Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


GrowSmarter Report Summary

Project ID: 646456
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GrowSmarter (GrowSmarter)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

GrowSmarter: transforming cities for a smart, sustainable Europe
In a rapidly urbanising world cities need to become smarter to respond to citizen needs and to reduce their environmental footprint. GrowSmarter brings together cities and industry to integrate and demonstrate ‘12 smart city solutions’ in energy, infrastructure and transport, to provide other cities with valuable insights on how they work in practice and opportunities for replication.

12 Smart Solutions
An integrated approach is key to our roll out of 12 smart solutions. Together with 25 industrial partners, smart technologies related to energy, mobility and infrastructure are being rolled out on our chosen sites. The idea is to create business cases for each of the smart solutions and to initiate market roll outs in the Follower Cities, take up cities and the rest of Europe.

The 12 Smart City solutions are split into three areas of action: low energy districts, integrated infrastructures and sustainable urban mobility. They range from advanced information and communication technology and better connected urban mobility, to incorporating renewable energy sources directly into the city’s supply network.

The Lighthouse cities together with industry partners implement and validate the solutions regarding their energy efficiency, greenhouse gas saving capacity, economic viability and also economic impact and spinoff. These solutions are well chosen and are in line with the city’s urban strategies and plans, as well as with consumer and other organizations such as the tenants associations.

3 Lighthouse Cities:
GrowSmarter aims to stimulate city uptake of these ‘smart solutions’ by using the three Lighthouse cities Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona as a way to show how 'smart' can work in practice.

The solutions will be tested in 3 different city areas – representative for many European cites: Downtown city district, nearby suburb about to be densified and a Former industrial/business area which partly will be turned into a residential area.

Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona - have each selected a site in their city where the 12 smart solutions are being rolled out currently. They are documenting their journey with regular news updates which you can follow online. The three Lighthouse Cities are hosting a number of study visits and European workshops, which are free to attend and provide opportunities to see first-hand technological application of the smart solutions and meet the 25 industrial partners taking part in the GrowSmarter project.

Targets & evaluation
The scope of the project is:
• Demonstrate and validate 12 economically- and environmentally sustainable integrated smart solutions in the three light house cities.
• Integrate cities, industries and academia in transforming the smart solutions into business models to be rolled out to Europe.
• Improve the quality of life for European citizens, reduce environmental Impact and create sustainable economic development.

GrowSmarter takes a holistic approach to sustainable growth. The demonstrations at the Lighthouse cities are not the primary aim, but a necessary means to create validated business cases and to initiate a market roll out of the smart Solutions to follower cities, and especially to the rest of the European market, thus helping Europe Grow Smarter.

The 12 solutions are designed to meet the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental concerns. Targets related to jobs, energy usage and transport emissions have been set as part of our on-going evaluation.

Knowledge replication
Knowledge exchange and transfer is a key to the success of GrowSmarter. The five Follower Cities Valetta, Suceava, Porto, Cork and Graz are closely monitoring the Lighthouse Cities to learn from their experiences, to identify measures suitable for their specific local context. As part of the project they are developing a smart city replication plan tailored to their local needs.

The Five Follower Cities will:
• closely follow the lighthouse cities to learn from their experiences
• identify measures suitable for their specific local context
• Develop a replication plan tailored to local needs.

Project duration & funding
The GrowSmarter project was one of three projects chosen from over 19 submissions to receive support from the European Commission’s ‘Smart cities and communities’ Horizon 2020 funding call. The additional successful projects such as Remourban and Triangulum, will be working closely together to maximise the impact and exchange of experiences.

GrowSmarter kicked off on January 1st, 2015 and will run until December 31st, 2019. This project has received €25 million in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. For more information, visit the project website

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The organization of the project has been established and the cooperation works well between the sites, the research institutes and the coordination team, within the sites and within each work package. The inception phase has been intensive, and has taken more time than predicted, but does not imply a delay of the project, since implementation will be speeded up.

In WP 2 Low Energy Districts in Stockholm the process of getting approvals from the tenants and dwelling owners for the increased rent in the residential buildings is in place and the approval for all measures is expected to be in place by approximately August 2016. This means a delay in the start-up of the refurbishment but it is scheduled to be finalized in time for a two year monitoring and demonstration period. In Stockholm in the private condominium Brf Årstakrönet the activities in Smart solution 1 (Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment) and Smart solution 3 (Smart energy-saving tenants) started in January 2016. The first results indicate that the targets for energy efficiency will be achieved. In Stockholm, the Smart Building Logistic center is in place and ready to start-up as soon as the refurbishment starts. The smart home systems are prepared to be ready to install in specific residential buildings.

At the Stegerwaldsiedlung in Cologne, the first construction phase is underway and the second phase of construction has started in May 2016. In Cologne an event was arranged in November 2015 to describe the smart solutions tenants will have in their refurbished apartments. The planning and tendering process for the different local renewable energy productions and the virtual power plant have started in Cologne.

Refurbishment has already started in Barcelona at Ca l’Alier. In Barcelona, Big Blue, Canyelles and Melon District will start the refurbishment works in September 2016 and Ter and Lope de Vega plan to start the works September to October 2016. Also, tertiary buildings have been selected and business models accepted by the owners. In Barcelona, two suitable blocks have been identified (Clot Island – M4.2; Melon District Island – M6.2) and work on agreements is on-going.

In WP3 Integrated Infrastructures in Stockholm the implementation of the smart street lighting is finalized and the demonstration will start in July 2016. In Stockholm the Slakthusarea is chosen to implement Internet of Everything. The preparation for implementing the SmartMeters is ready. A data center and a supermarket have signed the agreement for feeding in heat in the open district heating system in Stockholm. The smart waste collection is ready for implementation as soon as the refurbishment starts in Stockholm. In Stockholm, data from bicyclists and pedestrians will be collected to facilitate city planning decisions in the future.

In Cologne, three apps and prototypes have been developed; The Urban Traffic app, the Urban Environment app and the Urban cockpit. The apps show current traffic loads, environmental data distributed as well as the current situation in the city concerning available cars in mobility stations and available parking spaces. The Urban Cockpit is so far available in English, Spanish and German.

In Barcelona, Ca l’Alier considers connection to Districlima and the residential building Melon District will start in September 2016 connection to Districlima for heating provision (connection for cooling and DHW provision has already been done by the owner). Endesa has adapted the Multiservice Concentrator (MSC), which is the main equipment that is being implemented. The remote management platform to be used to improve consumption of public lighting and other sensors has been identified, and a specific location for implementation has been decided. Regarding the goal of integrating lighting, two different groups of solutions have been considered: installation of a new street lighting pole and modification of an existing lighting pole to improve energy efficiency and to provide space and power supply to communication equipment.

A working document, “Architecture of the GrowSmarter-BCN platform”, describes the Big Open Data Platform. On-going tasks are the initial set-up of the platform, definition of main functions of GS API according to GS data model and applications requirements, and implementation of Big Data storage capabilities that will support the GS data model. This is carried out in coordination with the work on the urban model that consists of two main components: Development of a semantic model and development of the semantic layer that allows applications to query city data via the semantic model. Finally, the development of a semi-automatic mapping tool and the API for smart lighting have also started.

In WP4 Sustainable Urban Mobility the planning of the sustainable deliveries has started in Stockholm as well as the planning for the Smart traffic management solutions. The traffic management measures in Stockholm have all started with different pre studies. The implementation of charging stations in Stockholm has been delayed due to a long process of getting the responsible linked third partner approved. All charging stations will however be up and running during 2016. One fuel station with renewable fuels for heavy vehicles has been inaugurated and the search for more suitable locations in the Stockholm area continues. Agreements on two new stations are in the pipeline.
The City of Cologne has identified the location of three possible spots for mobility stations for the GrowSmarter Project. 7 possible further spots for mobility stations are presently being analysed. The installation of 10 stations would be an achievement far beyond the grant agreement. The first Mobility station in Cologne has been implemented in the beginning of 2016 though not all transport modes have been implemented yet. During 2015 a number of unforeseeable legal stumbling blocks were identified, such as the national transport law. E.g. even using public space for car sharing and even less for private car parking does not apply to German legislation. The urban reality is ahead of the legal process and solutions were provided. The legal difficulties have been reported to Düsseldorf (State Capital) for future amendments of the state legislation. This will be a significant help for future installation of hubs mobility stations and will be considered an icebreaker for other municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia. GrowSmarter is helping to create an eco-mobility-friendly legislation.

The planning of the sustainable deliveries has started in Barcelona as well as the planning for the Smart traffic management solutions. The traffic management measures have all started with different pre studies. The implementation of four charging stations is already finalized. Three suitable locations of the smart taxi stand system in Barcelona has been identified and confirmed. In order to remotely visualize the availability of taxis, different technical solutions have been analysedanalysed. Three suitable locations for the CNG filling stations have been identified and permits requests are prepared.

In WP5 Technical validation, Social and economic validation a Technical Evaluation plan has been developed, defining the monitoring of all smart solutions in the project. Guidelines for the evaluation process have been developed and integrated with WP6.

In WP6 Economic validation and analysis plans have been achieved as forecasted. IESE has delivered the Economic Evaluation Plan and created the Economic Evaluation Guidelines integrated with WP5. These two documents have been created after meetings with partners and data/information gathered from sources outside the project.

In WP7 Replication in follower cities the Follower Cities have laid the foundations for future replication activities by establishing Smart City Liaison Groups of relevant stakeholders, and preparing comprehensive Replication Assessments which have also been reviewed by the Lighthouse Cities. A capacity development programme has been conceptualized, and first activities have been undertaken in the form of study visits and webinars. Each Follower City has also carried out a number of preparatory activities for the implementation of smart city measures, with replication already underway in some cases.

In WP8 Dissemination a Communication and dissemination strategy has been developed. A visual identity has been created as well as a website, promotional leaflet, e-updates, videos and more. GrowSmarter has developed a considerable profile within the smart city arena through participation in a large number of international events, and a considerable number of media publications. A City interest group has been launched with so far five members, and a further 11 enquiries. A number of activities have also been undertaken by the Lighthouse Cities to make the project visible at the local level.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

WP2: Low-Energy Districts – Stockholm
A lot of innovative, smart solutions are included in the refurbishment of buildings in three building zones with different building types – residential buildings from 1960s, industrial buildings from 1910 and residential buildings from 2007. Veolia provides an adaptive technology for central control system for heating. Temperature sensors inside the building in a number of apartments and a traditional outdoor sensor uses weather forecasting. The system generates a more stable indoor temperature and can benefit better from internal loads and heating from the sun. The energy savings from this solution are expected to be 10-15%.

An unrecognized area of heat losses in buildings has been hot water circulation losses. Systems are often insufficiently insulated and losses within buildings are measured to about 6-10 kwh/m2 and with internal culvert system for 5-10 buildings it is 15-20 kWh/m2. Solutions can vary, from more insulation, different location and technology. Losses can be cut with 50% with the right type of solutions. These solutions are implemented in the residential buildings in Valla Torg.

Exhaust air heat pumps recovers the heat in the ventilation's exhaust air. It requires mechanical exhaust air ventilation and a central heating system for the building to use the recovered energy for heating and domestic hot water. Conventional heat pumps cool down the exhaust air to circa +4 oC. The innovative technology used in Valla Torg cools down the air to -10 oC and use the heat content of the condensed exhaust air humidity. With these innovative technologies possible net energy savings are 50 kWh/m2.

A pre-study in the Slakthus area found that there was enough waste heat from the nearby Sports arena to heat up both buildings as well as other city-owned buildings in the neighbourhood. A pipeline will therefore be constructed to transfer waste heat from the Sports arena to the Slakthus area buildings and connected to the heat pump planned in the refurbishment. Instead of using geothermal heat this solution is highly energy efficient using warm air as a base for heating the buildings. This is added value to the project, and this renewable energy solution could be replicated in many city districts.

WP3: Integrated infrastructures - Stockholm
Integrated infrastructures, such as the open district heating system and extensive fibre networks, are important parts of making Stockholm a smart city. In GrowSmarter the waste heat from the Supermarket and Data center used in the open district heating system and the development of the internet of things in the Slakthus area will contribute to Stockholms Vision of being one of the smartest cities in the world. Environmental and information technology are both key priorities in developing Stockholm towards a sustainable society.

The installation of adaptive LED-lighting in Valla Torg will save 50% of energy, but still provide the same sense of security in walking and bicycling paths.

Fortnum’s open district heating solution uses waste heat from Data Centres and Supermarkets to feed into the district heating system. This solution has the potential of saving 0.12 TWh annually in Stockholm alone, and has a huge replication potential. The business model is favourable for both the energy company and the waste heat producer.

The extensive fibre network owned and developed by the City is something that makes Stockholm unique. Stockholm enjoys 100 % broadband coverage, both fixed and mobile. The fibre network in Stockholm is provided and administered by Stokab, a company owned by Stockholm City Council. In total, the network stretches the equivalent of more than 30 times around the earth. It is 1.25 million fibre kilometres long, 5,500 cable kilometres long and boasts 600 crossover connections (nodes) and more than 15,000 access points (ODF).

The goal of the City's fibre network efforts is to build a competition-neutral infrastructure capable of meeting future communication needs, spur economic activity, diversity and freedom of choice, as well as minimising disruption to the city’s streets.

Several Internet of Things applications and solutions can be built on top of the fibre network. The work with Internet of Everything is very closely connected with the strategy process of a smart connected city. In GrowSmarter the two buildings in Slakthus area are the starting point for planning, developing and testing how city functions such as lighting, parking, transports and maintenance in street environments as well as buildings can be done in a way providing more added value to both citizens, companies as well as the city itself.

The fibre network can also be combined with Wi-Fi to collect data from sensors. IBM, which is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform, will gather data related to pedestrian and bicycle flows in the city. Together with mobile phone data the IBM Smart Cities Research lab in Dublin will analyse the flow of people in the city. This analysis will thereafter be used in the big data platform by city traffic planners to address different planning questions for instance how wide should a sidewalk be to both provide a good flow, but also a possibility to stop and talk.

WP4: Sustainable Urban Mobility - Stockholm
To enable alternative fuelled heavy vehicles to get a larger share of the market, refuelling stations will be installed around the city centre. This makes it possible to demand alternatively fuelled heavy vehicles without paying the price of driving 20 km to a fuel station. The first station is already inaugurated.

The City of Cologne has experienced an initial transition to a new culture of collaboration and team work within the City government, away from thinking only in silos to interdisciplinary communication and cooperation. Many advantages, such as faster processing for building permits, have come out of this transition and we feel that GrowSmarter has an important impact on guiding the City of Cologne on its way to becoming a smarter city. New cooperation has also taken place with research institutes as well as with the industry partners, leading to smarter governance. The communication with citizens is an important component in this project and the partners are communicating with tenants and citizens online in form of community reporters as well as offline with on-site consultation time. The Cologne project has been followed intensely by local, regional, national and international press and events. The planning and procurement process for the technical work packages has taken place. The mobility solutions as well as their design for the City of Cologne within GrowSmarter are worked on in partnership with the regional authorities.

WP2 Low-Energy Districts - Cologne
Virtual power plants for holistic settlement management have so far only been carried out as research projects. RheinEnergie wants to create a new business model with the Siedlungsmanagement (neighbourhood management) software for the housing sector. The „Siedlungmanagementsoftware” leads to an autonomous self-sustaining development for communities. This would in part replace the supra-regional network expansion as well as the construction of new conventional power plants. In addition, it provides the residents with the opportunity to influence their own energy consumption. The Siedlungsmanagement is a tool that is designed to be replicated in any other city with respective standards and requirements.

Based on the data provided by smart meters and smart home appliances, RheinEnergie is able to offer attractive rates (Mieterstrom) and useful services to the tenants. The holistic interaction of all components, such as power generation, storage, SmartHome, smart meter and consumption, leads to a change towards energy awareness as well as a social sense of community within the settlement.

WP3 Integrated Infrastructures - Cologne
Within WP3, Cologne already offers a lot of data as open data on its platform Examples range from traffic data up to environmental data. Now Cologne is on its way to expand the range of data by many new sources like data from public transport or even sensors that we like to run in a field example. Therefore, we expect the Community to use the data and build interesting new apps. We also expect new start-ups entering this place of work so there should also be an increase of new jobs created.

Current Smart Home/Smart Energy solutions are technically able to measure energy consumption up to every 15 minutes. However, this coarse resolution of energy data will not be sufficient for advanced energy analytics allowing for the detection of e.g. power failures. AGT’s Smart Energy Solution will be able to measure energy data every two seconds on device level. Data will be stored and analysed in the backend systems. The insights into the data will provide basis for advanced analytics allowing energy savings for the tenants through a very detailed transparency. However, in Cologne the energy consumption for heat and electricity can only be measured at a yearly term according to existing regulations, except if the tenant agrees to more frequently timed measure in writing.

State of the art sensor platforms use mostly proprietary connection standards. The platform [ui!] is developing in GrowSmarter, is multi sided open, i.e., sensors from arbitrary manufactures can be connected to the platform and arbitrary applications can be built on top of the platform in order to use or to illustrate the data. The [ui!] platform will not be restricted to a certain kind of data. Furthermore the data will be provided as open data to the community. Another difference to the state of the art is the real time processing of the data. Due to the cloud bases concept, it is easily scalable.

WP4 Sustainable Urban Mobility – Cologne
The City of Cologne has identified three locations of mobility Stations in the project area and started implementing the first station. Seven further potential mobility Station allocations are in preparation which means 10 potential mobility station allocations in total. If all locations would be implemented, more mobility hubs Stations will be implemented than described in the grant agreement. The innovative solutions concerning mobility hub stations, car-sharing and smart parking had to be aligned with existing national legislation.

The City of Cologne and the partners try to integrate the citizens into the project in order to change mobility behaviour. During several public information events – especially in the Stegerwaldsiedlung – people were informed about the progress of the project. The City Authorities believe that the acceptance of such a project can only be guaranteed as long as the public is well informed. It is even evident that GrowSmarter Mobility Stations serve as role model for other districts in the city and private developers.

The State Authorities in Düsseldorf are increasingly recognizing the efforts of Cologne and its partners in the field of improved urban mobility concepts. Cologne is collaborating with Düsseldorf regarding the design of Mobility Station signs. It is intended to design and create a common design for the general usage in North Rhine-Westphalia and potentially beyond. The State Authorities are currently coordinating with the Federal Authorities. A general recognition of Mobility Stations for the public shall be guaranteed.

With more than 2,000 years of history and a singular identity, Barcelona has always been characterised by its spirit of innovation, enterprise and nonconformity. This characteristic has led the City to become a pioneer in terms of putting the idea of the Smart City into practice. Thanks to a transversal strategy based on a long-term projection of urban transformation, Barcelona is considered to be the top smart & sustainable cities in Spain and the fourth in Europe.

Barcelona has a vision of the city it wants to become: self-sufficient, with productive neighbourhoods, living at a human speed and producing zero emissions. A productive, open, inclusive and innovative city needs a living city with enterprising people and organised communities. This vision includes projects from a wide range of areas, which by working together and integrating technology and innovation aim to ensure that the city's residents benefit from a better quality of life and economic growth: this is achieved through more efficient management of the city's services and resources.

The impact expected from implementing GrowSmarter measures not only fits very well with the vision, but also pushes it forward beyond state-of-the-art in certain areas such as self-sufficiency and zero emissions production. Our vision now is that the GrowSmarter project will contribute significantly, notwithstanding all difficulties, to improved participation and decision-making processes in the city of Barcelona.

WP2: Low-Energy Districts- Barcelona
Concerning the WP2 measures being implemented at district level, these are also pushing forward the city's advancements on sustainable neighbourhoods and open government as well. Because mid-term successful implementation of the solutions requests of a true agreement by the different stakeholders (citizens, private sector and local authorities), this creates specific steps towards open government, community participation and even shared economy experiences.

WP3: Integrated infrastructures- Barcelona
The tasks in WP3 will result in a considerable advance in terms of integration of urban infrastructures and city data. Endesa will demonstrate a big step in the evolution of efficiency infrastructures installed in public areas thanks to the integration of different utilities infrastructure with the capacity to integrate water, gas, heating, and also urban and environment sensors and actuators data.
In addition, this measure will allow an improvement to the city, in energy efficiency thanks to the provision of high quality and quantity of different city data enabling to manage their own usage expecting to address higher awareness on their energy behaviours. For example, consumption optimization is expected thanks to energy meter data, reducing the cost of energy. Furthermore, new added value energy services and Apps are expected to be developed by third parties thanks to the benefit from the new information collected and managed through the City Platform.
Regarding the development of a semantic model and development of the semantic lay, while the constituent pieces are not novel by themselves, the way they integrate to provide semantic queries ability can have a great impact on the adoption of semantic technologies for effective data integration and decision making. The main components - the ontology, the mapper, and the exploration and search tool - are mostly reusable when applied to different cities. The impact of these measures is indirect by enabling semantic access on part of applications.

WP4: Sustainable Urban mobility - Barcelona
For example all the WP4 (mobility measures) implemented and measured in Barcelona during the life of the project, will accelerate the validation of new forms of community implication in more sustainable mobility models, such as electric and shared mobility or multi-modal goods' transportation. Of course the impact of such new models is yet to be fully assessed, but we already see new small companies and innovative solutions appearing to build added-value around them, impacting socio-economically the city.

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