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9th SmartEnCity Newsletter
  • Editorial
  • Progress in the SmartEnCity Lighthouse Cities
  • Sonderborg
  • Tartu
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz
  • Progress in the SmartEnCity Folloer Cities
  • Asenovgrad
  • Lecce
  • News from the SmartEnCity Network
  • Past Events
  • Upcoming Events
  • News from our Sister Projects
  • About SmartEnCity / Project ID / Contact


Dear SmartEnCity Enthusiast,

A very peculiar six months have passed since our last newsletter and COVID-19 still has a strong influence on the social and professional life of people all over the world. We are all trying to cope with the situation and to get back to a kind of normality. Still, we have to improvise and to re-organise ourselves a lot, which also affects our SmartEnCity cities and project partners. Therefore, it is even more important now that we demonstrate our most recent achievements to you:

The Lighthouse Cities are busy with completing the last tasks of their SmartEnCity implementations. Here, the progress made by Vitoria-Gasteiz regarding the construction work on the district heating network is particularly interesting. But also, the renovation works in the demo districts of our Lighthouse Cities is almost complete and the residents can look forward to new facades and murals. At the same time, the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAP) are being worked on diligently, which is also a challenge given the current restrictions due to COVID-19.

The SmartEnCity Academy ended with its last two lessons “Where are we now? City Analysis and Diagnosis” on 4 June and “Envisioning and Planning: The SmartEnCity Planning Process” on 22 September. All lessons and presentations are available online. With way more than 200 participants in total, the SmartEnCity Academy has been a big success and we are very proud of being able to share our knowledge with such an interested community!

But find out more for yourself, enjoy reading the newsletter and stay healthy!

Sincerely yours,

Francisco Rodríguez Pérez-Curiel and Silvia Urra Uriarte
Project Coordinators of SmartEnCity, TECNALIA Research & Innovation


Inspired by the Fridays For Future activities, the Sonderborg Youth Council in 2019 decided to establish a group for and by young people focused on climate and environmental issues, creating activities, informing and engaging their peers and the citizens of Sonderborg. Currently, a total of 14 members between the age of 15 to 25 have joined the Youth Climate Council (YCC).  Soon after its establishment, the Sonderborg YCC joined the Erasmus+ project, ‘EYES’ – ‘Engaging Youth in Sustainable Energy Planning’. The aim of this project is to strengthen youth participation and youth involvement in the planning of sustainable local communities through a dialogue- and learning-based process, bringing together engaged youth from the six European countries Denmark (Sonderborg), France (Lyon), Italy (Napoli), Poland (Cieszyn), Bulgaria (Varna) and Spain (Granollers).

Demonstration of solar photovoltaic and battery solutions is an integrated part of the SmartEnCity energy system demonstration for Sonderborg. Due to COVID-19, tenants approvement decision meeting have been delayed into late summer 2020, but the outcome as per beginning of October viewed very positive, as majority of the almost 25 investment projects have been approved by the tenants. Purchase, installation and commissioning is expected to take place until spring 2021.

At the same time, Sonderborg’s City Information Open Platform (CIOP) implementation is progressing with next level ambitions. The associated landing page is proving a good overview of the ProjectZero project and the CIOP-data/information platform for newcomers. New services are in development, e.g. an energy consumption calculator providing advice to homeowners.

In general, data are crucial because intelligent use of data can accelerate the green transformation. Therefore, the digital, data-driven green transition of the future was discussed at a workshop organized by Dansk Industri, Project Partner ProjectZero and Sønderborg Vækstråd (Growth Council). The purpose of the workshop was to discuss new green solutions, based on data and with a view to creating a greener and more sustainable society while supporting job growth and new business models. Find full article in Danish here.

(Picture showing Sonderborg’s Youth Climate Council. Credits: ProjectZero)


One of Tartu's latest murals by Markus Kasemaa. Picture@Silver Siilak. Tartu was also severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Therefore, it is even more remarkable that so many actions could nevertheless be realised in the past six months:Tartu has opened up its new Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) to the public. It is called Tartu Energy 2030+ and gives an overview on energy production and consumption in Tartu and its impact on the environment and climate. The SECAP has set the goal of achieving climate neutrality by the year 2050, with the intermediate goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030. People and citizens are now invited to review and reflect on the plan via Tartu’s website. More info

Tartu's activity of decorating the renovated houses and their surroundings with murals and other pieces of art has been so successful that the first ever outdoor exhibition of all 13 murals, their artists and their significance has opened in July. As of September 2020, 16 artworks have been completed.

Another Estonian success story is the fact that Tartu will expand its public bike sharing system to nearby regions as well.

The current health crisis has forced Tartu to adapt news demands and needs. In order to reach as many residents as possible, the first virtual smart home training was held. More than 50 residents took the opportunity to learn about the new smart home features such as performance metrics of the solar panels and energy saving regime. New training sessions will be organised after new software updates are released.

From a scientific point of view, the SmartEnCity project partner, the Institute of Baltic Studies and Tallinn University of Technology have published a new article called “Cities4ZERO Approach to Foresight for Fostering Smart Energy Transition on Municipal Level” which is dealing with the smart energy transition at municipal level and how to overcome obstacles.

Furthermore, Merit Tatar from the Institute of Baltic Studies will represent SmartEnCity (with a focus on Lighthouse City Tartu) as part of the joint session "Green Cities by Co-Design (GC by CD)” at 21 October. More info.

(Picture showing one of Tartu's latest murals by Markus Kasemaa. Credits: Silver Siilak.)


Before & after in Aldabe’s alley in demo district Coronación. Picture@VISESA What is the current state of the implementations in Vitoria-Gasteiz? Project partner VISESA has published a summary of the activities in its demo district Coronación. Together with an analysis and the resulting consequences, you can get the full picture of how this Lighthouse City is progressing despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major milestone reached in Lighthouse City Vitoria-Gasteiz has been the kick off month for the District Heating Network construction works in July. Now citizens and neighbours of demo district Coronación can see how the ambitious plans for the new infrastructure are finally becoming a reality.

With regards to mobility, the testing phase of Vitoria-Gasteiz’ new 100% electric bus has started on Line 2 of the city’s public bus company. In this context, the two pantographs that will allow to re-charge the batteries of that line were also installed.

Also, the retrofitting works has brought new façades which add some light to this former dark corner of Aldabe Street. Plus the house façade of Eulogio Serdán Street appears in a new look because the wall painting has finally been completed. The mural is the final result of the co-creation process started some months ago.Starting from the results generated within SmartEnCity project, Vitoria-Gasteiz is now developing a foresight exercise as a part of the Municipality’s Integrated Energy Transition Action Plan 2030 (PATEI 2030 in Spanish), as a mid-way checkpoint towards the city’s carbon neutrality strategy to be achieved in 2050.

(Picture showing before & after in Aldabe’s alley in demo district Coronación. Credits: VISESA)

Progress in the Follower Cities 


Follower City Asenovgrad makes an intervention at the 18th European Week of Regions and Cities, a virtual event taking place from 5 October to 22 October 2020. The intervention is part of the workshop “Partnerships for Renewable Energy Regions” scheduled for 15 October 2020. The main topics to be discussed include Asenovgrad activities within SmartEnCity with particular emphasis on renewable energy partnerships, already established and functioning as well as discussions about future RES partnerships to be included in Asenovgrad integrated energy planning for the period 2020-2027.


Lecce’s Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) is now completed and it will be refined by the project taskforce in the next few days, concerning specific actions that will require some small revisions. Thanks to the interventions planned in the IEP document, the main goal related to a 40% reduction of CO2 emissions compared to 2007, within 2030, should be reached. The next phase of the planning process will be focused on the development of the Replication Roadmaps, where a group of actions considered most effective and strategic for the Municipality, in order to reach the final CO2 target, will undergo a feasibility assessment concerning not only the implementation phases, but also the social, economic and financial perspective. The Replication Roadmaps are expected to be completed by the end of 2020. During this phase, the involvement of the stakeholders, already engaged in the definition of Lecce future scenario and the follow-up progress of the project,  will be even more crucial, with the aim to plan a well-defined program where every step of the implementation process will be examined and revised, considering the impact on the indicators commonly agreed and the possible risks that can hinder the success of the operations.Some of the actions planned in the IEP are now being implemented, as the energy refurbishment of 65 Municipal buildings with specific measures as the substitution of the old heating systems, the installation of LED lightings, new windows and PV panels. Read more (in Italian language).

SmartEnCity Network

News from the SmartEnCity Network

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected most of the SmartEnCity Network activities and plans for 2020 both at EU and national levels. Nevertheless, the Network is still growing and has reached a total of 54 members since the previous Newsletter. Welcome to the new Network members Orsomarso, Italy and Trzic, Slovenia.

SmartEnCity Network Bulletins:

The SmartEnCity Network Bulletin is published every eight weeks where all city solutions, city developments and news, national Network activities, events, etc are issued. Find the full archive of the Network Bulletins here. Sign up for the Network Bulletin here.

National SmartEnCity Networks:

Despite the difficult COVID-19 times all cities around the world are dealing with, and the additional efforts of the local governments in order to contain and to reduce the pandemic, the national SmartEnCity Networks are still trying to move forward with the Smart Zero Carbon goal that they are all striving for.

    • The Danish SmartEnCity Network, dk, consisting of seven ambitious cities including Sonderborg, are continuing their strong collaboration during the pandemic. For more information on some of the latest activities of the Energibyerne, click here.
    • The Estonian SmartEnCity Network, Smart Cities’ Club, is trying to recover and continue the activities planned for 2020 which have been disrupted by the world pandemic. A virtual meeting this fall will most probably kick-off the activities of the Network once again. Read more here.
    • The establishment and activities of the Spanish SmartEnCity Network were supposed to start in the spring of 2020. However, all plans were canceled due to the strongly and dangerously emerged COVID-19 outbreak in Spain. The work around the establishment of the Network continues, read more here.
    • The Bulgarian SmartEnCity Network, as the rest of the national Networks was also affected by the worldwide outbreak. However, the Network is exploring and setting up alternative ways of communication which will allow for the activities to continue and the collaboration among the cities to resume. Read more here.
    • The Italian SmartEnCity Network, was launched and had its first meeting in December 2019 (read more here) and had plans for more Network activities during 2020. Due to the extreme pandemic situation in the country, such activities were put on pause, however, the activities will be resumed soon, either physically or virtually, stay tuned for more information.

    Find detailed information on the activities of the national SmartEnCity Networks in the Network Section of our SmartEnCity website.

    Past Events

    Upcoming Events

    News from our Sister Projects
    • At ATELIER project, the first Innovation Atelier session of their Lighthouse City Amsterdam has taken place and was very well visited: Read more
    • At mySMARTLife project,Valladolid and Palencia are on their way to become carbon neutral cities: Read more

    About SmartEnCity / Project ID / Contact
    SmartEnCity, a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, aims to develop a systemic approach for transforming European cities into sustainable, smart and resource-efficient urban environments. We aim to develop strategies that can be replicated throughout Europe in order to reduce energy demand and maximise renewable energy supply in urban environments. Activities include retrofitting in buildings, integration of infrastructures, developing sustainable mobility options, as well as the intelligent deployment and use of Information and Communication Technologies.The SmartEnCity concept will be defined, planned and implemented in three Lighthouse demonstrators Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), Tartu (Estonia) and Sonderborg (Denmark). The process will be replicated in the two Follower cities of Lecce (Italy), and Asenovgrad (Bulgaria). We will encourage a SmartEnCity Network of further cities interested replicating the approach elsewhere in Europe. Under the coordination of TECNALIA Research & Innovation, 35 partners from 6 countries work together to make Smart Zero Carbon Cities a reality in Europe.


    Duration: 66 months (February 2016 – July 2021)
    Partners: 35 partners from 6 countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Spain), coordinated by TECNALIA Research & Innovation
    Call identifier: H2020-SCC-2015
    Topic: SCC-01-2015 Smart Cities and Communities solutions integrating energy, transport, ICT sectors through lighthouse (large scale demonstration – first of the kind) projects

    SmartEnCity Project Coordinator:
    TECNALIA Research & Innovation
    Francisco Rodríguez Pérez-Curiel / Silvia Urra Uriarte (Project Coordinators)
    E-mail: francisco.rodriguez@tecnalia.com / silvia.urra@tecnalia.com
    Phone: +34 946 430 850

    Press Contact

    Bettina Remmele
    E-Mail: remmele[at]steinbeis-europa.de
    Phone: +49 711 123 4048

    Editorial Contact:
    Heike Iffland
    E-Mail: iffland[at]steinbeis-europa.de
    Phone: +49 711 123 4028

    Picture sources: respective Lighthouse Cities

    The SmartEnCity newsletter is published every six months, informing about the project and its news. Register for the newsletter on our project website: smartencity.eu

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    This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 691883.

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