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Smart lighting systems and lampposts

Challenges/ Barriers facing


  • Maintenance costs are high, especially in small projects
  • New lighting systems save energy but might require more material recourses
  • Many technical problems

Social & behavioural...

SCIS Podcast Episode 4: Vision

Anthony Colclough: Hello and welcome to Urban Reverb from I’m Anthony Colclough. Today, we're hearing from three cities involved in large-scale projects. Brussels, where the CIVIC project is reducing congestion and pollution by harmonising construction site logistics…

Tom Van Lier: Who is the actual problem owner? You don’t find anybody. Nobody says they own the problem.

SCIS Podcast Episode 3: Behaviour Change

AC: I'm Anthony Colclough, hello and welcome to Urban Reverb from the SCIS Smart Cities Information System at

Today we're going to be unravelling a mystery - two identical houses built with the most up-to-date energy saving technology, insulation on the walls and windows, solar panels, specially angled window shades, heat exchange systems, you name it, they have it.


SCIS Podcast Episode 2: Building Retrofit

AC: I’m Anthony Colclough and this is Urban Reverb, brought to you by the Smart Cities Information System at Welcome back to the first ever European Smart Cities Podcast Series. Today we're talking about retrofitting, and no, that doesn't mean trying to squeeze back into your old flared jeans and costume jewellery.

SCIS Podcast Episode 1: Bidirectional Chargers

Anthony: I’m Anthony Colclough, and this is Urban Reverb, brought to you by the SCIS, Smart Cities Information system, at I know how my parents would feel if they thought I was bidirectional, but what about a bidirectional car? Today we’re looking at bidirectional car charging, or ‘vehicle to grid’ and the first question that springs to mind is: ‘What is it?’

Menso: Chargers of cars which go two ways, so they load, they charge the cars, but they also can uncharge the cars and add it to the electricity network.

SCIS Podcast May 2018

Monday, May 7, 2018

Menso de Maar and Marisca Zweistra from Amsterdam - City-zen project

Muriel Pels from Utrecht - IRIS project

Juha Karppinen from Helsinki - mySMARTLife...

Craig Lee Martin, City-zen: Sustainability needs people who bring qualitative and quantitative together and reveal the latent potential of our cities and citizens

Craig Lee Martin
Friday, December 8, 2017
Craig Lee Martin

Dr Craig Lee Martin began his academic career at The Manchester School of Architecture (MSA, UK). As Head of Technology at the MSA his primary motivation was to increase the architectural awareness of climate change, and to create an educational environment and attitude that could respond to it...




Challenges TRANSFORM (node id:277191)

It is challenging to design and build tools to support the energy transition of cities. Moreover, together with the tools and methods TRANSFORM developed, it is far from easy to change an existing city to low-carbon if it comes to energy use and production. The team learned that energy transformation is a complex process with many stakeholders, huge financial investments, and legal, political, societal, organisational constraints. Transformation influences the life of citizens, politicians and businesses.

Challenges TRANSFORM (node id:277193)

In most TRANSFORM cities, collecting the data appeared to be far more difficult than expected at the beginning of the project. Fear for legal and privacy issues are the most important boundaries to not being able to gather all the data needed. It is impossible to produce an Energy Atlas without the data provided by third parties and energy providers, therefore collaboration is needed. The sharing of data and gaining insight into each other’s interests and considerations is of huge importance to making energy transition a reality.

Best Practices TRANSFORM (node id:277195)

Within the TRANSFORM project, an online integrated urban energy planning tool, the Decision Support Environment (DSE) was developed, which supports cities by providing quantitative insights on possible sustainability measures that can be taken and implemented.

Best Practices TRANSFORM (node id:277197)

The spatial matching of relevant KPIs is essential for a successful climate protection strategy. This relates particularly to the alignment of energy consumption and energy supply, as well as to the social background and the implementation options of specific urban areas. Accordingly, to provide a holistic approach for a transformation process, the technical and social data should be joined.

Best Practices SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Vitoria-Gasteiz (node id:277151)

The SmartEnCity project has developed a citizen engagement plan, taking into consideration the local conditions of each lighthouse city. As part of this, a qualitative research has been developed to map the citizen engagement reality of Vitoria Gasteiz, which is called the Citizen Engagement Strategy Model. The purpose of this model is to create a frame that can be useful for cities that are developing citizen engagement strategies involving the offer of innovative services and products.

Challenges REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Nottingham (node id:276969)

In the main, this project has been able to move forward relatively smoothly, running well within the government’s existing administrative and financial standards. However, some of the challenges noted have been specifically around the size and impact of such a project on organisational resources, as well as the style of language used and the requirements for partners to understand a varying level of complex and specialised knowledge, together with the unique Horizon 2020 processes, which not all project colleagues are automatically aware of.

Best Practices REPLICATE REPLICATE Site San Sebastian (node id:276985)

With regards to the retrofitting intervention in San Sebastian, the team has been in contact with the owners’ association since the early stages of the project to present and explain the proposal with the aim of engaging tenants and owners. Particularly important was to demonstrate that the municipality is an active part of the project, thus providing a form of reassurance and guarantee. As a result, the owners’ association signed a letter of commitment that was submitted with the proposal.

Best Practices REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Nottingham (node id:276975)

An interesting outcome of the introduction of the electric bus scheme has been the impact on the working relationship between the bus drivers. It seems that the capacity for each vehicle to be driven in a way that can maximise emission savings has stimulated a healthy and positive competition between drivers to see which of them can drive the most efficiently and save the most energy. This has been good for team building and employee relationships.

Challenges SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Sonderborg (node id:276991)

Electric vehicles were exempt from registration fees in Denmark until 31 December 2015. The Government announced the gradual introduction of the registration fee over 5 years, after which point electric vehicles would be subjected to the same fees as conventional combustion engine vehicles. The introduction of this fee reduced the sales of electric vehicles markedly. According to Insero news, the number sold in 2016 equalled only 3 % of all vehicle sales.

Challenges SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Sonderborg (node id:276993)

In 2016, it was announced that the financial incentive for open-door wind turbines will end in 2018. Only the wind turbines connected to the national grid by 21 February 2018 are entitled to receive the incentive. This made the business case for many early-stage projects worse and endangers their entire feasibility. The change is especially burdensome due to the short time frame in which it is impossible to speed up wind projects to gain access to the incentive.

Challenges SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Sonderborg (node id:276995)

A national regulatory change announced in 2016 forced the cancellation of the programme where electricity from photovoltaics sold to the grid received a guaranteed price per kWh rather than the fluctuating spot market price. Options that may become more popular in the future are with the energy service companies (ESCOs) that take over the investments related to energy efficiency intervention. In exchange, they receive monthly payments from the energy cost savings., guaranteed  for a set period of time.

Challenges SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Sonderborg (node id:276997)

A barrier to the smart mobility actions was the Danish tax system, which dictates that ‘gifts free of charge’ must be taxed by the receiver for the value of the gift. Therefore it was difficult to give away intelligent electric vehicle chargers, as had been the original plan. Private owners especially did not see the benefit of having to pay taxes for the combined value of the charger and the costs associated with installing the charger.

Challenges SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Sonderborg (node id:276999)

The project has a stakeholder engagement plan that includes how to and when to communicate what to whom. There is no matrix showing the importance/level of influence of each stakeholder, which is something that should be done for future projects. The project team tried to limit the number of people contacting each stakeholder so that time wouldn’t need to be spent bringing SmartEnCity partners up to date on every occasion when they communicated with each other.

Best Practices SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Sonderborg (node id:277001)

So as to engage the tenants, the housing associations controlled the flow of information. The Danish housing associations are all set up similarly with residents/tenants from each department unit creating a board of residents that make decisions. Each department unit is typically made up of a few apartment buildings located next to one another on the same street.

Best Practices SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Tartu (node id:277083)

The SmartEnCity team in Tartu has developed a stakeholder engagement plan and especially in the refurbishing phase of the pilot area the focus of communication and engagement strategy is on the participation of the housing associations and residents belonging to these associations. All the buildings in the renovated district are privately owned and the collective decision by the owners is required for the renovation to take place. The SmartEnCity project supports this process but the final decision has to be made by the representative non-governmental organisation of the private owners.

Best Practices SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Tartu (node id:277085)

For Tartu, the major emphasis of the stakeholder engagement strategy is on learning, i.e. changing the existing socioeconomic practices. This requires a concentrated effort from all stakeholders as people must be taught how to adapt to and use the new technologies.

Challenges REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Eskisehir (node id:277095)

Since REMOURBAN is focused on high performance, the interventions were planned to reach the expected over-standard performances. Although the equipment and materials have been chosen with consideration for the best value for money, it can be said that there would be a higher return on investment if the project did not have certain high-performance goals.

Challenges REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Eskisehir (node id:277097)

The project is funded 100 % by the European Commission since the owner of the demo site is a public institution, the Tepebaşı local government. However, the municipality has to make the necessary investments in the project before receiving funds from the Commission. Nevertheless, there is a large share of pre-financing, which was received at the beginning of the project.

Best Practices REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Eskisehir (node id:277099)

REMOURBAN has a specific task on citizen engagement. Through this deliverable, the relevant stakeholders that would be influenced by the project measures and the time and manner of their engagement have been noted. The university has carried out several inquiries and questionnaires regarding student evaluation of the proposed cycle routes and their usage.

Best Practices REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Eskisehir (node id:277101)

The tenants were consulted both at the beginning and during the implementation of the project. As extensive retrofits were planned to be undertaken, significant resident displacement was sure to take place. Tenant consultation was therefore imperative in the project. The procedure utilised was consultation meetings. As the demo site belongs to the municipality, there are no financial concerns on the part of the tenants. However, potential comfort and environmental benefits have been conveyed to residents via the above-mentioned meetings. 

Challenges REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Valladolid (node id:277117)

The municipality of Valladolid provides local grants to more than 400 owners for the active and passive interventions; however this operation has become especially complicated. Supplementing EU funding with municipal subsidies means a complex administrative management, where the council must verify the legal and fiscal requirements of all the owners to grant the aid.

Best Practices REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Valladolid (node id:277119)

The project In Valladolid has crafted a stakeholder engagement that maps the different stakeholders and plans the communication and dissemination activities tailored to each group during the different phases of the project.

The engagement activities include the distribution of a special informational leaflet among the tenants to raise the awareness of the financial and environmental benefits of the project, launch of a local website with a frequently asked questions section, and direct email and phone communication line with the project partners.

Challenges SMARTER TOGETHER Smarter Together Site Vienna (node id:277129)

The investments for SMARTER TOGETHER in Vienna are more than € 50 million, mostly for refurbishment and construction work. Return on investment depends on the different project (e.g. 7% for energy investments to much lower for constructions). The main risks are probably associated with investments for new mobility services where the long-run revenue is difficult to foresee.

Challenges SMARTER TOGETHER Smarter Together Site Vienna (node id:277133)

The public bodies in Austria have stricter tender criteria than private companies, due to security reasons in public areas, thus all installations respectively products need a CE certificate. Furthermore, the tender and offer documents are accepted only in German. The solar bench product of the initial envisaged Serbian company did not have CE certifications and thus did not fit the Austrian tender criteria so an alternative company had to be found. This resulted in a delay.

Best Practices SMARTER TOGETHER Smarter Together Site Vienna (node id:277137)

A major focus of the project lies on the integration of the residents, and respectively the affected people of the target area in the district of Simmering. They can participate in different ways during the co-creation process, which accompanies the realisation projects. Quite a few engagement and co-creation activities took place, among which:

• Low-energy districts - the tenants of the refurbishment building Lorystraße can decide about the colour of the façade and the balconies, as well as about the design of the community space and the garden.

Challenges SMARTER TOGETHER Smarter Together Site Vienna (node id:277135)

With regards to school Enkplatz, one part of the building is under a preservation order, thus it cannot be used for renewable energy sources installations. The project team was aware of this from the beginning of the project. During the planning of the zero-energy gym, this had to be considered and the needed energy generation facilities will be installed on the gym only.

Challenges SmartEnCity SmartEnCity Site Vitoria-Gasteiz (node id:277149)

Smart city projects normally implement relatively new technologies, thus increasing the financial risk due to the uncertainty of their success or impact. This sometimes makes it difficult to find the time and proper resources necessary to implement, test, launch and evaluate the results of these technologies.

Best Practices REPLICATE REPLICATE Site San Sebastian (node id:276989)

The REPLICATE project will develop a demand-side platform to allow residents to monitor how they are using their heating and to understand better how savings can be achieved. The residents will have the opportunity to learn about energy consumption and change their behaviour so as to reduce their energy bills and be more efficient.

Best Practices REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Nottingham (node id:276973)

Owners/tenants have been consulted throughout the project, in both planning and implementation stages. The team has worked to develop good relationships with the residents, holding fish and chip suppers, consultations within homes in the area and encouraging community champions to support the developments. The financial costs and benefits have always been discussed with the residents and their opinions sought. As the project requires their permission to be able to move ahead with the implementation, it has been essential to provide open and honest consultation throughout the project.

Best Practices REMOURBAN REMOURBAN Site Nottingham (node id:276971)

The Nottingham project coordination process has included the establishment of monthly team meetings, engaging with all local partners working within the project across all the various strands. It has been noted how important it is to ensure good communication and overall project understanding.

Best Practices SMARTER TOGETHER Smarter Together Site Munich (node id:276957)

The implementation of the new lampposts with innovative sensors that measure environmental and/or traffic related issues, require the involvement, on one side,  of internal stakeholders engaged in the planning and building process, and on the other -  the engagement of citizens, companies and experts, and administration.

Best Practices SMARTER TOGETHER Smarter Together Site Lyon (node id:276935)

Including citizens in the early stages of development is key and is carried out through variety of actions – setting up the so called House of the project, organising labs, providing the opportunity to participate in the prototyping. On one hand, this focuses on the involvement of local inhabitants (private groups of owners) in the eco refurbishment of their buildings. On the other, the inhabitants and the people working in the neighbourhood are engaged in the management of their energy consumption by means of data collection.