News Archive

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Joint webinar on Urban Platforms - GuiDanCe and Sharing Cities projects

27 April 2016


On the Tuesday, 3 May, 11:00-12:00, the GuiDanCe (Green Digital Charter) and Sharing Cities projects are organising a joint webinar on the theme of urban platforms.

Urban Platforms form a core building block by which cities better manage the current explosion in volumes of city data and more easily share this data between city services in order to improve outcomes for society. Few cities in Europe have implemented such solutions and this webinar is an opportunity to hear...

Reaching out to DIRECTION

20 April 2016


By Antonio Garrido-Marijuan, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology & SCIS

To explain the Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) in one sentence is to say that it is a database containing valuable data and expertise from smart cities demonstration projects and sites aiming to promote replication. An essential part of this process for SCIS are the technical visits to the projects so we can really understand what is behind the numbers and figures we manage for the...

Nikolaos Kontinakis: Cities should involve citizens as soon as possible if they want to have the best possible results

13 April 2016


Was there a particular inspiration behind your career choice? Briefly how did you first come to work in the area of sustainability and energy management at the EU level?

Sustainability was always one of my interests. Regarding energy, I first started to work in the areas of energy markets and national energy policies. It was at the time when the Covenant of Mayor was launched and the EPBD started being implemented in Greece, especially in the public sector....

Covenant of Mayors’ guide on financing opportunities for local climate and energy actions is now available

09 March 2016

The Covenant of Mayors published a new version of the 'Quick Reference Guide on Financing Opportunities for Local Climate and Energy Actions'. The document provides an updated overview of the different financing programs which can support the implementation of cities' Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans.

At a glance, one can get an overview of potential financing solutions, from grant-based programs such as Horizon2020 to financial instruments to locally deploy Structural and...

Reducing energy consumption across Europe: the role of the people

26 February 2016

By Verena Brennan, BuildSmart project 

With the European 2020 targets approaching fast, there is an increased pressure on Member States to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and increase share of renewables as well as energy efficiency by 20% compared to the 1990 baseline. These EU climate and energy targets have now increased for 2030 and the European Commission envisions Europe as a low-carbon economy by 2050, which means more climate-friendly and less energy-consuming...

Carsten Rothballer: The beauty of the smart city approach is that everything is somehow directly or indirectly connected

26 February 2016

Tell us, how would you describe GrowSmarter in a nutshell?

GrowSmarter is special. It aims to showcase a series of 12 integrated smart city solution packages with numerous measures in the three Lighthouse cities Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona. The solutions range from advanced information and communication technology and better connected urban mobility, to incorporating renewable energy sources directly into the city’s supply network. The project enables public...

Can sustainable office buildings increase workers’ productivity?

26 February 2016

By Constanze Böttcher, DIRECTION project 

Efforts to make buildings environmentally sustainable often focus on the technical side, such as energy efficiency. But there is more to sustainability than just energy efficiency. Sustainability is also about the people using the building. Users should be involved in the planning of a building right from the start, even though this may be difficult in practice.

This is...

Towards Energy Union: The European Commission presents sustainable energy security package

26 February 2016


The Commission unveiled a package of energy security measures to equip the EU for a global energy transition to address possible energy supply interruptions. Energy security is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union strategy, a key political priority of the Juncker Commission.

The package sets out a wide range of measures to strengthen the EU's resilience to gas supply disruptions. These measures include; moderating energy demand, increasing energy production in Europe (...

New EU procurement rules: better quality, simplification and benefits for SMEs

26 February 2016

New directives on public procurement and concession contracts will enter into force on 18 April 2016, providing an opportunity to turn public procurement into a strategic policy instrument.

This new EU-wide legal framework will help cities to promote smart cities solutions by allowing environmental and social considerations, as well as innovation aspects to be taken into account when awarding public contracts. Under the new rules, it will also be easier for small and medium-sized...