The success story of SmartEnCity Network

24 May 2022

The SmartEnCity Network is continuing to grow every day and now stands at 68 city members! The interest in our Network goes beyond any expectations, and we are so pleased to see so many ambitious cities joining us in the fight against climate change which are also on the path towards creating smart, sustainable, and resource-efficient urban environments in Europe.

The SmartEnCity Network Cities. Credits@Google Maps

Congratulations to our 3 Lighthouse Cities for being selected and be active partners in the EU City Mission program "Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission"!

An acknowledgment that brings great joy to us and the cities! The competition toward this achievement was massive with a total of 377 city applications. The selected cities came from all 27 Member States, with 12 additional cities coming from associated countries. This represents 12% of the EU population! Out of the 377 city applications 16 cities are a part of the SmartEnCity Network. In addition to our three Lighthouse Cities,  six SmartEnCity Network Follower Cities were also selected! These are: Gabrovo and Sofia from Bulgaria, Valencia and Zaragoza from Spain & Padova and Rome from Italy.

5 national based SmartEnCity Networks are now fully operational!

The size of our Network has grown but so did the need to become more specific and be able to work closely with the cities which is why we established the concept of the “national based SmartEnCity Networks”. Since our project operates mainly on 5 different countries, we decided to establish 5 different national based Networks with the ambition to meet on regular basis to exchange experiences and knowledge on different climate change topics and be able to collaborate closely nationally. By using this approach, the cities can work under the same framework conditions, have similar challenges but also highly replicable solutions.

The Danish SmartEnCity Network “Energibyerne”

The first national network was established in Denmark more than 4 years ago. Seven cities including, Lighthouse City Sonderborg started meeting on regular basis (4 - 5 times per year). The cooperation has evolved over the 4 years starting from getting to know each other, sharing their challenges and how they overcome them, to recognising themselves as an ambitious Danish city Network and participating together in conferences and national events, to identifying common topics they wanted to collaborate and jointly work on and applying (and winning) together EU project applications. The Energibyerne’s collaboration which started under the framework of the SmartEnCity project will not end with the project as they plan to continue their collaboration in the future.

The Estonian SmartEnCity Network “Smart cities club”

The second national Network was established in Estonia and currently the network consists of 11 cities, including Lighthouse City Tartu. Similarly, to the Danish Network, the Estonian Network has been meeting regularly in order to be able to exchange knowledge on various topics they are interested in collaborating and the lessons learned from solutions they have implemented. Another successful story ending with the will to continue after the project end.

The Spanish SmartEnCity Network

Meeting of the Spanish SmartEnCity Network. Credtis@VISESA

The Spanish Network has recently started operating and in that sense is the youngest national Network that the project started. Since Spain is a rather big country their approach has been to gather cities from one Region, Basque country, and involve them in series of workshops showcasing how Lighthouse City Vitoria-Gasteiz used the tools and methodologies developed within the SmartEnCity project and how they approach the climate neutrality and decarbonisation topic. The Network is planning more workshops in the coming weeks so stay tuned to find out more about their development.

The Bulgarian SmartEnCity Network

The Bulgarian Network has adopted 1:1 meeting approach due to the close relation our SmartEnCity Follower City Asenovgrad and associated experts have with them. They have used the experiences of Asenovgrad in creating an Integrated Energy Plan within the project framework to inspire more Bulgarian cities to follow their steps.  They have been active for several years now and are planning to continue the 1:1 approach in the future.

The Italian SmartEnCity Network

Finally, is our Italian SmartEnCity Network which has been active for more than 2.5 years now. An impressive number of cities (13 in total) have joined the Network which have been led by Follower City Lecce and associated experts. Lecce’s best practices from the development of their SECAP, experiences being a Follower City and uniting the national Network in discussions on topics such as energy efficiency, renewable energy production and creation of energy communities has been the key element in their success.

Stay in touch and follow the SmartEnCity Network after the project ends!

To continue this amazing journey you can now join the specially developed SmartEnCity Network LinkedIn page which will allow us to keep in touch with all cities and experts part of the Network and grow it further even beyond the end of the project.