Smart transition of EU cities: a new concept of smart life and economy

14 december 2016
mySMARTLife project has been launched today after its first kick off meeting, which has taken place in Nantes (France) with the attendance of Nantes Vice-President, Hamburg & Helsinki representatives,  European Commission representatives and the hole consortium.

This is a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Under the coordination of CARTIF Technology Centre, 28 partners from 7 countries are collaborating to make sustainable cities with smart people and a smart economy a reality. Activities will take place in the three demonstration cities Nantes, Hamburg and Helsinki. 

The mySMARTLife project aims, as one main pillar, at reducing the CO2 emissions of cities, increasing the use of renewable energy sources and making the demonstration cities more environmentally friendly.

“mySMARTLife project is the latest of EU co-funded lighthouse projects that aim to improve life in European cities. By joining forces the cities of Nantes, Hamburg and Helsinki will deepen their understanding of technological solutions to common challenges such as smoothening traffic, improving city services and reducing CO2 emissions, and will use this knowledge to upgrade their infrastructures and deliver new services”, underlines Mathias Reddmann, Policy and Project Officer, Unit Smart Cities and Sustainability at European Commission.

 But the project´s objectives go far beyond the environmental dimension. “Inclusive cities” is the new keyword. Inclusive cities offer a high quality of life, where citizens play a vital role in the development of the city. The project aims to develop the concept of “smart people”. At the same time, the mySMARTLife partners will also focus on the “smart economy” approach – they want to realise an innovative and dynamic economic concept that guarantees employment and adequate income, attracts talents and provides goods and services according to the actual requirements.

In addition to these non-technological actions, the activities planned and carried out in the three demonstrator cities also include new technological developments in connection with refurbishments of buildings, usage of renewable energies, clean transport and supporting ICT solutions.

An integrated planning process, where citizens are actively involved in the decision making process, links the actions in different fields (e.g. mobility, sustainable energy). Following a structured city business model, this will lead to an integrated urban transformation strategy, which can be easily transferred to other cities.

Key activities are planned and will be carried out in three lighthouse cities: Nantes (France), Hamburg (Germany) and Helsinki (Finland). Four follower cities -Varna (Bulgaria), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Rijeka (Croatia) and Palencia (Spain)- will directly learn from these experiences and set up their own urban transformation plans. In addition, cities from Europe and beyond are invited to exchange experiences and learn directly from the mySMARTLife findings and results by joining the mySMARTLife cities network.

“mySMARTLife is aimed at supporting EU cities in their transition into more sustainable places. The commitment of Nantes, Hamburg and Helsinki to develop their Advanced Urban Plans and to implement such ambitious actions in their cities through mySMARTLife [more than 150 actions in the three cities] ensures that not only the technology, but their related business models are validated from the cities’ perspective, making mySMARTLife a reference for a new concept of EU cities”, underlines Rubén García Pajares, project coordinator of mySMARTLife.

"This well recognised call for projects financed by the EU contributes to making Nantes a territory of experiments and a Metropolis of reference in terms of energy and digital transitions. With the mySMARTLife project, we will lead an urban transformation through innovative energy transition, mobility and digital models in partnership with local companies and European cities like Hamburg and Helsinki. I am convinced that it is by multiplying innovative initiatives that we contribute to inventing the city of tomorrow", states Johanna Rolland, Mayor of Nantes and President of Nantes Metropole.

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