SmartEnCity – Towards Smart Zero CO2 Cities across Europe

SmartEnCity was a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Under the coordination of TECNALIA Research & Innovation, 35 partners from six countries joined forces to make Smart Zero Carbon Cities a reality in Europe.

SmartEnCity’s main objective was to develop a highly adaptable and replicable systemic approach for transforming European cities into sustainable, smart and resource-efficient urban environments. This has been achieved through the integrated planning and implementation of measures aimed at improving energy efficiency in main consuming sectors in cities, while increasing their supply of renewable energy and demonstrating the benefits.

The underlying concept was the Smart Zero Carbon City concept, where city carbon footprint and energy demand were kept to a minimum by using demand controlled technologies that save energy and promote raised awareness. At the same time, the energy supply was entirely renewable and clean and local energy resources are intelligently managed by aware citizens, as well as coordinated public and private stakeholders.

This approach has initially been defined in detail, planned and implemented in the three Lighthouse Cities:

The three medium-sized cities developed a number of coordinated actions aimed at:

  • Achieving a significant reduction in demand in the existing residential building stock, through cost-effective low energy retrofitting actions at district scale.
  • Increasing the Renewable Energy Sources’ share of energy supply, through the use of locally available sources.
  • Enhancing the use of clean energy in urban mobility, both for citizens and goods, by means of extensive deployment of green vehicles and intelligent infrastructure.

An extensive use of Information and Communication Technologies was planned to achieve integration and consistency in demo planning and implementation, and to enable further benefits and secure involvement of citizens.

These actions have been aligned to city-specific “Integrated Urban Plans”, and the process has been replicated in two Follower Cities:

to ensure adaptability and to maximise the project’s impact. Additionally, a SmartEnCity Network of further cities has been set up to support project replication at European scale.

Find outcomes of the SmartEnCity Lighthouse Cities.