Integrated Infrastructures and Processes

  • Industry news

    Helmond leads the pack in smart lighting projects

    Published: 23.02.2018
    Smart Cities Council Europe

    Back in 2013, smart lighting wasn’t a mainstream topic like it is today. The historic city of Helmond in North Brabant in the southern Netherlands, however, was one of the first cities to adopt intelligent lighting technology as a way to solve its challenges as a growing industrial hub, becoming more sustainable in the process by saving energy. In an effort to improve public safety—as well as the attractiveness of the city—Helmond has rolled out over a dozen intelligent street lighting networks over the past four years since. 

    To dive deeper into why this Dutch city decided to become a pioneer in the intelligent street lighting movement and some of the immediate benefits they’ve seen in the process read more...

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  • Conference
    About

    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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  • EIP-SCC news

    Cities Get Smart with Funding - Follower City Event in Brussels

    Published: 15.02.2018
    Marketplace Editorial

    Brussels, BE: On 26 January 2018 representatives of 40 cities sat around the table at the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) with industry representatives and experts to ensure that the €263.84 million invested by the Commission through the Horizon 2020 Smart Cities and Communities programme generates returns.

    The funding provided by the H2020 programme is generating savings by stimulating common solutions to shared challenges, allowing cities to collaborate on design, and even engage in cross-border joint procurement. When cities create scale through demand aggregation they have the power to shape and influence the market.

    40 cities making a joint purchase of 1000 electric busses have a lot more power to dictate prices and standards than each city individually seeking to purchase 25 units. Reducing 40 transactions to a single one also means spending only a fraction of the man-hours that would otherwise be needed.

    Cities are using these economies of scale to make concrete improvements to residents’ lives. The city of Munich is piloting a ‘virtual power plant’, so that residents can store solar energy generated on their rooftops and use a mobile app to sell it back to the grid during peak demand. This technology is now being put in the hands of EU citizens in many European cities. Funding from the Commission helps cities share these technologies so that they can learn from each other and replicate successful solutions throughout Europe.

    In Burgas, ‘smart lamp posts’ use LED bulbs and a reactive dimming system to save over 50% of the energy used for street lighting. This means using less energy, creating less pollution and allowing more money to be spent elsewhere. Sensors installed in the lamp posts also give the city information about noise levels and congestion patterns which can inform further urban developments. This is another idea that is spreading like wildfire across Europe, with the Commission expecting to see 10 million of these lamp posts built by 2025.

    Other measures discussed in Friday’s meeting were bike and car sharing, and smart parking; building retrofit; zero emission zones; sustainable logistics; and electric vehicles. The scale of these projects means that cities are becoming more attractive to global investors, as cooperation promises enormous returns and greatly reduced risk.

    Through H2020 Smart Cities and Communities, European funds are ensuring that cities cooperate and collaborate to implement solutions more efficiently, more rapidly and more widely. Through 12 projects, 86 cities are working together across national borders to an unprecedented degree, with 36 ‘lighthouse’ cities piloting innovative technologies, and 40 ‘follower’ cities engaging in intensive peer learning activities in order to replicate the solutions being implemented. “Knowledge transfer,” insisted INEA’s Alan Haigh, “will be achieved through the presentation of concrete results.” According to Mr Haigh, “A huge amount of data is now available,” and the remaining challenge is, “how to make it accessible and useful.”

    Friday’s meeting was the opportunity for these 40 follower cities to exchange about the hurdles they have encountered so far, so that they can learn from each other to achieve more effective collaboration, leading to larger returns on the programme’s investments.

    Building smart cities creates wealth and combats waste through establishing economies of scale, creating greater efficiency within cities, and improving the health of citizens. The WHO estimates that the health impacts of air pollution cost the EU over 1 trillion euro in 2010 alone. If cities can join forces to implement smart solutions, engage in joint procurement, and cut energy costs to create a greener Europe, the Commission’s ½ billion investment will surely be money well spent.

    These projects are already producing positive results, and the Commission is fully supportive to build further momentum along this trajectory. Jens Bartholmes, policy officer at the European Commission, invited cities to come forward and share their smart city related plans and needs. The Commission tasked the support team of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities Marketplace to help with this data collection and based on this overview of real needs will fine-tune its support to European cities.

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  • EIP-SCC news

    Lampposts are one quick fix for smart success

    Published: 06.02.2018
    Marketplace Editorial

    Lampposts are one quick fix for smart success  

    At the moment, there are between 60 and 90 million lampposts sitting in Europe’s cities - 75% of which are more than 25 years old. These dated pieces of infrastructure can consume anywhere from 20 to 50% of a city’s energy budget. Only a single digit percentage of these use high-efficiency (LED) lamps, and a simple upgrade to LED could cut costs by 50 to 70%, resulting in EU-wide savings of €2 billion—let alone savings of nearly 50 percent when it comes to maintenance upkeep. In a constantly changing world, this is one aspect of digitalisation that is an easy—and financially viable—one for cities to embrace. Yet despite the industry touting benefits of this simple technological upgrade, cities across Europe have been slow on the uptake. For cities embarking on their smart journey, this upgrade is a great solution to start with, offering benefits that will be visible to the public, politicians and city service providers. In times of constrained public budgets, this is one project that will make economic sense both in the short and long run with the financial incentive of the LED providing just the stimulus cities need to consider the many other valuable assets a lamppost can offer.

    It’s not just about energy savings!  

    Outdated lampposts can seem like an eyesore of aging concrete and steel, let alone an operational drain and financial pain. What if we look at this infrastructure as a well-designed “mesh” network of powered assets that opens up a world of new city services? Over summer 2017, the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities & Communities (EIP-SCC) launched a survey to discover what over 100 European cities were thinking and doing in terms of public street lighting assets. What we uncovered is that “smart” is definitely the ambition. According to the survey, 60% of EU cities said they want to implement additional smart services on their lampposts, focusing particularly on connectivity and IoT-enabled features, and saw the “Humble Lamppost” as a way to offer these services while also saving energy. 

    In December 2014, the EIP-SCC launched the Humble Lamppost initiative with a goal to upgrade 10 million smart lampposts across EU cities by developing common component-based solutions that can be tailored to local needs, with smart add-ons like digital street signage, public Wi-Fi, electrical vehicle charging, and environmental sensing (air quality, noise, water levels) to exploit this city-wide infrastructure. 10 million may sound a lot, and does represent a lot of money, however it is still only a modest percentage of the overall total (of which 75% are 25yrs old). The LED upgrade percentage across Europe is still small so there is plenty of scope to shape demand.  As one might expect the survey shows that cities that are less advanced in their project cycle are more likely to be considering the additional value added services that the “Humble Lamppost” can offer.

    Infographic

    (Click image to enlarge) 

    Overcoming roadblocks to progress

    The main roadblock in terms of putting this plan into action at real scale is access to finance, and perhaps associated with that application of innovative business models. Politicians might see more gains from spending public funds on schools, and hospitals than lampposts. However, each week of inaction means an EU-wide loss of €120 million. A city alone may seem too small in scale, but if multiple cities across the EU pull together and show how smart lampposts are a “quick win,” they may be able to draw financial support from the key stakeholders and investors who could bring these proposed projects to fruition. One real life example is already underway in the state of Illinois, which has negotiated a contract with three smart lighting technology vendors as part of its plan to become the first smart state. Instead of cities undergoing the costly and time-intensive process of vetting and selecting vendors, the state took on this role so that cities could skip right to working with the vendors directly to set up these devices. The mindset here is that if “the state makes procurement easier and cheaper, more cities will undertake street lighting upgrade projects.”

    By cities and industry coming together to offer an open affordable component-based lighting solution that enables other smart city initiatives, the “Humble Lamppost” will be an economic option that’s quicker and easier to adopt, thereby helping kick-start smart cities’ roadmaps.


    Find out more about the Humble Lamppost

    Contact the Integrated Infrastructure and Processes Action Cluster at integratedinfrastructures@eu-smartcities.eu

    To discover more about the findings of the EIP-SCC Humble Lamppost survey, you can read the insight paper in full, available below. 

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  • EIP-SCC news

    There are around 60 million streetlights in Europe and most of them have been lighting up the roads for at least 25 years. These lights are usually not energy efficient, which accounts for between 20% and 50% of local government energy bills.

    In this context, the Humble Lamppost, a subgroup of the Integrated Infrastructures & Processes Action Cluster within the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities & Communities (EIP-SCC), is working to upgrade 10 million of these streetlights with low-energy LED bulbs. This action could lead to a decrease in energy costs of between 50% to 75% and to a reduction of emissions. Importantly, some of these new lampposts will have smart characteristics: at the same time as they light up the streets, they can monitor air quality, help improve security, improve parking and traffic management, support electronic signage, and provide mesh Wi-Fi.

    Graham Colclough, leader of the project and chair of the Integrated Infrastructures & Processes Action Cluster, explained that the initiative will be based on an open component-based design” –akin to ‘Lego’– that will improve services and reduce costs. That means encouraging manufacturers to produce different parts that could be combined to make streetlights smarter in order to avoid replacing millions of lampposts in Europe. I also means that cities will benefit from working together to aggregate demand.

    This project was launched early in 2014 and Graham is confident that it will be put into action as “lots of smart city ideas are quite abstract, but lampposts and lighting are things that Mayors through to the public grasp easily and see every day, so the benefits are much clearer and more immediate. This offers many cities a practical way to kick-start their smart city journey!”.

     

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  • Conference
    About

    The Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum - Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place will take place in Brussels on 21 February 2018

    The event will present 25 successful projects and initiatives in dedicated interactive workshops in 5 thematic strands:  
    - financing climate adaptation; 
    - financing clean urban transport; 
    - financing energy efficiency in public assets;
    - delivering home renovation schemes in cities and regions; and 
    - innovative financing solutions. 

    Practitioners will provide their concrete experience in the development of investment project pipelines in order to enable replication by other interested project promoters.

    The event will bring together stakeholders and practitioners from cities, regions and industry as well as the financial sector to discuss the key success factors for financing climate adaptation, clean urban transport and energy efficiency at the operational level.

    Stands will present successful projects and resources available to support project promotors, including local and regional authorities to design and implement successful initiatives in the areas covered by the event.

    More information is published on the event website, including the draft agenda. Updates will be published on the event page over the coming weeks. 

    Please register to the event here.   

    This event is organised by the European Commission's Directorate-Generals for Energy and Climate Action and the Executive Agency for Small and medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) in collaboration with the Covenant of Mayors. 

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  • Conference
    About

    Space4Ghent: Satellite data improving life in cities

    Space4Ghent will present experiences of use of Earth Observation data in cities and will generate debate among experts, citizens and local administrations on the opportunities and challenges related to the use of satellite-based services to enhance quality of life in cities. 

    Why attend? 
    Public and private organisations, NGOs, researchers, coders, IT specialists and all interested individuals are invited to attend the event and share their ideas on how satellite imagery and geo-information can be used to improve our urban experience!

    The event will feature hands-on experiences from urban actors using satellite-based information to improve their services. It will also inform on the freely available data and will discuss the challenges facing the full exploitation of satellite data at the city level.

    Join in Ghent to:  

    • Discuss on possible uses of satellite imagery to improve life in cities;
    • Listen to users share on how they benefitted from these technologies;
    • Explore where there is room for improvement;
    • Get informed on the freely available data hubs and access points;
    • Discover available support opportunities.

    Follow, connect and share the event on social media using #Space4Ghent

    For more information please visit eurisy.org/event-space4ghent

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  • Conference
    About

    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 urban-future.org

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Description

Significant and as yet insufficiently tapped value is offered by integrating the various existing and new infrastructure networks within and across cities – be they energy, transport, communications or others – rather than duplicating these needlessly. This point applies, both, to active and passive infrastructure. Many such infrastructures are ageing; budgets to replace them are stretched; they are procured and managed ‘in silos’; yet the potential afforded to cities and their customers through new joined-up approaches, exploiting modern technologies is substantial. This is achievable; however it will take sustained commitment from multiple parties to access value.

Integrated Infrastructure may address for example: 

  • Smart Lampposts
  • Urban Data Platforms 
  • Integrating urban energy and mobility systems
  • Smart Planning for shared infastructures
  • Urban Resilience 
  • Exploiting city-wide public assets 

Our ongoing initiatives 

Three initiatives are currently in progress

The Action Cluster is now shifting focus towards scale adoption of common solutions for two the mature initiatives, and aligning the significant SCC01 ‘Lighthouse’ Programme activities with the EIP. Clearly collaboration across the other action clusters is vital for sustained success.

Contact  

Get in contact with the Integrated Infrastructures & Processes Action Cluster at integratedinfrastructures@eu-smartcities.eu

 

Latest News

Helmond leads the pack in smart lighting projects

Published: 23.02.2018

Back in 2013, smart lighting wasn’t a mainstr.

Read more