SmartEnCity Final Publication


The Journey towards Zero Carbon Emissions - A Travel Guide for Cities

Five years ago, in 2016, SmartEnCity has started. Thirty-eight project partners from six countries and five small and medium-sized cities shared the vision to make Smart Zero Carbon Cities a reality in Europe. With joint forces, we worked together with the involvement of the most important stakeholders in the cities, namely the citizens: on achieving a significant reduction of energy demand through cost-effective retrofitting actions, on increasing the use of renewable energy sources and on enhancing smart mobility in their cities. 

During the past five years, our three Lighthouse Cities Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), Tartu (Estonia) and Sonderborg (Denmark) have developed various intelligent and innovative solutions to achieve these goals. In this booklet, we have collected their best practices: all presented solutions have been tested by the SmartEnCity partners and are suitable for replication in other cities. Plus, we are also sharing our worst practices, so that certain mistakes can be avoided in the future.

The SmartEnCity actions could not have been that successful if they were not integrated into an overall concept: How does the transition to a Smart City succeed? How do you start the process? SmartEnCity’s biggest outcome is, therefore, the Cities4ZERo strategy, which provides a step-by-step guide on how cities can shape their path to zero emissions. Starting from an Integrated Energy Plan, there are dedicated steps from planning to realisation, which are presented in detail in the second half of this booklet. Moreover, the two SmartEnCity Follower Cities Lecce (Italy) and Asenovgrad (Bulgaria) give practical insights into their experiences regarding the application of this method.

As the involvement of citizens from the very beginning is the key to success, we share insights from key stakeholders in the project. And to further spread the knowledge of SmartEnCity across Europe, we introduce the SmartEnCity network, a strong community of ambitious cities with the goal of supporting each other.

The SmartEnCity Cities4ZERO methodology has been so successful that it is already being used in other European projects and cities as well. Would you like to be the next? Then consider this booklet as an instruction manual for your city’s successful transformation. Via QR-codes, each chapter leads to more detailed information on the SmartEnCity website.

In a way, we thus consider this booklet as a travel guide to start the smart zero carbon emission journey in your own city. Have a good trip!

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