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European cities reach €250m investment milestone in smart tech programme

London, Lisbon, Milan, Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw have triggered the investment as part of the major international smart cities programme, Sharing Cities.

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Milan is one of the lighthouse cities taking part in the programme
Milan is one of the lighthouse cities taking part in the programme

London, Lisbon, Milan, Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw have triggered investment of €250m (£219m) in smart technologies promoting carbon reduction and improving service delivery and wellbeing as part of the Sharing Cities programme, led by the mayor of London.

 

All six cities report that the 10 low-carbon technology solutions – including retrofitting buildings with energy-saving measures, developing sustainable energy management systems for new and existing developments, shared electric mobility and smart street infrastructure – have already hit half of their target investment from a mix of public and private funds.

 

Urban challenges

 

Launched in 2016, Sharing Cities is a major international smart cities project that sets out to address some of the most pressing urban challenges facing today’s cities such as energy use, low carbon transport and buildings, and harnessing data for the good of the city.

 

The programme brings together 34 partners from across government, industry and academia – and is on course to meet its target of €500m by 2021 as each city redoubles its focus on attracting investment into technologies they have been developing over recent years.

 

The green technologies have led to significant change across the cities, which will continue to maintain close links in advancing research and development efforts in this area in the coming years. The initiative has also tested technologies and developed data-sharing platforms which increase the impact of these innovations.

“We’ve shown that these technologies are a growing part of the green transition, a top priority for cities and governments across the world as they plan the recovery of our economies”

All six cities have demonstrated the benefits that using smart technologies and working together can have. Building improvements to reduce energy consumption and electric mobility schemes – such as e-bike and e-car sharing, vehicle charging points and smart parking – make up most of the investment across the cities. Meanwhile, further funding expected for developing carbon neutral neighbourhoods and building mobile apps to help people reduce energy consumption in their daily lives.

 

Insights from the programme will continue to inform the mayor of London’s Recovery Programme in responding to the challenges and impacts of Covid-19, by using digital technology to turn London into a cleaner, greener and more resilient city as established in the mayor’s Green New Deal.

 

“London is working closely with European cities to build workable business models for smart technologies,” said Theo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer.

 

“We’ve shown that these technologies are a growing part of the green transition, a top priority for cities and governments across the world as they plan the recovery of our economies.”

 

The investment has come from a mix of public and private funds across all six cities, including city, regional or national government funds, as well as grants from other organisation including the European Union, and public-private partnerships.

 

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