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In Focus
SPARCS Consortium Meeting

In early October, SPARCS organised its four days long consortium meeting in a virtual setting. The meeting was a great opportunity for all SPARCS partners to convene and discuss the achievements in the first year of the project as well as to look forward to the future actions part of this project. The event was inspiringly interactive and innovative: the presenters and participants had a chance to participate in both theoretical and interactive sessions, contribute to general as well as split digital room discussions on a variety of topics, and use tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slido and Miro.

Some of the highlights from the SPARCS consortium meeting follow:

Day 1:

Day 1 started with a ‘round table’ discussion in which one representative of each SPARCS partner presented the attending team and introduced their expectations for the meeting. An interactive session followed, where each Work Package (WP) leader briefly pitched their work to the project consortium.

Day 2:

Day 2 was a chance for the SPARCS Lighthouse and Fellow cities to shine.

First, the Lighthouse cities Espoo and Leipzig presented their results of the first year of activities and their plans for the future. Each partner, regardless if they came from the city administration, university or private company, which is involved in the implementation of this project in the two Lighthouse cities, had a chance to speak and interact with the whole consortium.
To learn more about the demonstration plans of the two Lighthouse cities, we invite you to read the publicly available Detailed plan of the Espoo smart city lighthouse demonstrations and the Detailed plan of the Leipzig smart city lighthouse demonstrations deliverables.

Second, the SPARCS Fellow cities followed with their presentations on what they have achieved in the first year and what their plans for the future are. We invite you to visit the pages of Maia, Kifissia, Kladno, Lviv and Reykjavik to read more about their involvement in SPARCS and the latest news from each city. 

The day closed with presentations by the Work Package 1 leader SPI about their work on urban transformation, and by SUITE-5 the leader of Work Package 2 - Monitoring and Impact Assessment. Please see the deliverable produced by Work Package 2 on Definition of SPARCS Holistic Impact Assessment Methodology and Key Performance Indicators for more information about the SPARCS approach in this area. Finally, the SPARCS partners viewed a presentation by CIVIESCO - Work Package 7 leader - on the uses of Exploitation and Business Ecosystems

Day 3:

Day 3 focused on replication activities and discussion on Positive Energy Districts (PEDs).

In the first part of the day, Fraunhofer - Work Package 5 leader - presented their success stories in the sphere of replication, highlighting the job completed in organizing the first SPARCS city lab assessment in the Fellow city of Reykjavik.

Two interactive ‘City café’ sessions organized by the Lighthouse cities rounded up the talks dedicated to the replication activities within SPARCS.

In the second part of the day, the discussions centered on PEDs, its meaning to the SPARCS partners and how they can be further emphasised, as they will be one of the in-focus items in SPARCS.

Day 4:

On Day 4, GOPA Com. – Work Package 8 leader - shared their achievements in the area of communication and dissemination by promoting the numerous deliverables produced and events organised throughout the first year of implementation. Participants were invited to raise suggestions that would help them to further improve their own communication activities.

Later on, the Work Package 6 leader from VTT presented the cooperation activities with SCC1 network and highlighted the importance of their continuation. For more information on this topic, read more in the Cooperation handbook: Report of lighthouse projects cooperation: Working groups and platform results.

The final two interactive sessions focused on Urbis 2050 visions of the Lighthouse and Fellow cities, as well as on the understanding and studying of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for this project. 

This SPARCS consortium meeting strengthened the ties between the partners and inspired them to continue with the successful implementation of the project. To learn more about SPARCS activities and results please visit the website:

SPARCS Partner Stadtwerke Leipzig are part of Mathworks Energy Speaker Series

Join them! 

City Labs assessment week in SPARCS Fellow City of Reykjavik

On 16 September 2020, the first SPARCS city lab assessment week started with the Fellow City of Reykjavik in a virtual format.

This co-creation event was planned as a physical process but had to be adapted due to the pandemic. In collaboration with the City of Reykjavik, a team of researchers from Fraunhofer IAO carried out 13 interviews with more than 30 interviewees.

These interviewees were experts from various departments and institutions, ranging from the City of Reykjavik’s departments of Environment and Planning, Services and Innovation to the companies and institutions responsible for Reykjavik’s energy, waste management, transportation, harbors, corporate social responsibility as well as the city’s academic bodies.

The planned site visits were replaced by the online videos and documentaries that capture the essence of some of the most important spots and places in Iceland and specifically in Reykjavik as well as providing a better understanding of the local culture, opportunities and challenges in the city.

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The city of Kladno realizes the mutual understanding is a key factor to exploit potential cooperation with relevant stakeholders in and out of the city. Positive Energy District, so called PED, might seem like a logical and understandable concept. However, for citizens or some partners who are not involved in new modern approaches in the energy sector it is necessary to explain, in a short and structured way, what it is about. Thus, Czech Technical University (CTU UCEEB) and the city of Kladno prepared a short leaflet demonstrating the purpose and potential benefits of the PED.

The effort of the city is to choose 1 or 2 districts which would not be suitable only from an energy perspective, but have to offer quality place for living and for enjoying some free time to its citizens. In the same time, the district/s have to be in line with urban concept, not island solution, while being able to provide some services for citizens or opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Currently, Kladno City and CTU UCEEB are in analysis phase and negotiations with the relevant stakeholders have started.

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Lviv City Vision 2050 Workshop

To reach climate neutrality it is necessary to collaborate with all city residents and create a clear plan to achieve this goal. For this purpose on the 24 & 25.09.2020, a workshop `Lviv Vision 2050` was held in the inner yard of Lviv City Council.

The key strategic areas of discussion were: infrastructure and housing, spatial development and mobility, waste.

In the course of the work, the participants identified the existing challenges related to ensuring a neutral impact on the climate, focusing on "what we leave in the past" and "what we will take into account in the future". Based on them, a scenario of achieving zero carbon future in Lviv was created.

By 2050, to fulfill the goals of climate neutrality, further steps will be undertaken in Lviv:

1. greening of such sectors as economy, energy, household, transport;

2. cohesion of Ukraine with the European values in the context of the EU's transition to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050;

3. fulfillment of obligations to the world community to preserve ecological balance.

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The Kladno City Vision workshop took place on October 15th. The city of Kladno and Czech Technical University (CTU UCEEB) prepared on-line meeting focusing on the overall vision of the city, particularly on energy, climate, mobility and other areas in which the city wants to develop its potential and look for investment opportunities. The workshop was unique for several reasons. First, it took place online using modern tools. Second, it provided a space for wide discussion (around 40 participants were attending the meeting - companies and major employers from the region, research or innovation institutions, associations, public representatives, energy distributors or providers of major services and other experts). Finally, it also confirmed the interest of partners in the development of the city which would be perceived as a main input for future work.

The workshop successfully followed the establishment of the Energy Development Platform in the city. The platform brings together representatives of the public, private, research, non-profit sectors and dozens of other stakeholders. The formulation of the future vision, strategic priorities and individual projects are thus firmly anchored within the complex ecosystem of energy development and related sectors in the city.

The workshop had a simple goal: to discuss and determine the first outlines of the city's vision until 2050, incl. design of strategic areas. Thanks to the participants who are representing both public and private interests. the goal was achieved. The discussion, which was very interactive and creative thanks to modern tools and methods, brought interesting suggestions and opinions on the future development of the city. The discussion also touched on an alternative and innovative concept in the city, such as the decentralization of the heating system, the use of waste as an energy source, the possible solutions with regard to the future termination of mining and the use of coal, and the construction of a strong central source supplying the city. Future proposals were also made in the area of mobility, digital connectivity and the modelling of the services for citizens.

Results from workshop incl. determination of the next steps will be found on the city website later on.

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Kifissia City vision 2050 workshop

The city of Kifissia is preparing to hold the City Vision 2050 workshop on November 2nd & 3rd, taking special care for the new restrictions due to COVID19.  

As part of the preparation, the city is holding open online discussions with citizens, giving everyone the opportunity to be part of the city’s future.  Everyone can share their ideas, thoughts, and concerns about the city they want, and their input will be used as inspiration for the city vision workshop.  Keeping an open channel of communication and engaging with the citizens at every step is a priority for the city.

Similarly, a discussion with the mayor, the vice mayors, the members of the City council and the members of the local Community council's is being held regarding the Sparcs City Vision 2050 and the strategic pillars that are in focus, making sure that we capture all input from key stakeholders in the city.
The key strategic areas that the city is focusing on are, Mobility, Digital City, Energy Saving, Citizen Engagement, Green Energy, Urban Transformation.

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Maia seeks to become a Smarter, Sustainable, Inclusive and Integrated Zero Carbon Community

Maia seeks to become a Smarter, Sustainable, Inclusive and Integrated Zero Carbon Community. In order to achieve that, and besides the activities conducted along the last months within SPARCS (organizing working team, data collection), the city has on going it’s Living Lab, called BaZe, a word composed by the two first letters of the expression Balanço Zero, expression that we use for our Carbon Neutrality goal.

The project intends to create in the Central Park of the city and the surrounding area, a space for demonstration of innovative ideas and solutions, not only products or services, but also procedures and new ways of doing and disseminating knowledge, in an organized and integrated way, and, most important, with a purpose.

This project has as main focus: to make the city of Maia, a conscious and responsible city, moving towards becoming carbon neutral, and, for that, the project has also to assure monitoring and evaluation, as the whole city has to know how are we behaving, what are our achievements, what didn’t go well and has to be changed, involving all within the collective responsibility of delivering this future to all citizens and the territory.

The project is focused on energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, and circular economy, as well as monitoring and evaluating the results, in order to assess the scalability potential of the solutions/technologies/procedures implemented in this domains.

Within this project, until now, we have on going:

The PAYT pilot project; The Air Quality Sensors; a Scooter Sharing Experience; ane HUB; the Kiosk Zero; a Green Roof and a FabLab, but several other actions are programmed to be delivered during next year.

At the same time, we have several works and projects going on within our Rehabilitation and refurbishment action plan, financed under the EU Funds, to improve energy efficiency in Social Housing, in Sobreiro (11 buildings comprising 94 social houses, representing a reduction of 48% in energy consumption and 51% in CO2 emissions, and 4 tower buildings, comprising 148 social houses, representing a reduction of 51% in energy consumption and 46% in CO2 emissions.

Along with these energy efficiency interventions (housing buildings and public service buildings) we are also renovating all the surrounding public spaces, providing public green spaces and sustainable urban mobility.

We see all of these projects and activities as parts of the whole strategy under SPARCS, leading us to become a Positive Energy & Zero Carbon Community in 2050.

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Upcoming Events
04/11/2020 - 05/11/2020

THE SCIS FINAL CONFERENCE - a beginning not the end


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JPI Urban Europe Policy Conference 2020


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17/11/2020 - 18/11/2020

Smart City Expo World Congress becomes Smart City Live


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