European Commission signs off €82m for 20 smart city projects in 17 countries
The European Commission has made €82 million available to 20 smart city projects to design technology solutions for urban security, digital transition, urban land use, and urban poverty.
The investment, from a total European Regional development Fund (EDRF) budget of €372 million for urban innovative projects, have been issued to cities in 13 different member states. All funding amounts are below €5 million.
Johannes Hahn, commissioner for neighbourhood and regional policy, commented: “No one is better placed than cities themselves to design the solutions that will transform life in urban areas. The Commission has been directly awardingfunding to cities so they can test ideas that will make them great places to live in, work and innovate.”
Dimitris Avramopoulos, commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, said: “Our public spaces have been targeted by terrorists that see them as soft and easy targets. EU funding and knowledge sharing can ensure security by design, while they remain the centres for public life in our cities. The grants we award today are a concrete step forward in that direction.”
Julian King, commissioner for the ‘security union’, said: “With this call for projects under the Urban Innovative Actions, we continue to help cities and local authorities protect public spaces without changing their open character. This support is part of our work towards an effective and genuine Security Union, bringing together actors at all levels to strengthen our resilience.”
Three calls for funding have so far been issued under the EDRF urban innovation fund, each year since December 2015. The full list of 2019 winners is below, including descriptions and budget amounts in each case. A final call for further funding will be launched in September, as the last opportunity for cities under the current EU budget 2014-2020 to seek financing for innovative actions.
DIGITAL TRANSITION (7 projects)
GAVIUS | Gavà, Spain | €4.276m
The GAVIUS project will create a digital tool that facilitates citizens to obtain the subsidies and social aids to which they are entitled in an agile and easy manner, through artificial intelligence features. The project will change the relationship between citizens and administration. The urban authority will transform itself from a reactive to a proactive administration, which offers services in a more personalized and close way, by knowing the needs of citizens through the use of data.
WESH | Heerlen, Netherlands | €2.62m
Heerlen is facing a strong downward pressure on its public services budget due to unfavourable economic and demographic trends. To ensure previous quality levels within limited financial opportunities, the WESHproject pilots alternative, crowdsourced public service delivery model. The solution is to use crowdsourcing to develop a participatory model for better quality and financially sustainable public services, starting from public spacemaintenance operations.
VoxPop | Lisbon, Portugal | €4.48m
VoxPop will develop a data-sharing model, where multi-party data are translated into actionable intelligence, in an effort to enable the creation of enhanced user-centred mobility services and unlock more efficient methods of planning, operating and maintaining transport assets. Within the project, a public and private data-sharing ecosystem will be implemented, where data are shared and co-developed. The Lisbon citybelieves digital transition is a journey combining People, Processes and Technology, which is why VoxPop will also look at non-technological challenges, namely governance, business models, user centricity and unintended consequences of digital innovation.
DARE | Ravenna, Italy | €4,999m
The DARE project focuses on the urban regeneration process (URP) of the Darsena District in Ravenna. It develops a digital environment that makes data accessible, understandable and useful, enabling citizens to become active part in the process. The project is seeking to test whether the proposed set of tools and enablers may effectively boost the digital transition of the area and thus positively contributing to the Darsena URP.
RUDI | Rennes, France | €3,96m
The RUDI project aims to enable and implement citizen-centric e-government solutions across sectors and to create value through free and fair access to data of any kind. The Rennes Urban Data Interface (RUDI) will facilitate access to data from multiple producers, by creating a “data social network” and including highly innovative elements. This portal will be co-designed in a participatory way with citizens, companies and project leaders. Features will be especially designed for citizens regarding their own personal data.
DIACCESS Växjö, Sweden | €3.62m
The main purpose of the DIACCESS project is to use digitalization to make public procurement procedures more effective and agile, in order to better match the cities’ needs while stimulating the innovation process for SMEs. Relying on an open IT platform collecting existing data and making them available for innovators, a public procurement process will be tested where cities and entrepreneurs cooperate in order to develop digital solutions, focusing on the needs and challenges rather than on the solution.
BRISE | Vienna, Austria | €4.86m
The BRISE project will develop an automated method for assessing construction permits in order to respond to the challenge of increased construction activity in the capital of Austria. As a result, it will make the approval process of construction permits faster and less resource-consuming, thus benefitting citizens, architects, businesses and public servants.
SUSTAINABLE USE OF LAND / NATURE BASED SOLUTIONS (5 projects)
SPIRE | Baia Mare, Romania | €2.61m
SPIRE will strive to create a local value system based on key ecosystem services, adaptive phytoremediation and innovative land-use management, for kick starting a smart post-industrial reuse process. The solution includes innovative planning and land-management instruments for regenerating the formerly industrial sites, re-naturalisation of contaminated land by long-term phytoremediation process and enabling new bio-based economic development opportunities supported by active participatory approaches to co-create and promote environmentally-friendly actions and behaviours.
GreenQuays | Breda, Netherlands | €4.7m
GreenQuays will implement a complex set of transferable and innovative solutions for renaturing urban rivers in dense downtown areas with insufficient space for developing natural riverbanks on a limited area of its river Mark. The solution is based on the innovative Nature Inclusive Quay (NIQ) technology specifically designed to support the development of a complex vertical ecosystem, providing favourable conditions for flora and fauna and will be supported by participatory co-design process, targeting the active engagement of external stakeholdersand citizens.
UPPER | Latina, Italy | €3.95m
The UPPER project will transform misused and abandoned green and built areas of Latina into Productive Parks devoted to research, technological development and self-productionof advanced nature based solutions (NBS) and innovative nature based services, with the aim of tackling several environmental, socio-economic and governance challenges. The NBS will be applied to different local districts characterized by specific challenges (e.g. concentration of Roma community, unregulated urbanisation…) through collaborative initiatives based on the participation of citizens and other local stakeholders.
Green Minds | Plymouth, UK | €3.99m
Green Minds is a system for rethinking nature as a solution. The city of Plymouth affords green and blue infrastructure (GBI) a prominent place in sustainable land use policy but it remains undervalued in many ways, leading to de-prioritisation. The urban rewilding, training and communications programmes will change mind-sets, literally creating Green Minds. Changing attitudes and behaviours will allow to give GBI higher priority and to foster a management approach that works with nature rather than against it.
PUJ | Prato, Italy | €2.96m
The PUJ project aims at renaturing Prato’s neighbourhoods in a sustainable and socially inclusive way by developing Urban Jungles. These high-densely green re-designed urban areas will multiply the natural capacity of plants to abate pollutants, restore soil and space to community fruition, and turn marginal and decaying areas into life-giving green active hubs within the city. A new strategic urban planning approach with a strong co-design and engagement of stakeholders will support a more inclusive urban green development in the city.
URBAN POVERTY (5 projects)
CAPACITyES | Bergamo, Italy | €4.8m
With the CAPACITyES project, the city of Bergamo seeks to tackle urban poverty, specifically considering housing deprivation, children educational poverty and spatial segregation. The solution is an integrated approach focusing on children perspective including temporary co-housing structure for families with children under age and a new hub dedicated to children. Both these structures will be co-designed end co-managed by the targeted families, together with the neighbourhood in order to re-launch the social participation, social integration and cohesion.
EPIU | Getafe, Spain | €4.98m
The Energy Poverty Intelligence Unit –EPIUproject will address more than 30.000 people in Getafe, who are suffering from energy poverty (EP), with several aggravating causes (ageing, old and poor quality housing, migrants, tenure, low income, unemployment). It aims to do this though developing an intelligent data analytics system focused on identification and prediction of EP affected people, and implementing specific tailored made programs for citizens to mitigate EP effects. Innovation lies in the change in EP attention beyond monetary poverty: from reaction to prevention using data.
Home and Care | Landshut, Germany | €4.98m
The Home and Care project will develop a new form of flexible childcare, which offers single parents an opportunity to follow a training or take up full employment while at the same time care of their children at home is ensured. The project will construct two buildings with connection doors and common areas that allow single parents working in healthcare and nursing professions to live door to door with single parents working in childcare that will take care of the children when the first mentioned group is at work.
WISH MI | Milan, Italy | €4.97m
Milan seeks to increase the city’s social cohesion, build vibrant communities, and reduce educational and economic disparities. Through the WISH MIproject, the city aims supporting about 225,000 minors in the midst of these challenges, by a) empowering its youth to play an integral part in shaping Milan future; b) building new easy-to-navigate engaging digital pathway to services; and c) building local community hubs, which will serve as innovative “playgrounds” where all players of the community can interact and co-produce, find andoffer tailored opportunities.
A Place to Be-Come | Seraing, Belgium | €3.63m
A Place to Be-Come aims at combating social exclusion and creating quality green spaces for all through an inclusive urban planning process using choice architecture and nudging to gently encouragethe target group. New forms of active participation of vulnerable citizens to the regeneration of their neighbourhood will be tested with three types of activities: nature-based education and training, development of soft skills based on the design of parks and other public areas as well as co-planning and co-design of a newly created district as a learning process.
URBAN SECURITY (3 projects)
BeSecure-FeelSecure | Piraeus, Greece | €3.97m
The main pupose of BeSecure-FeelSecureproject is to reinforce urban security by providing tools to facilitate collaboration between the main urban security stakeholders. A collaborative decisionmaking structure will be set-up for stakeholders’ cooperation in the physical space, while an ICT system for Collaborative Urban Risk Assessment (CURiM) will be developed to prevent security threats, including by engaging citizens. A number of social interventions and spatial measures (Prevention Through Spatial Design) will be implemented in parallel in order to promote a positive perception of urban safety.
TO-nite | Turin, Italy | €4.64m
TO-nite will deliver community-based urban security, through technology-based social sensing, community activation and empowerment. The project will develop a set of multidisciplinary and co-designed solutions with communities, aimed at improving the liveable of public spaces especially during night time, tackling problems deriving from a perception of insecurity that tends to generate in social intolerance and under-use of public spaces, as well as enhancing the capacity of the city to prevent security threats.
SURE | Tampere, Finland | €3.2m
SURE builds on novel ways for involvement of citizens as active co-creators of urban security solutions, innovative utilization and integration of latest digital urban security technologies and infrastructure (e.g. IoT/sensors, 3D modelling), as well seamless cooperation between urban and security authorities, event organizers and urban security service providers. Event areas at Tampere city center serve as testbed for the simulation of different security situations and real life exercises before the scaling upof the solution to other security-sensitive public spaces.