SmartEnCity goes into a 12-month extension: what’s next?

25 Jun 2021

Stuttgart, DE, 25.06.2021: The Horizon 2020 Smart Cities and Communities project SmartEnCity goes into a one-year extension from August 2021 to July 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and some further unplanned obstacles during the five previous project years, this extension is important to successfully complete the envisaged tasks and to deliver the required monitoring results to the European Commission.

SmartEnCity project was originally scheduled to last for five and a half years, from February 2016 to July 2021. Thanks to an amendment to the official contract with the European Commission, the project has been granted one additional year. This time will be used to make up for project delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic but also due to challenges with local decision-making processes or much needed replacement measures. The additional 12 months give the project the possibility to successfully complete the last remaining measures in its three Lighthouse Cities Sonderborg, Tartu and Vitoria-Gasteiz and, above all, to collect and evaluate the data from all implemented activities.

In Lighthouse City Sonderborg in Denmark, the extension of the project has secured that five more housing association departments are now able to have solar cells and battery storage solutions implemented in due time to have a 12-month monitoring period before the end of the project. The extension also allows Sonderborg to improve its City Information Open Platform (CIOP) data exploration and associated citizen engagement ambitions, including their Green Ambassador program.

In Tartu in Estonia, the municipality and other local partners plan to finish the renovation of their final 18th smartovka, one of the old Soviet era apartment buildings that have been turned into modern energy efficient dwellings, as well as conclude citizen engagement activities with a large public event for the residents. The additional time will also be used for monitoring energy consumption in the newly renovated buildings and to finish the development of the smart home system.

Finally, in Lighthouse City Vitoria-Gasteiz in the Spanish Basque Country, the energy retrofitting works of their buildings will finish within the coming months. The 12-month extension, however, offers the city the great chance to take the rehabilitation project of their Coronación demo district to the next level with the full deployment of the monitoring infrastructure that will allow to evaluate the retrofitting impact on comfort improvement, energy efficiency and CO2 emissions drop. All these data and conclusions will be shared with partners, professionals and neighbours through a fully deployed CIOP and the added value services developed within its framework. At the same time, the addition of an entire year will show how the district heating systems performs during a full winter season and will bring mobility actions to their full development, including the Smart Electric Bus, which implies a big milestone, completing the first full electrification of a bus line in the city.

In the two Follower Cities of SmartEnCity, the extension of the project has a positive effect as well. Lecce, Italy will focus on the development of its Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and the 2030 Roadmaps, which they will present at focused events, such as the Sonderborg Climate Neutrality Conference in September 2021. Asenovgrad, Bulgaria will also continue with its dissemination efforts on a broader European scale and will take active part in the conference as well.

The 12-month extension provides the SmartEnCity Network with the possibility for further expansion and continuous outreach to valuable ‘know how’s’ from the Lighthouse Cities to more cities that want to “follow” in the future. It provides an opportunity for the national SmartEnCity networks to further develop and recover from the delays due to the COVID-19 restrictions: Lecce will share its experience as a Follower City with the member cities of the SmartEnCity Network, especially the Italian cities. Asenovgrad will focus on dissemination of its integrated planning process results among the municipalities of the national Bulgarian SmartEnCity network, with the aim to persuade them of the benefits and ensure their commitment to replicate the process in the future.

Regarding monitoring and evaluation of the project’s results, the final 12 months will be full of activity and interrelations amongst the project partners. At the end of the project, SmartEnCity will thus be able to give concrete numbers to its success stories. Regarding replication activities, the project has established a journey towards smart zero CO2 cities and provides guidance, tools and peer support for strategic integrated planning and implementation. The last year is dedicated to reflecting the hard work done and on finalising and packaging the learnings into a user-friendly replication toolkit. This toolkit will be one of the core replication outcomes and will be presented in an interactive way, for example, as a journey map on the website. Its purpose is to give the reader a compact, quick and easily captured understanding of important phases in integrated energy planning and implementation together with quickly captured tools and advice from real time practices. These are all tools to encourage cities to start the zero-carbon city journey.

Overall, all working groups, cities and partners of SmartEnCity project benefit tremendously from the extension of the project, helping the planned activities to be successfully completed, while at the same time being able to disseminate the results to a broader target group. This will eventually lead to more replication in other cities, exploitation and thus uptake of the solutions that the European Commission has invested in.


About SmartEnCity

Grant Agreement Number:



78 months (February 2016 – July 2022)


Fundación TECNALIA Research & Innovation


38 partners from 6 countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Spain)

SmartEnCity Website:   

SmartEnCity Twitter:

Project Coordinator Contact:

TECNALIA Research & Innovation

Francisco Rodríguez Pérez-Curiel / Silvia Urra Uriarte

E-mail: /

Phone: +34 946 430 850


Press Contact:


Bettina Remmele


Phone: +49 711 123 4048