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On our way to Smart Mobility- Tallinn

On our way to Smart Mobility- Tallinn

In 2016 three new projects co-funded by the EU were commenced that will help to further Tallinn’s ambitions in the field of Smart Mobility. These projects are NSB Core (Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme), FinEstSmartMobility (Interreg Central Baltic Programme) and FinEst Link (Interreg Central Baltic Programme).

NSB Core – North Sea Baltic Connector of Regions – is a project aimed to improve sustainable freight and passenger transport in the north-eastern region of the Baltic Sea. This in turn will ensure a better access to the region via North Sea – Baltic Corridor. The project consortium consists of 16 partners from 6 countries with an impressive number of 40 associated partners. During the project, mapping of different smart mobility concepts as well as spatial analysis for several commuting corridors will be carried out. The project underlines the need to synchronize long distance transport to urban transport systems, such as train, air and sea transport. Additionally a case study for a new tramline in Tallinn to connect the harbour to Tallinn city centre will be conducted. The project will run until 30.04.2019.

NSB Core partners- R4E TallinnNSB Core partners

FinEstSmartMobility – Old City Harbour mobility flows with smart solutions – is a smaller project with 6 project partners, including the City of Helsinki as the lead partner and City of Vantaa. The objective here is to create an interactive queue management system for heavy good vehicles (HGV) arriving in the ports of Tallinn and Helsinki. A pilot project will be implemented in Tallinn in which a parking lot outside the city centre will serve as the parking area for heavy vehicles in the queuing system. The trucks are directed to the harbour according to real-time traffic conditions and ferry timetables, which reduces parking load in the port area. The project also sees the extension of the Park & Ride scheme to the ferry passengers in order to reduce car traffic in the city centre and the harbour area. An important result will be the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for Tallinn that will be developed within this project. The project ends on 31.08.2019.

Location of the HGV parking lot- R4E TallinnLocation of the HGV parking lot

FinEst Link – Finnish Estonian Transport Link – carries out a feasibility study of the Helsinki–Tallinn fixed link in 2016–2018. The feasibility study focuses on the technical, economic and business viability of the railway tunnel vision. There are 6 partners participating in the project, including the City of Helsinki. The project also helps to pave the way for deeper integration of regional economies, twin-city and regional co-operation, and for achieving better integration in the multimodal cross-border transport systems with significant impact on lowering the CO2 emissions. The project runs until 31.07.2018

Helsinki -Tallinn conection R4E project



Roadmap Workshops in Eindhoven and R4E support of Vice-Mayor

Roadmap Worshops in Eindhoven and R4E support of Vice-Mayor

On 1 and 7 December 2016, the first two R4E Roadmap Workshops took place in Eindhoven. The aim of these workshops was to complete the city specific roadmaps of Eindhoven on Smart urban spaces and on Smart mobility, by defining projects which are needed in order to bring these roadmaps to the next level. Participants of the workshops were civil servants and external stakeholders who can help in the realisation of the defined projects and/or have the specific knowledge of solutions that can help in the realisation of those projects.


While preparing the workshop the R4E team of Eindhoven realised that a lot will change in the coming years. All kinds of changes, like climate change, the transition to non-fossile fuels, demography, technology, etc., will have an impact on many elements, like on public space, mobility, and on the behaviour of travellers in choosing their mode of transport. Very important about all these changes is that they won’t take place at the same time and that we cannot foresee it if and when they will occur. This means that the design of the urban space and the space for transport as an integrated part of public space has to be flexible.

Roadmap Workshop Smart urban spaces

On the 1st of December 2016 the first Roadmap workshop of R4E took place in Eindhoven, focusing on Smart urban spaces. The “Street of the future”, a result of the changes that will take place in the future, was chosen as an inspirational image during the workshop. From the enthusiastic reactions of the workshop participants we can conclude that this image was a good choice.


During the workshop several projects and subjects were determined as key success factors in the transition to the “Street of the future”. The available space in the subsurface was mentioned as one of the challenges for now and the future. Furthermore, greening  the city is one of the solutions in order to cope with a changing climate, as well as making the city more liveable. Another important outcome is the need to create a climate resilient kit. This kit should help to make people aware of climate change and show them what they can do to make their property more resilient.

Roadmap Workshop Smart mobility

On the 7th of December 2016, the Roadmap workshop on Smart mobility was organised in Eindhoven. From the work done within R4E in the past months resulted in the desired future scenarios and shared values for Smart and Sustainable mobility in Eindhoven, which are a healthy city and region, a liveable environment, and putting the traveller at the center of the proposed solutions. This was taken as starting point for the Roadmap Worshop.


About 35 representatives from knowledge institutions, companies, groups of interest, and local, regional and national government participated actively at the workshop in four working groups:

  • Shared Smart Mobility modes
  • Data & management systems
  • Personalised services
  • Values, motives and behavioural change

Also here, the key success factors were determined for the transition of the future region and city of Eindhoven. One of the main challenges ideantified, for now and in the future, is the quality of the available space.

Signature of the ‘Offical Statement’ by Vice-Mayor

At the end of the workshop the Vice-Mayor for Mobility, Mrs. Jannie Visscher, reflected on the results of the workshop. She noticed with enthusiasm that the participants in the triple helix are very willing to cooperate in making a next effective step in realising the ambitions and solving mobility problems. She signed the ‘Official Statement’ of the R4E project, thereby expressing her support of the roadmapping process and the R4E project in general.


The next step…

During these workshops we made a first step by collecting project ideas and initiatives to start the actual work in order to reach the desired furture scenarios. At the end, this will flow over into the following phase of the R4E project: the Project Portfolio.

R4E project meeting. TALLINN

R4E Project meeting. TALLINN. 14th december, 2016.

Following the plan for the R4E project, next official project meeting will be held in Tallinn next 14th december, 2016. The steering committee meeting will take place in the same date as the dissemination event called “Vision conference. Smart Tallinn in 2050” already announced, although in the afternoon so that all R4E partners can attend the dissemination event. This R4E project meeting will be a great opportunity to check the progress of the project, review all the actions that have been done since the last meeting and share debate all the communication and dissemination actions performed in this last period.  As one of the most importantn points in this meeting agenda, partners will also be informed about about next steps within the workpackages 3,4 and 5 referred to the roadmapping methodology.


The Tallinn Municipality will make use of this opportunity to offer the rest of the partners a study visit on Smart Mobility and Smart Buildings topics in the city. That way, all partners will visit the Traffic Control Centre of Tallinn and also a deeply renovated apartment house with the lastest technologies in metering energy and ICT’s.


Traffic Control Centre of Tallinn

Dissemination event of R4E in Tallinn, 14th december, 2016

Dissemination event of R4E in Tallinn, 14th december, 2016.

Next 14th december, 2016 will take place in Tallinn the next dissemination event of the project. The event is being organized to be of interest to many different local and international actors involved to the Smart Building and Smart Mobility focus areas. The event will consists of a Conference where different responsibles of the Municipality of Tallinn will explain which steps are going to be taken in order to start making progresses on the fields of Smart Buildings and Smart Mobility in accordance to what has been agreed within the R4E project. Besides, very interesting information regarding the background of Tallinn about these topics,  and the current context of the city will also be detailed.

Specific information of the Convenant of Mayors and the SUMP, the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan of Tallinn, will be shown and discussed due to their close linkeage with the actions and projects that will be triggered by the R4E.  One of the key aspects of the R4E project is its innovative approach, that has taken into account the importance of the participation and involvement of local stakeholders to identify the needs that must be covered in our cities and the solutions and technology to use, on that ground, the Municipality of Tallinn has invited a large amount of relevant stakeholders to enrich the event, create synergies and stablish new collaborative relationships.

The Deputy Mayor Arvo Sarapuu and the Vice-Chairman for City Council Lauri Laats will be in charge of the openning of the event. The introduction of the project will be done by Triin Sakermaa and in the Smart Buildings session will participate: Villu Pella, from the Tallinn Energy Agency, Andres Jaadla, ambassador of the Covenant of Mayors, Mikk Maivel from State Real Estate Ltd. With respecto to Smart mobility session, Jaagup Ainsalu from the Tallinn Transport Department, Jaak Aadam Looveer from the Tallinn City Planning Department and finally Pille Arjakas that will moderate the debate after the presentations. The agenda is shown below:

vision-conference-tallinn-r4eYou can click here to get the link in Estonian.

R4E in the Smart City Expo & World Congress. Barcelona, 14th-17th Nov, 2016

R4E in the Smart City Expo & World Congress. Barcelona.

The Smart City Expo World Congress is the worldwide leading event for #smartcities. This year it brought together 600 cities, 590 exhibitors, more than 400 speakers and 50+ side events and activities. This Congress is the reference one in Europe regarding smart Cities and has covered a wide range of topics about the smart city development and how its evolution is expected.

Smart City Expo World Congress is a 3 day event being held from 15th November to the 17th November 2016 at the Gran Via Exhibition Centre in Barcelona, Spain. This event is a grand show of its kind which has had many companies on the same platform who has facilitated the opportunity to display all their goods and services from the related sector. In 2016 SCEWC wants to continue the great debates about the future of cities and encourage discussion among participants in the industry in a more thorough manner, echoing the concerns and recommendations from the outcomes. In addition, the event has reinforced the new trends in collaborative economy and commons, energy innovation, sustainable mobility, co-production and co-creation dynamics, as well as discuss the important topic of open data or identify opportunities for improvement in education, health or aging populations.

Due to its relevance, the city of Eindhoven, as coordinator of the R4E project has managed to include the presentation of the project in one of the sessions of the Congress, in particular,“Solutions to measure city performance and achieve collaborative governance”. Representing the consortium ,as communication and dissemination corrdinator, the city of Murcia introduced the project and its main feautures and goals, taking part in a short debate after the round of presentations.

r4e-smart-city-expo-world-congress-jaime-ruiz-huescarJaime Ruiz Huescar from the Murcia City Council presenting the project in the session. 

Below is shown the whole presentation of the project:

r4e-smart-city-congressThe pannelist of the session took part in a short round of open questions .

To get access to the whole photo gallery of the event click here.

Sant Cugat: R4E in the Smart City Expo & World Congress. Barcelona, 14th-17th Nov, 2016

Sant Cugat: R4E in the Smart City Expo & World Congress. Barcelona.

 The city of Sant Cugat del Vallès was present in the Smart City Expo & World Congress of Barcelona this year. Sant Cugat is well known as a very active and comitted city in terms of developing innovative projects and actions in the fields of urban infraestructures, the improvement of recreations areas likes parks and gardens and the creations of smart city tools to make life easier to its inhabitants. As a result, apart from its participation in the R4E project, Sant Cugat is also involved in other EU funded projects such as: Newtrend, Optimus and Chess set up.

r4e-sant-cugat-del-valles-scewc16-2Gerard Riba from Sant Cugat del Vallès Municipality explanning the key aspects of the project Chess Set Up.

Sant Cugat exhibited an own stand in the Expo and was a showcase of the lastest projects and actions that the Municipality has been involved in. The R4E project was introduced as one of its main projects in terms of expected impact in the city, involvement of stakeholders and relevancy of the measure that will derive from its outcomes.

r4e-sant-cugat-del-valles-scewc16-1Gerard Riba showing the work donde within the R4E project so far.

Tallinn Vision Development 2050

Vision development for Tallinn 2050

The R4E project has completed the “Vision development” stage, which consisted of designing the services and characteristics that our cities should offer in the year 2050, based on the opinions and contributions of municipal experts of each city, their stakeholders, politicians and municipal managers. To better illustrate the process, images have been created that reflect the way our cities could look in 2050, including the services and characteristics agreed upon in the workshops for each of the project’s focus areas.


In 2050, people in Tallinn value sustainable behaviour and renewable energy. They take individual responsibility for energy saving, and the remaining energy demand is affordable for all. Renewable energy sources such as heat pumps, biofuels and energy from the sea enable a CO2-neutral city.

All existing buildings have had a far-reaching renovation and modernisation, with respect for their historical heritage. All the energy systems are automated and connected. Smart materials and equipment contribute to an energy-neutral city.

Integrated and flexible city planning values an energy-efficient smart city. Planners have the knowledge and awareness to work at an integrated system level. Their work takes into account all relevant issues, and provides the flexibility to adapt to changing situations. These policies are implemented through specific, integrated district plans.


What characterises the city of Tallinn in the focus areas of Smart Mobility and Smart Buildings and the elements of the desired future scenario are:

1. Distributed services

Services in Tallinn are distributed in decentral hubs around the city, with logical clusters of services according to the needs of the people in the area. The hubs are connected by free (self-driving) public transport and light traffic highways for safe and comfortable commuting by (e-)bike. Households enjoy sharing facilities for sauna, laundry and mobility. The newest technologies for generating electricity and charging devices are widely available.

2. Prefab building modules

Buildings are constructed and renovated with prefab building blocks using state- of-the-art, sustainable and energy-efficient materials. Smart technical systems are integrated in the modules, so technical rooms are small. The blocks allow flexible additions to buildings to add extra space or change functionalities (e.g. accommodating changes in schools). New technologies such as 3D printing allow high flexibility and custom design for architectural freedom.

3. Smart public services

Public services (home care, medical care, sports training, education etc.) are remotely accessible. Smart solutions enable service delivery at home (e.g. measuring blood pressure). An integrated system (like a web portal) offers access to services from all companies, and makes it easy to search for and find the right ones. The use of artificial intelligence allows tuning to individual needs, and providing useful services and incentives (e.g. comparing ecological footprints).

4. Flexible use of public buildings

Public buildings (schools, churches, theatres) in Tallinn are used intensively. People can book rooms, buildings and equipment for different purposes through an online portal, e.g. using schools in the evening for computer training for adults, yoga classes in a gym or office rooms for short-term rental by start-ups. The buildings are showcases of energy efficiency and provide energy for the community (e.g. as carriers of PV panels for shared use) and energy education.

5. Sophisticated renovation

All buildings are deeply renovated with the newest technologies for energy efficiency, and are connected to CO2-neutral district solutions for heating and electricity generation. Flexible funding schemes and incentives (e.g. tax breaks or prizes) drive people to achieve the highest saving with the best indoor climate through renovation and behavioural change. Local government demonstrates and encourages good practice, and provides temporary housing during renovation.



In 2050, citizens in Tallinn enjoy an attractive, clean and quiet living environment that encourages sustainable behaviour. The cityscape is dense, so all services are within easy reach or are provided in the home. More public space is allocated to living, and less to motorised transport.

Smooth, seamless public transport connects all the city areas. Smart planning is used to respond dynamically to the changing demand for the transport of people and goods. The transport and ticketing systems around the Baltic Sea are integrated in a way that is simple, comfortable, affordable (free), clean and fast.

Planning and decision-making processes are based on open collaboration that includes different views and knowledge sources. Tallinn is recognised as a front-runner in openness. Citizens are aware of their roles, and actively take part in making decisions that influence their living environment.

 1. Human scale squares

The city’s streets and squares are designed around people. The urban environment is safe, attractive and suitable for a wide range of social interactions. The design of the spaces, with an extensive network of cycle tracks and pedestrian-only areas, gives clear priority to walking, cycling and new modes of personal mobility like self-driving bikes and wheelchairs. This ensures easy accessibility for all citizens.

2. Vehicles on renewable energy

All vehicles, bikes and cars are shared, self-driving and adaptive to the available infrastructure. A shared electrical vehicle system provides the city with renewable energy storage by allowing access to the vehicle batteries. The smart infrastructure collects information from the vehicles for the central system, through which users receive relevant information such as traffic signs, traffic information and navigation suggestions.

3. Innovative public transport

Different energy-efficient mobility modes include more flexible infrastructure, like trams with magnetic tracks for midrange distances between the neighbourhoods. The non-disruptive infrastructure allows shared use by all vehicles. For longer distances, an integrated public transport system covers Estonia, Scandinavia and the Baltic States, based on superfast and energy-efficient solutions.

4. Metropole Talsinki

Tallinn and Helsinki together form one big metropolis, with the advantages of economy of scale. This also provides advantages for direct goods logistics connections to Helsinki and beyond. Tallinn is a key hub between mainland Europe and Helsinki. The airport in Tallinn and a high speed transportation system provide fast, comfortable and reliable links for people and goods, and have a positive impact on the labour market and economics.

5. Data system

The ‘Smart Department’ of Tallinn collects and analyses real-time information for use in smart algorithms that optimise the system based on people’s needs. The system is used for decision-making and planning purposes, such as parking & charging of e-vehicles and use of public transport lines. All kinds of applications use the resulting information to provide users with valuable services.

All these ideas and input have emerged from the participatory workshops that have taken place in the city of Tallinn and whose images can be seen below:



Newcastle Vision Development 2050

Vision development for Newcastle 2050

The R4E project has completed the “Vision development” stage, which consisted of designing the services and characteristics that our cities should offer in the year 2050, based on the opinions and contributions of municipal experts of each city, their stakeholders, politicians and municipal managers. To better illustrate the process, images have been created that reflect the way our cities could look in 2050, including the services and characteristics agreed upon in the workshops for each of the project’s focus areas.


In 2050, people in Newcastle enjoy energy-efficient buildings with a high level of comfort. All homes and non-domestic buildings are connected to an effective energy system, to achieve net-zero energy consumption and net-zero emission. Newcastle has adopted a collective approach to decisions in the infrastructure that enables joint decision-making with stakeholders in the city. Urban planning takes a broad wide-area view to take full advantages of the opportunities extending beyond site or estate boundaries and city limits. Through the open data centre the City Council and its partners are able to implement evidence-based policies and decision-making. Residents are empowered and have the means and the wish to make responsible choices on their own energy usage and investments.

What characterises the city of Newcastle in the focus areas of Smart Buildings and the elements of the desired future scenario are:

Sustainable buildings

Homes and non-domestic buildings provide high levels of comfort with sustainable energy solutions. They support their users with personalised advice to save energy in line with their lifestyles. Retrofit solutions as well as new innovative buildings ensure that all buildings are sustainable. Buildings are exemplary in their use of innovative and sustainable technologies. High visibility of the solutions supports their adoption as well

as a thriving building sector that ‘exports’ design and consulting services. In this way the standard of the buildings is raised, adding value to existing business models in the local community.

Smart infrastructures Infrastructure interconnects local grids for different energy sources, such as electricity, temperature control (heating and cooling), water and data, and connects the local grids to regional and national levels. Local grids enable communities to invest in and share sustainable solutions with peers, and support optimal use of renewable energy and the specific features and qualities of separate buildings. All buildings are connected to the grid, receiving and transmitting information to peers or to a wider network with respect for the privacy of the users.


The top layer of the visual represents different type of buildings and sharing options, with an increasing complexity of the solutions. This builds up from a (perfect) house, connected within the neighbourhood, through a community hub around a (public) building, shared use and modular buildings, right up to the future living environment.

At the bottom left the new policy and planning process are shown as a way to manage future-proofing. Elements of the desired future scenario here are the flow of benefits between stakeholders, and city-wide planning (around the table) to align information and decision-making.

At the right of the visual are the underlying infrastructure and personal schemes, which are needed to enable all the other solutions.

1. Flow of benefits

An integrated planning and development process optimises the flow of benefits for different stakeholders. The value of ‘community gain’ is considered (not just financial gain) is considered through local integration. A long-term perspective allows business models and decision making to consider state-of-the-art solutions and to avoid the need for renovation. Democratic decision-making enables future retrofitting with participation by residents.

2. City-wide planning

Policy-making and planning in Newcastle are based on a city-wide plan. This fully integrates all assets and their interactions, so the total impact on the surrounding can be considered. A collaborative approach together with all stakeholders drives alignment of information and leads to better decisions. Through regional cooperation, one set of principles provides developers with progressive standards to achieve sustainable projects.

3. The perfect house

Houses are designed for people. Connectivity with the energy and data net provides valuable services for comfortable living (e.g. tele-care). People can make responsible choices, even from options they did not think of themselves. The smart house manages itself according to set parameters. Simplicity and accessibility are the norm: people have freedom of choice, with full control of their homes and their lives.

4. Community energy benefits

People living in Newcastle‘s estates jointly benefit from shared sustainable resources provided through local grid solutions. Residents share energy solutions tailored to their homes (e.g. PV panels on south-facing roofs, or turbines in ‘windy gardens’, with basement for batteries). The grid provides local interconnectivity promoting community-building and cultural change

5. Community hubs

Residents, businesses and public organisations share energy through a two-way interactive local grid. This increases resilience, benefitting from the strengths of features and investments in other buildings. The benefits of energy investments and production are retained within the community. A smart (virtual) infrastructure allows matching of fluctuations in energy supply and demand energy.

6. Shared-use buildings

Smart (wireless) systems enable flexible use of buildings with variable occupancy patterns and users’ needs. Office buildings, shopping centres, community buildings and schools can meet varying demands for space by providing the required energy, lighting and heating according to specific user and activity profiles. The building minimises energy consumption by recognising recurring patterns of use.

7. Modular buildings

Modular buildings offer smart systems, increasing flexibility for reconfiguration of spaces and energy systems (biomass boilers, heat pumps, PV modules). Smart building controls enable internal restructuring. Flexibility de-risks the business case for investors to make the building structures future-proof. Newcastle can exploit its heritage of building large ships and offshore structures to develop core structures that can be clad with modules.

8. Future living

Citizens’ daily living patters have changed significantly. Buildings suit the activities of future citizens, with flexibility between working, living and leisure activities. Future buildings offer a range of facilities and technologies to encourage social interaction.

9. Personal energy schemes

Individual energy schemes with personal roaming profiles allow the use of (wireless) energy and data where and when they are needed. These provide access to new services such as telecare or energy donations. The scheme enables localised trading, sharing and lending of resources through peer-to-peer networks. The scheme addresses different lifestyles and provides individual budgets and advice for behaviour based on planned and predicted usage.

10. Energy infrastructure

The energy infrastructure enables gradual replacement of non-sustainable energy sources by renewable energy in buildings as well as regionally (e.g. wind parks and solar farms). Optimisations are done at the appropriate levels, linking local, regional and national grids. Shared data and knowledge from all stakeholders feed into the city-wide plan and support future-proof decision-making. In 2050, Newcastle is a net-zero emissions city.

All these ideas and input have emerged from the participatory workshops that have taken place in the city of Newcastle and whose images can be seen below:



Sant Cugat Vision Development 2050

Vision development for Sant Cugat 2050

The R4E project has completed the “Vision development” stage, which consisted of designing the services and characteristics that our cities should offer in the year 2050, based on the opinions and contributions of municipal experts of each city, their stakeholders, politicians and municipal managers. To better illustrate the process, images have been created that reflect the way our cities could look in 2050, including the services and characteristics agreed upon in the workshops for each of the project’s focus areas.


In 2050, all the stakeholders in Sant Cugat value collaboration and shared responsibility to manage their energy pro-actively. Both owners and occupiers of buildings value the opportunity to save energy and water.

They do this by using the latest energy-saving technologies and energy- efficient system designs. These concepts add up to significant energy savings. But people don’t have to make any compromises on the comfort of their (living) environment. The latest technologies are also applied in the materials used in buildings and in the urban space. For example with materials that can clean the air, and take advantage of the kinetic energy of cars, bikes and pedestrians, transforming this energy into other forms that are useful for citizens.

Renewable resources are valued because they create a self-sufficient smart energy grid connecting all the individual buildings and neighbourhoods. The desired future scenario makes a distinction between the different type of buildings — family houses, apartments, public buildings and offices — addressing specific opportunities and solutions. Those solutions can also be applied in other areas and categories when the need arises.


What characterises the city of Sant Cugat in the focus areas of Smart Buildings and Smart Urban Spaces and the elements of the desired future scenario are:

1. Smart communities

In 2050, owners of family houses are aware of the need for sustainable energy, water and waste services. They invest in systems and share them with their neighbours, so together they can afford a range of solutions for energy (generation and storage), water, food and waste. Together, they form a self-sufficient community. Smart homes provide a high level of comfort, with easy access to services like healthcare, so people can continue to live independently in their own homes.

2. Saving through sharing

Apartments in 2050 provide both shared and private areas and services. Next to gyms, gardens and swimming pools, sharing also extends to kitchen, dining areas, office spaces for teleworking, and many other facilities. Green roofs provide shared gardens and urban farming spaces. These are interconnected to provide green walking routes. Basements offer common parking spaces for bikes and charging points for shared vehicles.

3. Empowerment by example

Public buildings in 2050 are like a service rather than just a space. They make efficient use of space by adapting to the needs of the users – e.g. smart services to optimise behaviour. Nature and natural resources are used, like plants and green, to reduce the impact of the building. Public buildings are showcases for the highest possible energy efficiency and teach and empower citizens towards sustainable behaviour.

4. Campuses as incubators

In 2050, offices and campuses are small villages in themselves, providing local facilities and services. They open up to citizens and connect to the community. The controlled environment of campuses and the predictable patterns of use, make them ideal incubators to test new solutions for energy exchange, self-driving mobility and other shared services. All systems use and provide open data, supporting start-ups in developing new business.

5. Open smart grid

In 2050, a smart grid connects all buildings and public services. The system is accessible by all users and providers of energy, water and other resources (waste disposal). It allows users to choose from a range of available options. It brings together supply and demand, anticipating weather and other conditions and use patterns. The system enables self-sufficiency at city level. It uses open data, although citizens are in charge of their own data and of the system.



In 2050, the citizens of Sant Cugat enjoy a high-quality environment for well-being. People feel responsible for sustainability and engage in collaborative urban planning, use and maintenance.

A high-quality living environment supports healthy lifestyles. An ecological system connects the green areas and enables multifunctional use of urban spaces. The result is an increase in social activities, and in walking and cycling.

The newest technologies are applied in the materials used in buildings and urban spaces. For example, materials that can clean the air and take advantage of the kinetic energy of cars, bikes, and pedestrians transforming this energy into other forms that are useful for citizens. Circular systems for water, food, waste and energy are managed efficiently for maximum re-use of resources.

The environment is designed around people as users of different urban spaces, such as school areas, parks, streets and urban green (visualised in the top layer of the desired future scenario). The spaces are supported by smart systems to allow for a variety of services. All subsystems are balanced by the city ‘brain’ (top right) This is all brought together in the city landscape as a holistic city ecosystem, in which all materials, water and air flows are of high quality.

1. Empowered people

People are proud to live and/or work in Sant Cugat. They drive initiatives, supported by the administration. Social discussion groups (with good representation of the community) co-create their living environment. A database with the latest data and historical knowledge supports living with lower use of resources. Visibility of the (now invisible) infrastructure and resources enables responsible management and anticipation by citizens themselves.

2. Multi-use of urban space

The urban spaces all over the city are used more flexible and cater for different activities. Spaces can be rented for short-term use (e.g. playing football) or for longer-term use (e.g. urban gardening) through an app. Facilities can also be booked, and will be tuned to the activity (business meetings, sports and games, picnics etc.). Citizens engage in social activities with respect for the environment and for other people. The elderly, children and the disabled can use the spaces safely.

3. Resilience of the city

The resources available in the different areas are shared at city level in a circular system. This is done territorially — to understand and monitor the (natural) resources; socially — to enable the awareness and interests of people; technologically — a system and grid to make the resources accessible and to respond to changes and emergencies; and economically — to allow continuous improvement. In a ‘system-of-systems’, everything is connected and maintained as a single infrastructure.

4. Open data & smart grid

The system includes a centralised data base containing different types of data from different stakeholders on all services and assets in the city. The ‘brain’ of the system anticipates the expected use and conditions, suggests actions suited to users’ needs and optimises the use of the infrastructure and resources. It enables people to make choices in complex situations. The data is accessible for the development of new apps and services by entrepreneurs.

5. Financing model

New solutions and systems are needed, and these require new financing models and cooperation by the stakeholders. The administration and social conscious citizens jointly invest in the living environment. Public spaces, resources and data are used for valuable new services (e.g. food delivery for picnics in the park or the use of spaces as terraces) to generate revenue enabling sustainable business and further investments.

All these ideas and input have emerged from the participatory workshops that have taken place in the city of Sant Cugat and whose images can be seen below:



R4E – Related and Linked Projects – Introducing the “BRESAER Project”.

R4E – Related and Linked Projects Part 2 – Introducing the “BRESAER Project”.

As part of our commitment to creating a learning community and disseminating the actions and outcomes of the Roadmaps for Energy (R4E) Project, we are connecting with other EU funded projects, cooperating, sharing information and practises. Which is why we will dedicate a few of our posts to introducing these projects.

The BRESAER Project

BREakthrough Solutions for Adaptable Envelopes in building Refurbishment

BRESAER will develop a cost-effective, adaptable and industrialized “envelope system” for buildings refurbishment. The BRESAER’s envelope (for façades and roofs) will include a combination of active and passive pre-fabricated solutions which will be integrated in a versatile lightweight structural mesh. This new technology is expected to significantly reduce the building’s primary energy consumption and the Greenhouse emissions while improving indoor environment quality through thermal, acoustic, lighting comfort and air quality at the same time.


breasar2With the BRESAER system the whole building will be governed by an innovative Building Energy Management System, which will manage all the different envelope functions, the energy facilities of the building and monitor the energy generated by the BRESAER system.

The innovative solutions developed by the project include:

Structural metallic profiles to achieve a standardized constructive system configurable, easy to assemble and able to support different envelope components. Such components will be fixed to the profiles with a common standardised solution allowing easy and fast installation as well as removal in case of maintenance or replacement.

Multifunctional and multilayer insulation panels made of Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete used as rigid shells for building envelope applications. Thanks to an enhanced manufacturing process they will provide insulating capacity, lightness and ease of anchoring. These can be combined with several finishes providing di­fferent functionalities: e.g. integrated PV, thermo-reflective and self-cleaning properties.

Combined solar thermal air and PV envelope component for indoor space heating and ventilation, thermal insulation and electricity generation. A PV film can be integrated on the air solar thermal envelop panel whilst preheated air can be used for indoor space heating and dehumidification.

breasar1Multifunctional lightweight ventilated façade module, with integrated photovoltaic system for electricity generation, and thermo-reflective and self-cleaning coating.

Dynamic windows with automated and controlled air-tightness and insulated solar blinds. They complement energy saving and visual comfort strategies: solar blinds can automatically adjust according to the position of the sun and occupant’s comfort.

A cutting-edge Building Energy Management System will be developed to measure and control both the envelope and the building’s energy consumption trough integrated simulation-based control techniques for automated the establishment of optimal operational plans.



Total (primary) energy consumption reduction by a factor 2 to 4 compared to the values registered before the installation of the adaptable envelope

The primary energy consumption reduction will come from the integration of all the components into the BRESAER envelope solution. Through the implementation of the BRESAER system, we expect to record a reduction by at least 60% of the total primary building’s energy consumption and a consumption of less than 60 kWh/m² and the BRESAER system will improve indoor environment quality by increasing thermal, acoustics, lighting comfort and air quality (IAQ).


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