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Towards Smart Zero CO2 Cities across Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SmartEnCity (Towards Smart Zero CO2 Cities across Europe)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2020-01-31

One of the main challenges for EU cities lies in the adaptation of their urban environments to accommodate more sustainable and inclusive societies that improve citizens’ quality of life, create jobs and wealth, and offer equal growth opportunities.
In this context, SmartEnCity intends to cope with this challenge, supported by the Smart Zero Carbon City (SZCC) concept: a SZCC is a resource-efficient urban environment where carbon footprint is eliminated; energy demand is kept to a minimum through the use of demand control technologies that save energy and promote raised awareness; energy supply is entirely renewable and clean; and energy resources are intelligently managed by aware and efficient citizens, as well as both public and private stakeholders.
Based on this, SmartEnCity’s main objective is to develop and demonstrate an adaptable and replicable systemic approach to urban transformation into sustainable, smart and resource-efficient urban environments in EU, through planning and implementation of measures aimed at improving energy efficiency in the main consuming sectors in cities, increasing the supply of renewable energy. This objective is more accurately defined by technical, replication, and social objectives of the project:
Technical objectives:
- Developing a methodology to guide the process of urban areas towards smart cities through the SZCC Strategy.
- Demonstrating how current technology paves the way for the SZCC concept.
- Holistic evaluation of the three Lighthouse (LH) projects.
Replication objectives:
- Developing Integrated Energy Plans in the LH/Follower cities.
- Definition of innovative business models.
- Developing D&C actions to pave the way for replication strategies.
Social objectives:
- Involving citizens in district renovation processes.
- Creating labour opportunities for vulnerable social sectors.
These objectives are currently being achieved through implementation of an integrated set of measures in the LH cities of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Tartu, and Sonderborg, intending to be replicated in Follower cities (Lecce, Asenovgrad), as well as in cities part of the SmartEnCity network:
- Low-energy districts through energy retrofitting of buildings, district heating networks and renewable energy supply integration and management.
- Sustainable Mobility thorugh claen energy private and public fleets, intelligent management for improved efficiency, optimized operation, and better integration of clean modes of transport.
- ICTs deployment as enabling technologies for management, monitoring, evaluation, control, and integration of resources, also a tool for stakeholders’ and social interaction.
"In this 3rd project period (M37-M48), more objectives have been achieved: The first being the completion of works towards defining and describing a methodology to define the vision of how the future Smart Zero Carbon city should be successfully implemented; its results are gathered in Deliverables 2.1 to 2.8 the latter submitted during this reporting period, dealing with specific subjects such as Citizen Engagement, Business models, integrated management models, baseline definition processes, and relevant standards.

Other technical objectives achieved are linked to the objective of demonstrating how currently available technologies pave the way for “Smart Zero Carbon Cities"". This objective is focused in improving the energy efficiency of buildings through deep renovation interventions, maximizing the use of renewable energy sources through the adoption of district heating and cooling networks and minimizing the use of fossil fuel vehicles through avoiding the use of cars or promoting the use of green vehicles. This objective is partly achieved with the actions already initiated in our three Lighthouse Cities, where energy retrofitting to high energy saving standard is a central part of the demonstrators to implement, with the improvement and providing with renewable supply to existing DH infrastructures, and also with the introduction of alternative technologies not foreseen in the original project. Regarding minimizing the use of fossil fuel vehicle, actions in this area have been initiated in the cities, with implementations in the fields of public transport (Sonderborg), bike sharing (Tartu), and EVs for tourism applications (Vitoria-Gasteiz).

Regarding the evaluation of the three lighthouse projects, delays in implementations in some cases can complicate the achievement of two full years of monitoring of energy performance of actions, this situation is addressed together with project partners, the coordination team and the European Commission.

The other objectives are replication objectives. Regarding the network of cities, this objective is achieved with the currently running SmartEnCity Network of cities, set up as part of the work in WP8. The objective linked to communication and dissemination to reach citizens and technical community and promoting the project achievements at the local, national and European scales is reached through ongoing efforts of the entire project Consortium in communication and dissemination actions, within WPs 8 & 9.

The Integrated Plans for LH cities are completed and ready for replication in both LH and follower cities with D2.8 already submitted in M45.

From the social part, the involvement of the citizens in district renovation processes is being realised through work in demo actions within WPs 3, 4 and 5, where citizens are main stakeholders, and therefore citizen participation plays a fundamental role. Most of these actions have been completed during this RP, in the engagement of building owners for retrofitting."
Regarding the expected potential impact of SmartEnCity project, some interventions are still on its way to be finalized. The deployment of wide-scale innovative and integrated solutions in energy, mobility and ICTs sectors is happening in all the three LH cities, with most of actions being deployed and/or finalised. Regarding the energy efficiency, the 3 demo sites are currently being improved through building retrofitting, including an increase of renewable energy sources and/or energy distribution systems, reducing the overall energy consumption (50-70%) and costs at a time. At this stage of the project, the expected impacts regarding efficiency and lower emissions of pollutants connected to the mobility actions need to be revised, as some actions are currently being modified as EC requested.
Overall, all these actions are creating replicable examples on how to decarbonise the energy system of EU cities, making it more secure and stable, increasing the air quality and the quality of life of the citizens at a time. Furthermore, the actions and activities developed so far are also creating links between the cities of the project (both LH/ Follower cities) and the other partners, as well as with the other cities part of the SmartEnCity Network, reinforcing cooperation among Member States and cities.
SmartEnCity Tartu citizen engagement activities ambassadors program
SmartEnCity Tartu retrofitting works plan
SmartEnCity Tartu integrated infraestructures
SmartEnCIty Vitoria-Gasteiz -informative brochure for owners
SmartEnCity Sonderborg retrofitting works
SmartEnCity Tartu Bikesharing
SmartEniIty network events in Sonderborg and Asenovgrad
SmartEnCity Tartu retrofitting works
SmartEnCity Vitoria -Gasteiz Citizen engagement activities
SmartEnCity newsletter
SmartEnCity Sonderborg Roadmap2025
English version of the SmartEnCity postcard
SmartEnCity Sonderborg citizen engagement activities
SmartEnCIty Vitoria-Gasteiz retrofitting