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Blueprints for Smart Cities: Developing the methodology for a coordinated approach to the integration of the water and waste sectors within the EIP Smart Cities and Communities

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BlueSCities (Blueprints for Smart Cities: Developing the methodology for a coordinated approach to the integration of the water and waste sectors within the EIP Smart Cities and Communities)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2017-01-31

BlueSCities was a Horizon 2020 project which was based on the successful implementation of the EIP Water Action Group: City Blueprints. The project consortium, composed of 12 partners from 9 different countries have developed a complete methodology designed to facilitate a coordinated approach to the integration of the water and waste sectors within the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the European Innovation Platform for Smart Cities and Communities. By placing emphasis on local solutions for global issues, BlueSCities further sought to improve local public awareness and engagement capacities whilst enhancing decision-making processes at all political levels based on scientific knowledge and adequate social and economic involvement.
The objectives were defined as follows:
1. To focus on the need to integrate water and waste within the smart city approach, as defined by the Smart Cities and Communities Strategic Implementation Plan.
2. To ensure improved exchange synergies between researchers and users, decision-makers and consumers, industry, SMEs and national and international authorities.
3. To put to practical purpose the CITY BLUEPRINT whereby a baseline assessment of the sustainability of water management in a city is produced providing the data required for a practicable planning cycle at all political levels. To create, based on the same premise, a CITY AMBERPRINT which provides an analysis of Energy, Transport and ICT in the municipality in question.
4. To assess the current situation, produce case studies of Helsinki, Istanbul, Genoa and Athens, provide tools for integration and implementation, stakeholder engagement and international networking whilst emphasizing the dialogue between different levels of public administration and the different sectors engaged directly or indirectly in the EIP Smart Cities and Communities.
5. To produce a Blue City Atlas, entitled The Urban Water Atlas for Europe and a self-assessment baseline assessment tool for water and waste, energy, transport and ICT in cities in order to enhance the implementation of European Smart City activities.
6. To provide data and formulate sufficient recommendations in order to produce a Practical Guidance Document (PGD) which would be developed and distributed to relevant stakeholders emphasizing how to support integration between water and waste within the concepts of the Smart Cities SIP.
7. To provide recommendations for further research and technological work in a complementary publication and organise practical training courses which would be employed to further demonstrate the need to involve strategic sectors at distinct European Political levels.
8. To establish the issues of water and waste within the consciousness of citizens and city governors as a critical Smart City component fostering consensus in the participating cities on developing further the policy orientation of the project, likely to influence the smart cities agenda in the years to come with relation to water and waste.
There are, after two years of work, six principal results of the BlueSCities project, which constitute an effective methodology in order to facilitate the creation of a global urban strategy for the creation of a sustainable community.
The City Blueprint, which is essentially a spider graph, is a visual description of information taken from the assessment of 25 indicators. It is a simple, yet tremendously effective tool, given that, expert or layman alike, can contemplate the result and at a glance and understand the situation in relation to water and waste within the context of a specific municipality. In order to complement the City Blueprint, the City Amberprint was also created. Designed by the BlueSCities partners at De Montfort Universit, the City Amberprint is a spider graph, the information for which is obtained by the study of 22 indicators related to energy, transport and the application of ICT within a given town or city.The baseline analysis capacity of BlueSCities was further enhanced by the production of the Independent Analysis Software which permits municipalities or indeed any public administration at any level, to effect their own study of their specific local situation. The Independent Analysis Software has been designed to be user friendly so that the procedure is simple and the final results, easy to understand. A system exists whereby the results of the study can then be verified by external experts in order to guarantee the exactness and fidelity of the information produced before it is made public.
In order to ensure that the user is fully informed, a detailed Practical Guidance Document was written. The publication is not only a source of detailed information concerning those aspects studied by BlueSCities but is also a manual which methodically permits one to employ the previously described tools. BluesCities, in collaboration with the DG Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities (NETWERC H2O) has produced ‘The Urban Water Atlas of Europe'. The book features contributions from over 40 collaborators from 30 countries. It describes urban water management in 46 cities from 14 different professional perspectives. The book itself has 160 pages and has been launched with a first edition of 2,500 hardcopies, which have been disseminated through the EC Delegations in the Member States and the online EU Bookshop.
In September, 2015, BlueSCities organised a workshop on water in Dubrovnik, at the end of which, the Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent was agreed upon. The Dubrovnik Declaration was the embodiment of a clear form of SCIENCE-ART Diplomacy within which cities from Greece, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Croatia, Serbia, the United Kingdom, Romania and Spain had come together for a common cause, despite often tense national or regional differences.
The BlueSCities package provides a methodology which when applied, permits individual city councils to commence a process with a solid baseline assessment which will lead to a more holistic, cross-sector approach, necessary at all political levels. The Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent has proved to be a demonstration of how cities from different regions traditionally in conflict with each other can collaborate together. The Exchange of both knowledge and experiences can support environmental and indeed many other social and economic policies, helping to shorten the innovation value change and market uptake of innovative water and waste management and treatment technologies. Furthermore, the Declaration has revealed important opportunities to advance in Science Diplomacy with the added value of art as a diplomatic language also incorporated. The true test of the success of BlueSCities will appear in the future as and when new cities adopt the tools that have been developed. BlueSCities sought to establish close ties with the EIP SMART CITIES and COMMUNITIES. But there still exists a political unwillingness embrace the notion that all urban factors must be included in global strategies in order to guarantee successful cross-sectoral collaboration. When all stakeholders, recognise and act on this premise, BlueSCities will be considered to be a true success.
The BlueSCities Declaration of Dubrovnik Award
Example of Page from Atlas
The BlueSCities Final Conference
The Independent Analysis Software - Amberprint
Commisioner Vella after publically acclaiming the work of BlueSCities
Cover of The Urban Water Atlas for Europe
The Independent Analysis Software - Blueprint
the Minister of Education of Jordan opening the BlueSCities Art exhibition in Amman