During the EU Sustainable Energy Week, the EIP-SCC held a series of practical Action Cluster Meetings bundled into a one-day event entitled « Building a market for Smart Cities and Communities ».
The gathering was part of ongoing efforts to foster cross-sector collaboration to deliver a solid, viable market which is attractive to investors.
REMOURBAN partners Miguel García (Cartif) and Zoé Lejeune (AREBS) joined other delegates to share their hands-on Lighthouse experience. As part of the plenary session, Miguel explained the clustering among fellow projects and their synergies with EIP. Following his presentation, he said “It is uplifting to explore the synergies between our Lighthouse project and the EIP. The potential for mutual benefit is enormous and as I see it, the EIP in cooperation with initiatives such as SCIS can be a key enabler in bringing on board the right stakeholders to make replicability a reality.”
Six Action Clusters make up the EIP-SCC and each has its claim to fame during the event. Both Miguel and Zoé participated in the Integrated Planning session where Zoé discussed the Seraing experience and explained the replicability approach used there. On the same panel was a representative from Graz, a follower city in the Smarter Together project which, as it emerged, shared many of the issues experienced in Seraing. In particular, these concerned changes in organisational capacity and management as well as the financial barriers to implementing Smart City solutions. These same colleagues also attended the Sustainable Districts and the Built Environment cluster session. On the agenda here were best practices and examples toward very low and positive energy buildings and districts. Reflecting on this, Miguel stated, “Many synergies are possible with REMOURBAN for deep retrofitting towards achieving nearly zero energy districts. Issues often on the table for discussion were non-technical barriers such as regulations were mentioned a lot, and as were comfort conditions and user interaction with low energy buildings given the important the role of the user within the energy chain of the buildings and districts.”
The EIP marketplace is not a forum where projects just talk to themselves. As Zoé puts it “It’s important for us project partners to participate in such an event because it gets us out of our project shell and into a bustling marketplace of ideas from beyond our consortium. Brushing up with other projects and mingling with demanding stakeholders is what this event is all about”. The EIP marketplace aims to ensure that SC projects really are actionable.
A telling example will be the Smart City Guidance Package due out in October. Drawing on the insights and feedback from REMOURBAN and fellow projects – representing some 60 European cities - the guide will serve as a user-friendly tool for towns and cities which are planning to raise their game in the Smart Cities arena, either as replicators or early adopters. Our urban regeneration model and replicability strategy have significantly helped shape the guide.