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Smart Cities Marketplace


The Smart City Guidance Package (SCGP) helps to plan and implement smart city and low energy district projects in an integrated way by describing common situations and giving real-life examples. It bundles the generously shared experiences and expertise of cities, businesses, citizens, research institutes and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that work together in the European Innovation Partnership Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC).

Across the world, many cities and urban stakeholders have the ambition to create sustainable cities, adjusted to the era of digitalization, which are pleasant to live in. The wealth of urban data, the increased connectivity of urban objects through the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and advanced ICT, energy and mobility technologies, have opened new avenues for the application of smart solutions and the transition to clean energy and mobility systems in cities. Cities are looking into this potential, experimenting in living labs and applying smart technologies in ambitious integrated projects, such as the Horizon2020 SCC-01 lighthouse projects.

However, our current approaches to the integrated planning and management of smart city and low energy district projects are not sufficiently taking into account the full life-cycle of planned investments in the built environment, and the entire community influenced by them. This requires a genuine long- term perspective beyond the political cycle at the heart of any smart city or low energy district strategy, more inclusive participatory and consultation processes, novel business models and better collaboration within and across traditional policy and administrative boundaries. If these conditions are not in place, projects might be difficult to prepare and implement, underperforming in terms of reduction of CO2 and energy use, or not valued by end-users.

As explained in the Strategic and Operational Implementation Plans of the EIP-SCC, Integrated Planning and Management involves spatial, temporal and technical coordination of diverse policy areas and planning resources to achieve defined goals using specified (financial) instruments. Its success requires the comprehensive and early involvement of all governmental and non-governmental players, private sector, and citizens. This is particularly challenging as it involves managing long-term planning perspectives and short-term actions, addressing domains as diverse as transport, energy, ICT and beyond – in both existing (retrofit) and new urban territory. The aim of the SCGP is to explain how such integrated planning and management can be realised, with which instruments.

This SCGP guides cities and urban stakeholders by bundling experiences and best practices of cities working on ambitious smart city strategies and projects. An increasing wealth of information on innovative, integrated planning and management is available in the form of lessons- learnt in Smart City Framework 7, CONCERTO and Horizon2020 projects, stored in and disclosed by the Smart City Information System (SCIS). The SCGP makes this information available to others in a summarised condensed form. It provides an easily accessible roadmap for developing and realising integrated smart city and low energy district plans in a sequence of stages and explores what it takes to scale-up and replicate. City administrations that want to implement smart city plans and projects will benefit by learning from the successes and issues of others.

In addition, the SCGP offers inspiration to cities and urban stakeholders who have the ambition to start developing and implementing their own smart city projects in the nearby future, and want to orient themselves on what to expect and prepare beforehand with respect to integrated planning and management.

In the EIP-SCC, the Action Cluster of “Integrated Planning/Policy and Regulation” (IPPR) focuses on what is needed to plan and manage smart city projects in an integrated way. In the EIP-SCC Strategic Implementation Plan from 2013 and the Operational Implementation Plan from 2014, specific actions were recommended for integrated planning and management and for policy and regulation to respond to this challenge. For instance, improving collaborative governance at city-scale or higher, and maximal use of city-wide data for a more dynamic and informed planning process combining both shorter and longer time horizons. In addition, using urban simulation models to demonstrate impacts of urban development that can be linked to urban operational systems, and the use of multi-sectorial energy models and mapping at district and city scale, were advocated. Further, it was recommended to improve engagement of stakeholders through visualisation and decision support tools and develop innovative governance forms for integration of different stakeholders. Finally, identification and mapping of conflicts/gaps/hurdles and training and education for city stakeholders were thought very useful, next to encouraging cities to develop smart city plans and implement them, thus enforcing cross-domain thinking in policies.

The SCGP follows up on these suggestions and makes them concrete by providing a roadmap for integrated planning and implementation. Cities, industry, NGOs and knowledge partners have collaborated on its content: experiences in integrated planning and implementation of smart city projects, their upscaling and replication afterwards to achieve an urban transition, and the role of monitoring, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and tools in this process.

This guide builds upon the experiences of commitments in the Action Cluster Integrated Planning, interviews with key players in the field, project information generously shared by Smart City projects in Framework Programme 7 and Horizon2020, and the Smart City Information System (SCIS). It helps to prepare the next generation of smart city projects and to involve new cities and urban stakeholders within and outside the EIP-SCC. In this way, it paves the way for further market uptake of smart solutions across Europe. In addition, it can support a wide variety of other, related policies and initiatives, such as:

  • EU Mission: Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities,
  • The Urban Agenda,
  • The Energy in Buildings and Community Programme of the International Energy Agency,
  • Urban Innovation Actions,
  • Cities participating in the European Energy Award (eea),
  • The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy,
  • Climate KIC projects focusing on cities,
  • Any local or regional smart cities initiative.

The SCGP hopes to contribute to better policy and decision making and its implementation, by informing both the political level of local governments and its strategists and advisers, and the operational level, such as directors of units, technical staff, and project managers of Smart City projects.