GrowSmarter website makes September debut

November 11, 2015

The GrowSmarter website, launched on September 30, 2015, showcases market-ready solutions for future smart cities.

eyecatcher_copyThe GrowSmarter project's new website explains how "12 Smart Solutions" can support the transition to a smart, sustainable Europe and improve the quality of life for local residents. Industry partners from across Europe will work with the "Lighthouse Cities" of Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona in the implementation of the 12 Smart Solutions, and the website will provide a platform for sharing their experiences. In addition, the website will offer technical information on each of the solutions, while blog updates from the three Lighthouse Cities worksites to give an insight into how they are working on the ground. Five "Follower Cities" - Cork (Ireland), Graz (Austria), Porto (Portugal), Suceava (Romania) and Valetta (Malta) - will closely monitor the Lighthouse Cities, and the website features other cities and interested parties got get involved.

In addition to the Lighthouse Cities and Follower Cities, the GrowSmarter is run by a number of leading academic institutions, city networks and more than 20 industry partners that have worked together closely over a five-year period to ensure effective implementation of the project goals.

Smart solutions

The dozen solutions on offer here are broken down into three action areas: low-energy districts, integrated infrastructures, and sustainable urban mobility.

Low-energy districts

Existing building stock plays a major role in the EU's total energy consumption (40 percent of final energy demand). This stresses the need for affordable and sustainable, large-scale retrofit solutions. The starting point for actions are the buildings themselves, and the focus is on cleverly combing and fine-tuning solutions on the market for existing as well as new buildings and districts. Lighthouse cities are tasked with applying the following energy-efficiency solutions: efficient and smart climate shell reimbursement; smart building logistics; smart energy-saving tenants, and smart local electricity management.

Integrated infrastructures

Cities have yet to tap the full value offered by integrating both active and passive infrastructure networks, both within and across cities - be they energy, transport, communication or others - rather than duplicating them needlessly. Many such infrastructures are ageing, budgets to replace them are stretched, or they are procured and managed in 'silos': thus the potential for cities and their customers through new, joined-up approaches that exploit modern technologies is quite substantial. Lighthouse cities will work to apply the following smart, integrated infrastructure solutions: smart street lighting, waste heat recovery; smart waste collection, and big data management.

Sustainable urban mobility

smartcities1Improved mobility can make cities more attractive, both for citizens and businesses. Meeting Europe's 20/20 goals, tackling urban congestion, and improving air quality, accessibility and sustainability in most cities require making substantial changes in transport systems and operations, as well as changes in behaviour. Oil still powers too many urban vehicles, and alternative fuels are under-utilised. Public and other transport services, timetables, ticketing regimes and interchanges are not always well connected. Innovation and a meaningful rethinking of public- and private-sector cooperation is essential, as is the more direct citizen engagement in new mobility systems and services. The following range of sustainable urban mobility solutions is open to lighthouse cities: sustainable delivery; smart traffic management, alternative fuel-driven vehicles, and smart mobility solutions.

12 solutions

The three Lighthouse Cities will apply a dozen different solutions that are designed to meet the three pillars of sustainability-namely, social, environmental and economic concerns.

tram_traffic_in_gentThe goals of the social set of solutions are to: provide better options for urban transport; provide better deliveries of goods; handle waste more effectively; refurbish 1 million square metres in a cost-efficient manner; improve street environments; lower energy costs; and create 15,000 new jobs.

The environmental goals are to: reduce the need for energy by 60 percent; reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy use and increase use of renewable energy by more than 60 percent; and to reduce transport emissions by 60 percent.

GrowSmarter will improve sustainable economic development 1) through increased cost efficiency by lowering combined capital and operational costs, and 2) by increasing local, regional, national and international economic growth.

More details

You can find out many more details about the GrowSmarter project on the new website. There is information there city-specific goals, details of the partner organisations and institutions, a press corner with news items, blog updates e-updates and information on related projects.