Connecting Tech to Reality: how do we match technology with the needs of society
  • Pilots are good, but what’s next? What’s real?
  • Help needed: sharing user cases & best practice. How can you help? What are the challenges?

Discover the full programme and register now at http://www.smart-circle.org/beyonddata/.

 

This article was originally published on the ICTFOOTPRINT.eu project’s website

ICT is one of the most powerful instruments to face today’s greatest threats including climate change and exhaustion of resources. Taking a closer look, however, ICT has its own responsibilities in terms of carbon emissions, in particular due to the huge amount of energy needed to keep data centres up and running, and the underlying infrastructure and networks working. We live in an highly interconnected world where issues and solutions are often intertwined.

ICTfootprint.euICTFOOTPRINT.eu is a unique one-stop-shop for finding all the simple, accessible information you need for reducing your ICT environmental impact. ICTFOOTPRINT.eu is also a lively marketplace where sellers showcase their sustainable ICT solutions and meet with potential buyers.

know_electronics_components (2)In order to understand the environmental impact of a product it is necessary to consider its whole lifecycle from the extraction of raw materials, design and production, down to the development, usage and final disposal and recovery. Have you ever wondered what the environmental footprint of an apple is? Are electric cars eco-friendly all over the world? ecoinvent offers a Life Cycle Assessment tool based on the world’s largest transparent Life Cycle Inventory database with over 12.800 datasets from reliable sources. The ecoinvent association is a not-for-profit organisation, whose vision is to help people all around the world do high quality environmental assessments more easily and therefore make truly informed choices.

 

know_e-wasteE-waste is polluting drinking water and harming ecosystems around the world. By 2017, the total annual volume of e-waste is set to rise by 33% to 65.4 million tons, the weight equivalent to almost 200 Empire State Buildings (Stepinitiative.org 2014). The manufacture of one PC requires about 1.7 tonnes of raw materials and water and consumes over ten times the computer’s weight in fossil fuels: 75% of PC fossil fuel consumption has already happened before the computer is even switched on for the first time (Kuehr & Williams 2003). E-waste contains toxic chemicals such as arsenic and lead.

Re-use is the best way to recycle used ICT: Circular Computing, with its Circular Remanufacturing process, closes the loop on waste and extends the life of computers, creating positive environmental, economic and social impact on a micro and macro level. Circular Computing turns used ICT equipment into as-new, high quality products, extending their useful life cycle and allowing users’ satisfaction together with considerable savings.

One of the biggest challenges for switching to a sustainable future is the required cultural and behavioural change. Some even small changes in our daily habits can trigger relevant improvements on the global level. 86% of ocean debris is plastic: we have created an extra continent the size of France! Half a million cups are used every year: on average it is estimated that corporate employees use three plastic cups a day, causing harmful and long-lasting pollution. Think of the collective impact if we all recycled our plastic coffee cup or better still used a non-disposable one. The same reasoning applies for instance for the energy that can be saved by switching off monitors during lunch breaks.

GreenGoWeb, with its “Green Team Building” mobile app, turns saving energy and reducing your environmental impact into an amusing game. Set your goals, keep track of the energy you are saving in a fun and entertaining way and challenge your friends: who will achieve the highest sustainability scoring?

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Visit ICTfootprint.eu website to register to their newsletter or to join the marketplace.

 

The EUROCITIES Knowledge Society Forum (KSF) and the Green Digital Charter (GDC) jointly hosted the conference ‘Cities in transition – the role of digital in shaping our future cities’ on 25 January 2017. The event, held in the Microsoft Innovation Centre in Brussels, brought together over 100 participants, including civil servants, smart city experts, delegates from the EU institutions and partners and representatives from the private sector.

The role of cities in the digital transition
Plenary (2)

From left to right: Dorthe Nielsen (EUROCITIES), Eddy Hartog (European Commission), Flavia Marzano (Rome), Mary-Ann Schreurs (Eindhoven), Eero Halonen (Oulu) and Roberta Cocco (Milan)

The opening plenary session, moderated by Dorthe Nielsen, EUROCITIES policy director, enabled local politicians to share their ‘smart city’ visions and expectations of the recently-established Urban Agenda partnership on digital transition. This session included an exchange of views between the cities of Eindhoven, represented by Mary-Ann Schreurs, deputy mayor for innovation; Milan, represented by Roberta Cocco, alderman on digital transformation; Oulu, represented by Eero Halonen, chairman of the economic development board; and Rome, represented by Flavia Marzano, alderman on smart city and innovation. The discussion enabled participants to better understand cities’ priorities in this new urban partnership, especially with regards to data management issues, including the opening of data, data privacy and security, standards and interoperability of systems within as well as between cities.

Eddy Hartog, head of unit for smart mobility and living at European Commission DG CNECT, described the future solutions that need to be developed – including a one-stop-shop for cities – in order to improve multilevel collaboration on urban policies within the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC).

Kaja Kallas (MEP, EST, ALDE) delivered a a keynote speech in plenary, during which she stressed the importance of the digital economy in Europe’s development.

What came out of the parallel sessions?

The political debate was followed by two parallel series of technical workshops. Each workshop addressed opportunities and challenges, examples from cities and open questions, and each delivered a small set of takeaway points and next steps for action. Posters have been designed for workshops’ moderators to write down key take-aways. They can all be consulted online by clicking on the links below.

Bart Rosseau from the city of Ghent, signatory of the Green Digital Charter and chairman of the Knowledge Society Forum working-group on Data

Bart Rosseau from the city of Ghent (signatory of the Green Digital Charter) and chairman of KSF Data working-group

Pictures of the day, including of the GDC Awards ceremony, are shared on Flickr (bit.ly/2kqnKj3).

The agenda of the conference is available at bit.ly/Agenda-CitiesInTransition.

 

Connected Smart City Conference 2017 in Brussels

The Connected Smart Cities Conference 2017 organised by OASC (Open & Agile Smart Cities) took place on 12 January in Brussels. After a plenary session with high-level keynotes,  among whom Mary-Ann Schreurs (Eindhoven’s vice-mayor for innovation) and Anna-Kaisa Ikonen (Mayor of Tampere), participants were invited to attend parallel sessions on various smart city-related topics.

In the morning, participants got the opportunity to attend four parallel workshops on ‘Innovation ecosystems’, ‘Market creation & policy issues’, ‘Mobility’ and ‘Platforms & data models’. In the afternoon, four other workshops were organised, respectively on ‘Cities by and for people’, ‘Assisted living & aging’, ‘Digital Water’ and ‘Standards for real-time urban services’.

Missed it? #CSCC2017 is online

The full programme of the day, including slides from the speakers, can be found on oascities.org website.

A recorded video-stream allows you to watch keynotes and the parallel sessions on ‘Innovative Ecosystems: Open innovation between small and large, public and private‘ and ‘Cities for and by People: co-creation, ethics and privacy’.

Finally, pictures and tweets of the day are available at this link: bit.ly/2jPW4CZ.

 

For more information: www.oascities.org

 

The Green Digital Charter (GDC) aims to improve the quality of life in cities through the use of digital solutions. Its annual collection of case-studies presents actions and projects associated with green digital developments implemented in signatory cities to meet their commitment in tackling climate change and improving citizens’ quality of life.

Cover_front_GDC2016

2016 collection of GDC case-studies

The 2016 edition gathers 32 projects and actions, implemented in 22 cities. Innovative solutions either cross-domain or specifically related to buildings, energy, transport and e-participation are included. The pdf version of our 2016 catalogue is now available for download at this link: http://bit.ly/GDC–case-studies-2016.

Out of this publication, three projects have been awarded during the GDC 2016 Awards ceremony that took place in Brussels on 25 January 2017.

  • Zaragoza (Zaragoza Citizen Card) is the winner of the GDC Award on ‘Citizen participation & impact on society’
  • Lisbon (BESOS project) is the winner of the GDC Award ‘Creation of European added value’
  • Rijeka (iURBAN pilot) is the winner of the GDC Award ‘Promoting open & interoperable solutions’

 

Work-shadowing visits

Is your city a GDC signatory and you are interested to visit one of the projects presented in the catalogue? Each city profile includes relevant web links and contact information to help you plan and organise your own work shadowing visit and learn from each other. We have prepared a practical guide (bit.ly/GDC-A-practical-guide-for-training-visits), in which you will find all the information you need. The annexed documents can be consulted at bit.ly/GDC-training-activities.

For more information about technical training visits, feel free to contact the GDC/GuiDanCe team at Nikolaos.Kontinakis@eurocities.eu or Rebecca.Portail@eurocities.eu

 

 

On 25 January 2017 at the occasion of the conference ‘Cities in Transition‘, the cities of Zaragoza, Lisbon and Rijeka were awarded for their innovative contributions to the objectives of the Green Digital Charter.

WATCH OUR VIDEO

GDC-2016-Awards-1

Citizen participation and impact on society

Carlos Alocen, Daniel Sarasa and Gerardo Lahuerta received the award on behalf of Zaragoza in this category, in recognition of the impact of the ‘Zaragoza Citizen Card’. This multi-purpose smart (RFID) card is part of Zaragoza’s collaborative approach to facilitate citizens’ access to public services. Runner-up cities for this category were Reykjavik (Better Reykjavik and My Neighbourhood) and Utrecht (Traffic Lights Hotline).

Creation of European added value

Lisbon’s integrated management system for energy efficiency developed under the FP7-funded BESOS project was recognised in the ‘European added-value’ category. Implemented in Lisbon and Barcelona, the project is a perfect example of how digital technologies can help in the global fight against climate change. The project’s coordinator, Francisco Goncalves, received the award on behalf of the city of Lisbon. Runner-up cities for this category were Bristol (REPLICATE) and Zagreb (Zagreb Energy Week).

Promoting open and interoperable solutions 

Finally, Tatjana Perse from the city of Rijeka received the award on ‘Promoting open and interoperable solutions’ for the iURBAN smart Decision Support System (DSS) project. This integrated, multilevel and scalable tool has been designed for cities’ administration to critically analyse energy consumption patterns and increase energy efficiency in public buildings. Runner-up cities for this category were Amsterdam (Open Data – Smart Neighbourhoods) and Valencia (Valencia Smart City Platform).

The jury was composed of Miimu Airaksinen (VTT, Finland), Peter Bosch (TNO, Netherlands), Jan Dictus (GOJA Consulting, Austria), and Cristobal Irazoqui (European Commission, DG CNECT).

Cover_front_GDC2016

In total, 21 projects, implemented in 14 cities, were submitted for this second edition of the GDC awards. All nominated projects represent the best in urban innovation – judge by yourself by leafing through our 2016 collection of case studies (bit.ly/GDC–case-studies-2016).

Follow us on Twitter @GDCharter

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Digital innovation is a driver of sustainable urban development all over the world. Approaches to becoming ‘smarter’ may differ, but open and interoperable solutions arguably play a key role in ensuring the sustainability of smart infrastructures.

Public authorities collect and produce reams of data, which can be used to design and deliver innovative services and applications. From a governance perspective, public data also has the potential to contribute to more transparency in municipalities’ urban planning. This is why open data strategies are at the core of smart city initiatives all over Europe.

The third GDC award category will recognise the project that has adopted and implemented open data and/or interfaces; has deployed and/or promoted interoperable solutions; and has tried to promote urban platforms or the better use/re-use of infrastructures, services, tools, etc.

The three finalists are:

  • Amsterdam region’s Open Data – Smart Neighbourhoods (ODSN) project
  • Rijeka’s iURBAN intelligent urban energy tool
  • Valencia’s Smart City Platform

 

Amsterdam region’s ODSN project uses IT to achieve urban climate targets

Commissioned by the Dutch ministry of infrastructure and environment, the Open Data – Smart Neighbourhoods (OSDN) project implements the IREEN roadmap, which was developed by Green IT Amsterdam under the FP7 funding programme between 2011 and 2013. This roadmap for energy-efficient neighbourhoods aims to promote the development of a comprehensive Europe-wide innovation strategy and the take-up of ICT-based energy efficiency solutions in urban districts and neighbourhoods.

Amsterdam_photo city

The ODSN project builds on Amsterdam’s expertise and experience in open data management and in supporting new data-driven projects in five municipalities of the Amsterdam region, namely Haarlem, Tilburg, Zaanstad, Lelystad Airport Business Park, and Heerlen.

The project encourages the participants to learn about the benefits of open data and also about the challenges involved in monitoring, as well as in engaging and protecting the privacy of residents.

More information is available at at Green IT Amsterdam website.

Contact person: Jaak Vlasveld, director of Green IT Amsterdam: jvlasveld[at]greenitamsterdam.nl

 

Rijeka’s iURBAN: intelligent tool for an energy-efficient smart city

Just like all other local and regional authorities, the city of Rijeka must pay the energy bills of public buildings, such as schools, kindergartens, public libraries, and the city council itself.

An open access research book was published online in November 2016, just after the end of the project. Entitled iURBAN: Intelligent Urban Energy Tool, the book introduces this tool that integrates different ICT energy management systems (both hardware and software) in Rijeka) and Plovdiv. This system provides useful data to a novel decision support system needed for the development of associated business models.

iURBAN LogoThe iURBAN smart Decision Support System (smartDSS) addresses a growing market demand for cheaper and cleaner energy services. It enables municipalities to analyse consumption patterns within buildings, detect sources of inefficiency, and identify power-hungry devices that weigh heavily on the municipality’s energy bill. It also helps building managers identify areas where investment is needed.

Interested to know more? Visit the iURBAN website at http://www.iurban-project.eu.

 

Contact person: Tatjana Perse, head of the city of Rijeka’s e-government unit: tatjana.perse@rijeka.hr

 

Valencia Smart City Platform (VLCi)

The Spanish city’s 2020 strategy emphasises innovation, sustainability and environmental quality; promotes entrepreneurship; foresees the emergence of a civic-minded political culture; and aims for the creation of spheres of excellence in promising sectors such as design, renewable energies, health, technology, and arts.

The Valencia Smart City Platform (VLCi) enables the municipality to efficiently manage its public services through the compilation and use of urban, citizenship and service management-related indicators. These enable the city to accurately measure urban behaviour and resources, and offer an integrated view of its operations and management. The indicators also enable Valencia to check itself against other similar cities and to improve its strategic and operational decision making processes over time.

platform_iso_eng

By using some of the 600 indicators integrated in the VLCi platform, the municipality can also provide better services to its citizens. VLCi’s control panel display encourages the use of public open data by citizens, technicians and council officials for urban service management purposes.

To improve interoperability between its municipal services, Valencia has also developed an urban management platform based on FIWARE, an open standard recommended by the European Commission, which smart city developers use to ensure Internet of Things (IoT) compliance.

Further information is available at http://vlci.inndeavalencia.com (in English)

Contact person: Anna Melchor-Pérez, smart city specialist at Las Naves (previously InnDEA Valencia Foundation), Valencia city council: anna.melchor[at]inndeavalencia.com

A ‘smart city’ is a place where digital technologies translate into better public services for citizens, better use of resources and less impact on the environment. With this vision in mind, the EU has been investing in ICT research and innovation (in particular through its Horizon 2020 funding programme) and developing policies as well as partnerships, such as the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), to speed the deployment of innovative solutions.

Sixteen cross-domain projects are presented in our 2016 collection of case studies. Three of these have been shortlisted by our jury of experts, and one will win the 2016 GDC Award ‘Creation of European added-value’on 25 January.

The three shortlisted projects in this second category are:

  • Bristol’s REPLICATE pilot
  • Lisbon’s BESOS (Building Energy Decision Support Systems for Smart Cities) project
  • Zagreb’s Energy Week

 

Bristol’s REPLICATE project engages citizens in achieving sustainable goals

In 2015, Bristol was the first UK city to receive the European Green Capital Award in recognition of its impressive investment plans for transports and energy, in particular renewables, by 2020.

Bristol is one of threeREPLICATE logo + flag lead cities (’lighthouses’) of REPLICATE (REnaissance of PLaces with Innovative Citizenship And Technology), an EU research and development project aiming to deploy integrated energy, mobility, and ICT solutions in city districts. Bristol has chosen the Ashely, Easton and Lawrence Hill neighbourhood partnership area as its target district.

Bristol’s approach focuses on citizens and addresses a broad range of socio-economic and environmental challenges faced by the city. First, its core innovation is the development of an energy demand management system that can holistically monitor and control energy use in 150 connected homes.

The city is developing a number of other projects and measures that would help increase energy efficiency, promote sustainable mobility, and encourage citizens to change their behaviour.

 

More information at http://replicate-project.eu/bristol/

Contact person: Luke Loveridge, programme manager: luke.loveridge[at]bristol.gov.uk

 

Lisbon’s BESOS project fosters public-private energy efficiency cooperation

Lisbon, capital of Portugal and one of the oldest cities in the world, is very active in European cooperation initiatives and smart city projects. A ‘lighthouse’ member of the Sharing Cities project, Lisbon’s smart city strategy has proved that bringing stakeholders together can provide considerable support for efforts to ensure the sustainability and replicability of solutions developed in pilot projects.

BESOSlogo

Between October 2013 and September 2016, the BESOS (Build Energy Decision Support Systems for Smart Cities) project developed an advanced, integrated energy management system.The project targeted two main groups of stakeholders: infrastructure owners (e.g. municipalities) and operators. This public-private partnership developed a trustworthy open platform, through which partners can share data and services among themselves, as well as with third-party applications.

These valuable data flows enable the design and development of higher-level applications capable of processing data in real timeand feeding analysed data analysis to the city’s energy services.

Lisbon and Barcelona have already tested the BESOS approach.

More information at http://besos-project.eu/

 

Contact person: Francisco Gonçalves, project coordinator, franciscogoncalves[a]lisboaenova.org

 

Zagreb Energy Week: “Development we don’t want to stop but pollution we can”

Zagreb_Energy_Week_2016Over the past seven years, Zagreb Energy Week has become of the city’s flagship events. Held in the month of May under the slogan ‘Development we don’t want to stop but pollution we can’, the organisers call for joint actions that contribute to the implementation of sustainable urban development projects and the preservation of natural resources for future generations.

Financed by the city budget, Zagreb Energy Week is jam-packed with conferences, expert meetings, open-door days, seminars, classes, and workshops dedicated to energy and the environment. These activities allow for rich dialogue and interaction among the experts, and raise citizens’ concern about the environment.

Contact persons: Vlatka Samarinec and Maja Sunjic, expert advisors: vlatka.samarinec[at]zagreb.hr and maja.sunjic[at]zagreb.hr

Since there cannot be a smart city without smart citizens, the award winner in the first category will be a project that has successfully involved citizens and/or other civil society stakeholders; has adopted a bottom-up approach; and is expected to tackle, or has already tackled, local societal challenges.

Of the 14 projects nominated in this category, three stand a good chance of winning the award:

  • Reykjavik’s Better Reykjavik and My Neighbourhood e-participation projects
  • Utrecht’s Traffic lights hotline
  • Zaragoza’s Citizen Card

‘Better Reykjavik’ and ‘My Neighbourhood’ online consultation tools

Reykjavik, the cBetter-Reykjavik-logoapital of Iceland, aims to enhance citizen participation by developing two dedicated online platforms.

Better Reykjavik is an online consultation forum where the locals can submit, discuss, and prioritise ideas about the municipality’s public services and administration. Each month, the top-rated ideas are processed by the council ‘s standing committees.

Once the feasibility and costs of each project have been assessed, citizens are invited to vote on them in My Neighbourhood, another tool that enables them to participate in the annual budgeting process.

Since its launch in 2010, Better Reykjavik has inspired more than 70,000 people to propose and discuss over 4,500 ideas. To date, 420 ideas have been approved by citizens via My Neighbourhood.

The city of Reykjavik operates these websites jointly with the Citizens Foundation (www.citizens.is), a non-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in governance.

Further information about Reykjavik’s cooperative initiative is available at http://reykjavik.is/en/better-reykjavik-0.

Contact person: Kristinn Jon Olafsson, project manager, Reykjavik smart city: Kristin.jon.olafsson[at]reykjavik.is

Utrecht’s smart mobility project: ‘Traffic lights hotline’

Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, is often referred to as a cyclist’s paradise. This rapidly growing city faces new and unexpected challenges directly linked to its bike-friendly policies. Every day, upwards of 100,000 cyclists ride across the city, sometimes even causing traffic congestion … for their fellow cyclists! Many of them feel that the city’s traffic lights could be better configured, and that some are actually not necessary at all.

hotlinePursuing a smart approach to mobility, Utrecht municipality launched, in February 2015, Traffic Lights Hotline, an online service asking residents to report traffic lights that could be deactivated (for part of the day) or reprogrammed. Nearly 5,000 reports have been received.

The hotline has since become a permanent service, enabling intelligent traffic flow management and improving traffic safety.

The hotline is available at http://mobiliteitsdata-utrecht.nl/verkeer/vri/ (in Dutch only).

Contact person: Muriel Pels, advisor international cooperation and EU funding affairs; m.pels[at]utrecht.nl

 

Zaragoza Citizen Card’

Zaragoza, capital of the Spanish region of Aragon, is located halfway between Barcelona and Madrid. It counts among Europe’s first open-source cities. Zaragoza Citizen Card is a multi-service smart card that can be used for accessing public services and facilities, including payment processing services.

To date, over half of Zaragoza’s atarjetaciudadanadult population have already applied for such an ’all-in-one’ digital key to more than twenty municipal services, including public transport, parking, public libraries, swimming pools, and wifi.

This card is only one example for Zaragoza’s collaborative approach to smart city transformation. In addition to saving costs and making citizens’ life easier, the card comes complete with an open public API (application programming interface), which can be used by citizens to ask questions, and which generates data that can be fed into the city’s innovation ecosystem.

Contact person: Daniel Sarasa Funes, smart city programme manager:  dsarasa[at]zaragoza.es