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GrowSmarter cities publish recommendations for policymakers

Barcelona, Cologne and Stockholm, the three Lighthouse cities in the EC-funded project, highlight the importance of early citizen engagement and the value of demonstrator projects.

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Solutions in Stockholm (above), Barcelona and Cologne are already being replicated
Solutions in Stockholm (above), Barcelona and Cologne are already being replicated

The cities of Stockholm, Barcelona and Cologne have compiled a set of recommendations from the five-year EU GrowSmarter project. It is the first smart city project to be completed with funding from the European Commission’s Smart Cities and Communities Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

 

The recommendations include early citizen engagement, new legislation to encourage energy-efficient retrofitting of buildings, fossil-fuel-free mobility and investing in more demonstration projects to prove which smart solutions are most sustainable when implemented.

 

Smart city solutions

 

The 54-page document, From Dream to Reality – Recommendations for Policymakers and Practitioners, provides detailed advice from the cities and their partners on how to implement smart city solutions on a European, national and local level, as well as for practitioners in both the private and public sector.

 

Solutions include those focused on low-energy districts, integrated infrastructures and sustainable urban mobility.

 

The solutions that have been implemented in Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona are already being replicated in the cities of Cork, Suceava, Graz, Valletta and Porto, which formed part of GrowSmarter as Follower Cities. They will also be shared with other European cities.

 

“By working together we can make cities healthier, nicer and more sustainable."

 

Among the recommendations specifically aimed at local governments are:

  • ensure citizen involvement for behavioural changes and increased quality of life
  • include socioeconomic benefits in all parts of the solutions and business models
  • political commitment drives implementation
  • experiment and be flexible.

Specific advice is also offered on how climate, legislation and needs of the citizens should influence how the smart solutions are deployed.

 

Climate action

 

“Under the GrowSmarter project, we in Barcelona, working together with Stockholm and Cologne, have shown that the fight against climate change depends on collaboration between citizens, companies, the academic world and public authorities,” said Ada Colau Ballano, mayor of Barcelona.

 

“By working together we can make cities healthier, nicer and more sustainable."

 

Katarina Luhr, vice mayor of Stockholm for Environment and Climate, said the project has shown new ways to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

“It is my hope that these solutions are spread and taken up by more cities as the need for emissions reductions is urgent,” she said.

 

For Cologne, the GrowSmarter project was one of the first “important and largely visible” success stories within the SmartCity Cologne strategy, said mayor Henriette Reker. “As the first German lighthouse city, we received national and international attention.”

 

 

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