Context

+CityxChange is a smart city project, that has been granted funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme in the call for the topic ‘Smart cities and communities’. In all seven LHCs and FCs which are part of the project, Positive Energy Blocks and Districts will be developed and installed by contributing in this way to the European Clean Energy Transition goals across EU cities. Following this line of thought, the project can contribute to help cities come closer to fulfilling two main EU Directives such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Energy Efficiency DirectiveThey both serve as key EU legislative instruments to endorse the improvement of the energy performance of buildings in EU countries. 
 
Viewing it from a broader context, the development of smart city strategies is closely aligned to the goals and targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)Cities across the world are already making use of Big Data analytics gathered from smart sensors and connected devices. Using technological solutions to address wider community issues, can help governments to improve a wide range of urban operations and services, by developing intelligent and inclusive urban systems where waste, costs and ecological impacts are minimised. It goes hand in hand with the UN SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), where a big emphasis is being put on ‘’making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’’. In a more direct or indirect way, digital technologies can help to foster the successful implementation of other SDGs as well. It is important to address not only the direct technical solutions, but also the interaction and integration between buildings, users, cities and the larger energy system in order to stimulate the right environment for sustainable economic development.  
 
What is a Smart City?
In the future, municipalities must handle a completely different complexity in society. In order to have well-functioning cities, cities must improve how they utilise their resources and how they engage with technologies in different ways. A smart city will use digital technologies to enhance performance and wellbeing, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens.