Sustainable Districts and Built Environment

  • Conference

    Save The Date - 27-28 June 2018

    The 2018 General Assembly of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities & Communities (EIP-SCC) is to be held on the 27th & 28th of June 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria at the Marinela Hotel. 

    More information coming soon!  

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  • Conference

    Urban Future - Global Conference 2018

    The Urban Future global conference is the World’s largest meeting point of City Changers: committed people that actually drive change to make cities more sustainable.

    Attendees include mayors, architects, mobility experts, city planners, scientists, sustainability managers, representatives from Start-Ups, environmentalists, innovation experts and many more.

    For more information please visit

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  • EIP-SCC news

    Public consultation on EU funds in the area of investment, research & innovation, SMEs and single market

    All citizens, organisations and stakeholders with an interest and/or involvement in issues related to investment, entrepreneurship, research, innovation and SMEs are welcome to respond to this consultation.

    Objective of the consultation 

    In 2018, the European Commission will make comprehensive proposals for the next generation of financial programmes for the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, which is the EU's long–term budget. The European Commission's proposals will be designed to make it possible for the EU to deliver on the things that matter most, in areas where it can achieve more than Member States acting alone. This requires a careful assessment both of what has worked well in the past and what could be improved in the future. This consultation is an integral part of the process and its objective is to collect the views of all interested parties on how to make the most of every euro of the EU budget.

    To find out more please visit


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  • Conference

    This event will inspire those who want to make integrated heating and cooling systems part of the backbone of their Smart Cities and Communities concept and local, open and affordable energy transition, through by providing state-of-the-art planning tools, solutions and insights.

    For more information please visit

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  • EIP-SCC news

    CitizenCity SETs course with Calls & Webinars

    Published: 24.11.2017
    John Zib

    CitizenCity SETs course with Calls & Webinars

    Purpose into action 

    The goal of SET is to drive the success of city programs by enabling cities to better engage with their citizens. SET enables cities by serving as a bridge between useful information into a useable resource.

    CitizenCity had many interventions around Europe in the last 12 months, including successful design workshops in London and Milan with the support from Sharing Cities. 

    The next phase of development is to move SET into market for early demonstration. These actions will involve different dimensions of the intersection between a smart city and a smart citizen. This early market engagements will run first half of 2018, leading to another series of design workshops. The actions planned are specifically intended to connect with SCC1, H2020, Light House and broader EU Smart City markets on the work in citizen engagement. 

    An overview of upcoming actions...

    • Launch 3 new calls to engage with SET. Each call represents a different approach of tools are used in real conditions. 
    • A series of informational webinars will be offered in support interest in the calls and collaboration with CitizenCity. 

    3 Unique Calls

    CitzenCity will open different calls to engage with different segments of the user-tool landscape. In the SET Field Test call, we are looking at how cities use SET as a tool. SET is being designed for cities, so it’s important to get this early feedback. The SET Energy Retrofit call looks at leading EU cities practice on citizen engagement in the Energy Retrofit sector. We are looking how to build a useable information ecosystem with this silo. SET Participatory Budgeting call collects practices of citizen engagement on participatory budgeting. This will help understanding on what makes a specific tool fit a specific city situation.


    These three calls will help CitizenCity gather learning through experience. Providing early value and testing in the EU Smart City markets and working towards building a solution that is scalable and sustainable. 

    1 - SET Field Test 
    Open call for City Projects to Field Test SET (5 projects to be selected)

    CitizenCity is introducing the prototype SET solution to cities as a resource for building social engagement capacities that will drive project success. CitizenCity will look for cities in Europe, preferably part of an EC funded project, that would like to field test SET over the first half of 2018. Informational webinars in Nov-Dec 2017 will cover SET and this field testing.

    CitizenCity will engage with your project staff and materials via remote interventions and onsite workshops. The city will receive a co-created framework to manage and guide social engagement. A selection of tools will be chosen and implementation supported.

     This field testing will contribute to CitizenCity’s understanding of how a city is actually using SET as a solution. SET is being designed for cities, so it’s important to get this user feedback early.

    SET Field Test

    • Open call to field test SET, with 5 cities selected.
    • CitizenCity team directly engages over several months to build social engagement capacity and implement SET and select tools. 
    • Scale of project and range of interactions are flexible. 
    • The decision for cities will be made in early Jan. 

    SET Energy Retrofit
    Closed call for Social Engagement use cases in Energy Retrofit (9 selected projects)

    CitizenCity will collect case studies of citizen engagement practices from leading EU energy retrofit projects. This campaign is in partnership with Paul Cartuyvels, chair of Sustainable Districts and Built Environment. 

    This call will collect case study learning from a target list of cities. The goal is to develop learning on citizen engagement in the energy retrofit into a solution for that domain. Creating common solutions from collective experiences. This has real potential as a resource for this domain and significance as a pilot.  

    SET Participatory Budget
    Open call for Participatory Budgeting (open until further notice)

    CitizenCity will collect case studies of participatory budgeting with the support of the new Participatory Budgeting initiative of the EIP-SCC and Mariangelo Secchi of EMPATIA.

    This open call will collecting learning from city projects around Europe. The goal is to understand how the context of the project affects the successful implementation of participatory budgeting. This should collect enough learning to help cities select the best citizen engagement approach for their city and situation.

    20 Info Webinars

    John Zib, lead for CitizenCity, will repeat an informational presentation to explain SET and expected interaction and deliverables from the calls. The purpose is to give interested projects the information needed to make decision on becoming involved. To accommodate scheduling these will be offered at different times of the day and week in Nov and Dec 2017. 

    We are aiming for small groups to allow for more conversation. While the primary purpose is for cities interested in field testing, we welcome others wanting more information. Note that attendance to these sessions will require a small homework in advance.

    Contact: John Zib, CitizenCity,, +49 176 8634922

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  • EIP-SCC news

    European Smart Cities gets a further boost towards collaborative action

    Many of you will have enjoyed a few balmy yet hectic days in Barcelona at the Smart City EXPO World Congress. And perhaps also at the World Smart Cities Forum (WSCF) hosted by ISO/IEC/ITU. If you missed both, you missed a great networking opportunity, and some intriguing content. Here’s our brief summary of the events.

    The EXPO is the European (indeed international) ‘bellwether’ event for smart cities, and each year it is fascinating to see how the market is evolving. We’ve moved from slideware and concepts in the early days, through industry-push solutions, to a very much more collaborative discourse amongst the city and industry stakeholders. The missing ingredient now is the money! And thus engaging city investors is key. Few were there as yet, though the need to engage them is very much more palpable now, and the insights from those that were was interesting.

    The EXPO attracted 17,000 people from over 120 countries, which included the vital demand side of the market equation: 650 cities, many represented in national, regional and city-specific stands. This year saw the usual technology players present, with their ecosystem of SME collaborators supporting their stands. Indeed, the city stands frequently also included their local partners. Manufacturers and city service providers from across a growing number of sectors were also well represented. So what was new or different? What strong messages came through?  

    • The smart cities market will persist. It’s certainly not going away!
    • Capabilities, knowledge and collaboration seems to be growing year-on-year; and cities are taking control of their destiny 
    • Some early wins would appear to be in place – parking, waste, smart lampposts 
    • Scale and breadth of implementations still rather evades us
    • 5G and data privacy are on the tip of many tongues…linked to the ongoing debate about how cities can best go about managing their data 

    The WSCF, “Future cities – Solutions for common challenges: How international standards support the development of smart  and sustainable cities”, hosted by ISO this year following the inaugural IEC-led event in Singapore in 2016, addressed the important topic of developing open common solutions for what are more often than not shared city challenges and opportunities. Some may see ‘standards’ as a bit of a drab topic, however, like it or not, guidance, best practices and standards play a vital role in shaping the market. They bring confidence to all stakeholders, support interoperability, can foster faster implementation in the market, and better value – all rather important needs! The WSCF involved quite specific discussions on a dozen or so city-needs led themes to understand what the international standards development organisations (SDOs) as well as national standards bodies (NSBs) can do together to help. There was a clear commitment to collaborate to provide far clearer messaging to the cities market, and agreement on some very practical areas to work swiftly and jointly on.

    European Commission investments played an important underlying role right through both events. The Smart City ‘Lighthouse’ (SCC01) programmes – an investment nearing €300m of EU grant finance – were well represented with all the up-and-running programme partners contributing to ten topic discussions at the European stand. These covered: district heating, performance measurement, urban data platforms, replication of solutions, citizen engagement, building energy management, smart waste, mobility, smart city strategies and planning; and smart lampposts. All very practical, and all very relevant to smart city transformations – for both the 40 lighthouse and 60 follower cities in all 12 programmes, as well as all the rest of the cities in Europe! The opportunities resulting from collaboration within and between these lighthouse programmes can really help shape the EU cities market. And that’s good for EU Industry actors involved in it on a worldwide scale.


    The glue that seeks to pull these programmes and the rest of the market together is the EIP-SCC. Both the Marketplace and the SCIS (Smart City Information System) consortia were present and active at the stand, and throughout the event. And stakeholders involved in many of the EIP commitments were sharing their views in both event agendas. These events, alongside the recent EIP-SCC General Assembly all build towards a more efficient and effective smart cities market. 

    A footnote on the ‘missing ingredient’ we mentioned – the money! Look out for the EIP-SCC Marketplace white paper: “Towards a Joint Investment Programme for European Smart Cities” that will be posted shortly. It might well be worth your time to comment it. It sets the context for a proposed roadmap of specific actions to help fill this important gap in the market. Your contribution, and indeed perhaps your active involvement, could really help our collective goal of more liveable, smart and sustainable cities.

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  • Conference

    Smart City Expo World Congress

    The congress will bring together over 400 global influencers and innovators to share knowledge, debate the challenges faced by our cities, encourage out of the box thinking and inspire a worldwide call for action in order to develop smarter and more sustainable cities.

    The EIP-SCC will be hosting a stand at the Smart City Expo World Congress, if you are attending please feel free to visit us in Hall 2 - Stand D450, to learn more about our ongoing initiatives!

    Details of the location of the stand will be posted closer to the event, follow the EIP-SCC Twitter page for these details.  

    To learn more please visit


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The main challenge in ‘Sustainable Districts and Built Environment’ is to reduce energy useenvironmental impact and carbon footprint, entail competitive industries for jobs and growth and at the same time ensure societal and social development and the well-being of citizens. The investment needed to improve energy efficiency, generate low carbon energy, modernize infrastructure and create high quality living environments is enormous. At the same time, cities have limited access to planned financial resources for systemic change, which requires the activation of private capital combined with public investment.

Currently our existing building stock plays a major role in energy consumption (40% of EU final energy demand). This stresses the need for affordable and sustainable retrofit solutions at a large scale. However, since buildings last several decades, it is essential to find energy efficient, low carbon solutions for new buildings and districts as well. The major challenge in this area is the scaling up of (new) solutions and materials.

Recognizing every city has its different surroundings, it is essential to combine requirements:

  • To give stakeholders (industry, cities, operators...) tools needed to take appropriate systemic or individual decisions and facilitate scaling up solutions by enabling industries to provide solutions that are fit for purpose and at the same time come with reasonable pricing and quality.
  • To provide the large scale launching ground needed for new concepts to test and unleash the market and to test and implement new financial products and models.

The starting point of the actions is the building itself and the focus on using, combining and implementing on-the-market and near-to-market solutions. Not on reinventing the wheel, but cleverly combining and fine-tuning what is available to make it applicable at a large scale for existing as well as new buildings and districts. The focus however does not stop at the building – rather it addresses ‘place-making’ with people, in communities within cities.

Our ongoing initiatives

Clear collaboration across the other Action Clusters both vertical and horizontal is vital for sustained success.

Get in contact with the Sustainable Districts and Built Environment Action Cluster at