Author: Sindi Haxhija

RESPONSE joins the Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse projects

A new project has joined the Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse projects. We want to welcome RESPONSE which aims to establish a strategic vision for Smart Cities Energy Transition: Climate-neutral cities by 2050. Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, RESPONSE is a 60-month project.

RESPONSE aims to turn energy sustainability into a do-able vision by solving the energy trilemma (security, equity/affordability, environmental sustainability) at building, block and district levels in smart cities. The project builds upon intelligent integrated and interconnected energy systems coupled with demand-oriented city infrastructures, governance models and services that foster energy sustainability.

RESPONSE supports the lighthouse cities of Dijon (FR) and Turku (FI) and their Fellow cities Brussels (BE), Zaragoza (ES), Botosani (RO), Ptolemaida (GR), Gabrovo (BU) and Severodonetsk (UA) to facilitate them deliver positive energy blocks and districts. It attracts the interest of various stakeholders by generating innovative business models enabling the upscale and replication of the solutions forming a validated roadmap for sustainable cities across Europe and beyond. The overall focus of the project is to create resilient and safe cities whilst increasing the quality of life and lowering the impacts of climate change. 

The consortium of RESPONSE is led by European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER) Germany, being technically supported by Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, CERTH, Greece, and comprises a total of 53 partners.

Open Innovation Call #2, Limerick

Do you have an idea that could help transform the way Limerick uses energy? Open Innovation Call #2 is focused on generating and supporting new ideas that contribute to an ambitious ongoing goal for the city: creating a positive energy district, a compact area that actually produces more renewable energy than it consumes.

This goal is the work of the +CityxChange Project, which organises the Open Innovation Calls. These Calls are a way for members of the public to join the work of the project, by demonstrating ideas, pilot projects and prototypes that can be tested in real-life settings in Limerick. Open Innovation Call #2 is focused on software-based projects that could improve how homes, businesses and residents use energy – making energy use simpler, more accessible, and more streamlined.

Citizens, makers, creatives, startups, businesses and other stakeholders are welcome to apply for funding and get involved. Eligible projects could include using sensors and data to understand energy use, empowering communities to take control of their energy, visualising financial cases for community grids and renewable energy cooperatives, and other innovations that support communities to take an active part in the energy transition.

Applications to the Open Innovation Call will be open in January 2021. An Information Session and Matchmaking Event will also take place. Details to be announced soon.

Please email to register your interest or to ask questions.

D9.9: Report on Intra-Project Collaboration Including Study Visits and Peer-to-Peer Workshops 4

The deliverable 9.9, Report on Intra-Project Collaboration Including Study Visits and Peer-to-Peer Workshops 4, was submitted by NTNU in December 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

‘This report provides an overview of the study visits, peer-to-peer workshops, and other intra-project learning activities performed by the Lighthouse and Follower Cities and the other partners in +CityxChange, between 1 May 2020 and 31 October 2020 (M19-24). These activities form part of Work Package 9 “Inter-Project Collaboration and Clustering”, Task 9.1 “Intra-Project Lighthouse and Follower City Cooperation”. They are designed to address the needs of the participating cities and solution providers in an effective manner, to better align goals and priorities, to promote cross-cultural communication, understanding and collaboration between the partners, and to speed up the learning process and iteration of results across the entire value chain.

As support to deliver better study visits and peer-to-peer workshops, the deliverable also describes ex-ante/ex-post evaluation of cross-cutting issues within clean energy, open innovation, gender, socio-economic science and humanities to increase impact and deliver practical recommendations to partners and beyond. This report (D9.9) is complemented by D9.10: Report on attendance at events held by other SCC-01 co-ordinators 4. Some general content is repeated from the previous D9.7: Report on Intra-Project Collaboration, including study visits and peer-to-peer workshops 3.

D9.10: Report on attendance at events held by other SCC-01 co-ordinators 4

The deliverable 10.9, Report on attendance at events held by other SCC-01 co-ordinators 4, was submitted by NTNU in December 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

‘+CityxChange actively pursues synergies with other relevant EU platforms and projects, facilitating collaboration and exchanging good practices. This report describes the participation and lessons learned by +CityxChange partners in events organised by other SCC01 projects, SCALE, SET-Plan Action 3.2, the Smart Cities Marketplace (SCM), EERA Joint Programme Smart Cities, and other European networks during the fourth six-month period of the project M19-24. The report is Deliverable 9.10 of the +CityxChange Task 9.2 on Extra-Project Cooperation through other SCC01 projects and EU platforms, in Work Package 9 “Inter-Project Collaboration and Clustering”. Some general content is repeated from the previous D9.8 and complements Deliverable D9.9 “Report on Intra-Project Collaboration Including Study Visits and Peer to Peer Workshops 4”.

+Limerick – Innovation and infrastructure in the positive energy city


If you walk through Limerick’s Georgian streets and cast your eyes downward, you might notice a square object punctuating the surface of the path – a cast iron plate in a limestone frame, cut from a single block. When the plate is removed, the opening leads to a brick vault running beneath the street. These openings were used for the delivery of fuel, coal mainly, but also turf to the basements of Georgian buildings. From there, the fuel was distributed to fireplaces beautifully and elegantly articulated in the Georgian style. The coal holes, brick vaults, fireplaces, and chimneys all describe the energy infrastructure of the late eighteenth century when Limerick’s Georgian city, Newtown Pery, was built. Though coal has been replaced by electricity and gas, our present-day energy infrastructure is still reliant on carbon-based fuels and we now know that this must change.

Year: 2020

Authors: Helena Fitzgerald

Publisher: RIAI

D11.16: Data Management Plan 3

The deliverable 11.16, Data Management Plan 3, was submitted by NTNU in December 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

‘This deliverable constitutes the third version of the Data Management Plan for the +CityxChange project. It specifies Data Governance and handling of data in the project, what types of data are expected to be generated in the project, if and how it will be made open and accessible for verification and re-use. It will also specify how it will be curated and preserved, with details such as ethical, privacy, and security issues.

All beneficiaries are informed of the applicable regulations around human participation, informed consent, data processing, data security, and pertinent regulations such as GDPR or H2020 Ethics or FAIR guidelines. When personal data collection or processing is started, the DMP information will be updated accordingly to include updated data summaries, consent forms, compliance, and institutional approval where necessary. Processing of personal data will respect the Data Protection Principles. This document provides an overview of data handling in the project and provides the initial guidelines for the project. The project will support openness according to the EU FAIR approach and the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary” together with the project ambition of “Open by Default”.

This document is an update of D11.5: Data Management Plan – Initial Version and D11.7 Data Management Plan 2 and supersedes those documents. Changes to previous versions are detailed in the introduction section.’

D11.6: Risk Mitigation Registry 2

The deliverable 11.6, Risk Mitigation Registry 2, was submitted by NTNU in December 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

‘This deliverable contains the +CityxChange risk management process and a regular review and update of the risk tables. It defines detailed risk management and review processes and sets expectations, procedures, and responsibilities. It presents an extended version of the risk tables, updated with the state at the time of writing with new risks based on lessons learned, and defines more detailed criteria for each identified risk, leading to operational risk management and tracking. This report also includes the process and results from an updated state-of-the-art review of existing SCC-01 projects in order to identify gaps in the risk management strategy and a new risk assessment section for COVID-19 implications. This report is the updated version of D11.4: Risk Mitigation Registry 1 and supersedes that document. Specific changes from the previous document are highlighted in the Introduction.’

+CityxChange Newsletter – December 2020

+CityxChange‘s fifth newsletter has been distributed in December 2020. Please, feel welcome to read the newsletter online here and distribute it to your network. This month’s newsletter contains the most important news and updates of the last three months from our project, focusing on how +CityxChange has adopted to a new digital format of events and interactions among project partners.   

Further, we want to invite you to subscribe to the newsletters to not miss any project updates. 

SCIS Positive Energy Districts solution booklet

The Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) Solution Booklet on “Positive Energy Districts” is out now.

Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) are gaining importance, both as urban innovation labs and as concrete, on-the-ground projects for creating future proof, energy-positive and climate-neutral urban living environments. Where do they come from and why should one have one or more PEDs developed in one’s own city?

+CityxChange has contributed to the development of this solution booklet with insights from the project’s solutions. 

Võru to switch to a completely LED technology street lighting

Our follower city, Võru, is the first city in Estonia, and as far as we know, in the Baltics, where street lighting is 100% provided with energy-efficient LED lamps. During the last six years, the city of Võru has been working to ensure that street lighting throughout the city is modern, efficient to run and safe.

“The city of Võru has completed the complete modernization of street lighting, which has resulted in a significant increase in electricity savings, environmental sustainability and considerably improved traffic safety on pedestrian crossings,” commented Mayor Anti Allas.

According to Andres Visnapuu, the manager of OÜ Taristuhaldus, the company that manages street lighting in the city of Võru, there are a total of 2,428 lighting points in Võru today. “In recent years, 422 new lighting points have been added, and although street lighting points have been added, electricity consumption has decreased significantly. For example, 117,747 euros were spent on street lighting in 2014 and in 2019 the amount was only 68,282 euros,”  Visnapuu commented, adding that if before the modernization there were only four lighted pedestrian crossings in Võru, today there are 104.

“Many thanks to us to the Environmental Investment Center (EIC), who has supported the modernization of street lighting,” said Visnapuu.

Under the leadership of the EIC, by the autumn of 2015, seven Estonian cities received new street lighting based on LED technology, which was considerably more energy and environmentally friendly than before. “This was a unique project, where in addition to the usual mediation and supervision of grant money, the EIC organized procurements for cities and was responsible for project management. One of these cities was also Võru, which at that time made its city whiter and more sustainable. Later, we have contributed from the structural funds to the modernization of street lighting in the city of Võru,” – says Andrus Treier, the head of EIC – “City street lighting works smarter and more economically.”

The last sodium lamp of the street lighting in the city of Võru was removed and replaced with a new LED lamp October 29, at 1 pm on Männiku Street.