SmartEnCity – Towards Smart Zero CO2 Cities across Europe29 Jun 2016
SmartEnCity is a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Under the coordination of TECNALIA Research & Innovation, 35 partners from 6 countries are working with joint forces on making Smart Zero Carbon Cities a reality in Europe – starting with the three demonstrator cities Vitoria-Gasteiz, Tartu and Sonderborg. During a first workshop in Tartu the project has now launched its network of associated cities.
SmartEnCity aims at developing pan-European replicable strategies to reduce energy demand and maximize renewable energy supply – with a special focus on small and medium sized cities. Actions cover activities in building retrofitting, integrated infrastructures, sustainable mobility and the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies).
The SmartEnCity approach will initially be defined in detail, planned and implemented in the three Lighthouse demonstrators Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain, Tartu in Estonia and Sonderborg in Denmark. The process will be replicated in the two Follower cities Lecce (Italy) and Asenovgrad (Bulgaria).
“It is our vision to create Smart Zero Carbon Cities that are more sustainable and inclusive, improve citizens’ quality of life, create jobs and wealth, and offer growth opportunities in equality”, underlines Francisco Rodríguez Pérez-Curiel, project coordinator of SmartEnCity.
In order to allow a maximum of European cities to learn from the experiences made within the project, a SmartEnCity Network of further cities will be set up. This network has now been officially launched in early June 2016 in Tartu (Estonia), where the Lighthouse cities met interested cities from the Baltic Sea region and discussed the Zero Carbon transition interest across borders and the mutual interest in the SmartEnCity Network.
“I am very happy with the response received at the SmartEnCity Network launch session in Tartu. There appears to be a strong city desire for implementing Zero Carbon initiatives and a need for sharing best practice integrated approaches among Europe´s many ambitious cities”, says Peter Rathje, responsible project partner for building up the network and CEO of Sonderborg´s ProjectZero. He continues with a strong appeal to all Europe´s small and medium sized cities: “Join our SmartEnCity Network – you don’t have to be a capital city to become a European front runner”.