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Smart Cities combine diverse technologies to reduce their environmental impact and offer citizens better lives.
This is not, however, simply a technical challenge. Organisational change in governments - and indeed society at large - is just as essential.
Making a city smart is therefore a very multidisciplinary challenge, bringing together city officials, innovative suppliers, national and EU policymakers, academics and civil society.
One of the greatest challenges facing the EU is how best to design and adapt cities into smart intelligent and sustainable environments. Almost three quarters of Europeans live in cities, consuming 70% of the EU's energy. Congestion costs Europe about 1% of its GDP every year; most of it is located in urban areas. Smart urban technologies can make a major contribution to tackling many urban challenges.
Therefore the European Commission launched the Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership. The partnership proposes to pool resources to support the demonstration of energy, transport and information and communication technologies (ICT) in urban areas. The energy, transport and ICT industries are invited to work together with cities to combine their technologies to address cities' needs. This will enable innovative, integrated and efficient technologies to roll out and enter the market more easily, while placing cities at the centre of innovation. The funding will be awarded through yearly calls for proposals: €365 million for 2013.
By launching a Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership (SCC) the European Commission aims to boost the development of smart technologies in cities – by pooling research resources from energy, transport and ICT and concentrating them on a small number of demonstration projects which will be implemented in partnership with cities. For 2013 alone, € 365 million in EU funds have been earmarked for the demonstration of these types of urban technology solutions.
The Smart Cities and Communities Initiative was launched in 2011. In the first year (2012), € 81 Million has been earmarked for this initiative, covering only two sectors: transport and energy. Demonstration projects financed under the scheme can be in either one of the two sectors - rather than the two combined.
Starting from 2013, the budget has been increased from € 81 Million to € 365 Million, covering three areas instead of two: energy, transport and ICT. In addition, each and every demonstration project financed under the scheme must combine all the three sectors. Pooling the sources together also means using synergies. With this Smart Cities Partnership, the EU will help to establish strategic partnerships between those industries and European cities to develop and roll out the urban systems and infrastructures of tomorrow.
More information can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/technology/initiatives/smart_cities_en.htm
The Marketplace provides a unique opportunity for all stakeholders (companies, cities, individuals, ...) in Europe to communicate, exchange ideas, knowledge and solutions for cities and to meet with potential partners on innovative projects.
These are tightly integrated together: a stakeholder seeking project partners, for example, could use the website to raise awareness of their experience and ideas, resulting in an invitation to a working group workshop, thus influencing the Marketplace's policy recommendations.
See also: About the Marketplace
The Action Clusters are an assembly of partners committing to work on specific issues related to smart cities, by sharing the knowledge and expertise with their peers, giving added-value to their national and local experience and identifying gaps that need to be fulfilled at European level. Stakeholders wishing to get involved in one of the 6 Action Clusters set up so far were selected through an "Invitation for Commitment" application process.
The Marketplace has established the following 6 Action Clusters so far: Business models; Citizen Focus; Integrated infrastructure & processes; Policy & Regulations / Integrated planning; Sustainable Districts and Built Environment; Sustainable Urban Transport.
A new invitation for commitments is not foreseen for 2014. However, stakeholders interested in taking part in Action Cluster have the possibility to join an existing commitment according to the specific rules of procedures prepared by the Commission, detailing the whole process and requirements.
Solution Proposals are innovative ways in which cities have become smarter. This could have been through using new technologies, or by combining existing technologies in new ways. Innovative approaches to organizing the stakeholders or leveraging systems available in other cities can also lead to major advances. The SPs published on the Marketplace allow the stakeholders, in particular city authorities, to discover all kind of innovations in different areas.
Keys to Innovation are one of the central outputs. Keys to Innovation are drawn from selected Solution Proposals by the technical Working Groups. The selection of the Solution Proposals is based on the following evaluation criteria: applicability, simplicity, affordability, usability, the extent to which it addresses integration and if the potential impact is significant.
Completed Key Innovations were sent to the Finance Group, whichassisted the Working Groups in refining the financial information, provide information on potential financing sources and provide other information to enhance the deployment potential of the Key to Innovation. The combined information is the so-called “Toolkit”, which can also be understood as a kind of deployment template.
The basic idea of the City profiles is to allow users to find smart city solutions suitable to their city. To achieve this, we are:
- setting out which cities across Europe have smart city projects, and to characterise them by climate, population density, etc;
- link the Commitments submitted, profiled and studied on this site to Profiles of the cit(ies) they have been piloted in, if any;
- characterise the suitability of each Smart City Innovation by 'city type'.
Your public profile is your presence on this site - it tells other users about you, and links to and from all of your blog posts, comments, Solution Proposals or Commitments.
When you log in, you are sent to your ‘My profile’ page. You can also get there from the link under ‘My shortcuts’, which appears on the right of every page whenever you are logged in.
From ‘My profile’, click the ‘Edit’ tab. Here you should:
- Set the profile to Public (essential);
- Upload a picture of yourself (recommended – put a face to your name);
- Add information about your company and position;
- Write a short ‘About me’ text under “Your Biography”. Tell other users about your job, knowledge, views, interests etc.
You can allow users to contact you without sharing your email address, and for you to do the same.
You need to both have a public profile (above) and tick the "Personal contact form" tickbox in your profile (log in, click 'My profile', click 'Edit', and scroll to the bottom of the page).
If you are sent a message:
- you will be alerted by email that a message has been sent;
- the email will include a link to your inbox on this site, where you can reply.
To send a message to a user:
- go to the user's Public Profile and click the 'Contact' tab;
- type in your message;
- the user will be alerted by email that a message has been sent.
Looking for smart city ideas for your city? Dive into the map to find projects and best practices in cities similar to yours.
For networking purposes, try People Search, and don't forget to create a good public profile for yourself.
And remember - this is not supposed to be a one-way conversation (see Get involved).
All people who join the site can subsribe to the enewsletter, while everyone can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to our RSS feeds.
The Marketplace of the EIP on Smart Cities and Communities project is an initiative of the European Commission (DG ENERGY), in close cooperation with the Covenant of Mayors and the Marketplace of the EIP on Smart Cities and Communities Consortium:
- Zabala Innovation Consulting SA
- SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
- Prestomedia S.L.
- European Water Partnership a.i.s.b.l.
- Trento RISE
- Imperial College London/Imperial Consultants Ltd
With the collaboration of: