Nantes in the future – mySMARTLife on the (Eu)radio

Lighthouse City Nantes and the French radio station Euradio have jointly produced “Nantes in the future” (French: “Nantes au Futur”), a podcast series dedicated to the European project mySMARTLife. In 9 episodes, the audience discovers the project and the various sustainable actions implemented in the Lighthouse City Nantes.

The intention of the podcast series is to explain to the citizens of Nantes the actions that will support the city on its way to achieve the energy transition and to make peoples’ life more climate-friendly and smart. What is so special about this series is that experts are explaining their work on a concrete mySMARTLife action in an easy to understand way. After all, the citizens are playing a vital role in the mySMARTLife project:

“The methodology that we are proposing is that all the solutions, all the challenges of the city should follow what we call a city-led approach. So, we always count on the citizens at the core of all the decision of the city,” says Rubén Garcia-Pajares, mySMARTLife Coordinator in the first episode of the podcast series.

As the podcast was partly produced during the Covid-19 lockdown, the first ones have been created as phone interviews while others have been produced on-site (e.g., the podcast on the e-busway) which lets the listeners dive into the scenery.

Episode 1: the mySMARTLife project

This episode in English gives an overview on the project. Our project coordinator as well as the local coordinators of the Lighthouse Cities Nantes, Hamburg and Helsinki are interviewed and give insights into the smart actions undertaken in their respective cities.

Episode 2: E-Busway

22 buses that are 100% electric have substituted the former buses in Nantes. This line, created in 2006, connects the city centre with the South part of the Loire River. The e-buses drive every 3 minutes during peak times on a lane that is reserved for them, they are environmental-friendly and silent. On average, nearly 40 000 passengers are transported each day and you are taken on board of this sustainable mode of transport.

Episode 3: the Energy Datalab

The Energy Datalab was launched as part of mySMARTLife to use digital data for energy saving measures in buildings. In 2016, Nantes Métropole partnered with Enedis and the regional incubator Atlanpole. The use of energy data transmitted by meters in buildings and equipment in the city helps reduce the energy consumption of public facilities and thus optimise their use.

Episode 4: the Digital Boiler

What if… we would plunge data centres into oil? In this episode, you will learn how the oil transfers the waste heat data centres give off, computing calculations for e.g. animated movies or a university, to the building’s hot water system.

Episode 5: Research on the Ile-de-Nantes heating network

The Ile-de-Nantes heating network is this gigantic tangle of pipes that criss-crosses part of the City of the Dukes. Overall, 85 km of pipes bring the heat produced upstream in boiler rooms. As part of the European mySMARTLife project, Nantes Métropole joined forces with IMT Atlantique, an engineering school in Nantes, to model the installation. Thanks to sensors installed throughout the network, energy losses could be detected, and solutions proposed to optimise and extend the network.

Episode 6: Nantes Métropole invests in its roofs to fight against global warming

By 2030, Nantes Metropole has set the ambitious objective of making 100% of Nantes’s roofs useable e.g. for renewable energy production urban gardening, the promotion of biodiversity etc. In the mySMARTLife project, a multitude of options for solar energy were developed such as photovoltaic panels, a citizen-co-founded plant, hybrid panels or transparent organic films.
In this podcast, Claire Bernard de Courville, in charge of the pluri-annual public solarisation plan for Nantes Metropole, guides the listener on a visit to the solar power plant on the roof of the Petite Amazonie swimming pool, in the centre of Nantes. Over fifty square meters, the panels produce the energy needed to power the swimming pool.

Episode 7: Autonomous Shuttle

Between 2018 and 2019, an autonomous shuttle was tested on the banks of the Loire River in Nantes driving on a dedicated lane.
As part of the European mySMARTLife project, a second test iteration was implemented. This time the shuttle drove under real traffic conditions. Beyond the technical aspects of the driverless vehicle, an extensive evaluation of the usage was conducted by mySMARTLife partner Cerema, the Centre for Studies on Risks, Environment, Mobility, and Planning.
In this podcast, Pierre Nouaille and Guillaume Costeseque from Cerema look back at this experiment and the customer evaluation procedure of the shuttle and its environment.

Episode 8: Nantes Métropole supports the energy renovation of homes

As with washing machines, homes also have their rating. From A for good students, to G for the most energy-intensive, not all have the same impact on the environment.
Nantes Métropole and Engie supported energy retrofitting of individual houses and condominiums. For the inhabitants who carry out these transformations, the benefit is twofold: greater comfort, and lower energy bills. Marion Gégot and Natacha Javalet talk about the implementation of this action and the financial aids available.

Episode 9: Development of an extension of the Nantes Métropole Urban Data Platform

At a time when the issue of data collection is a hot topic, the last episode of "Nantes au futur" invites you to dive into the heart of the European project of "Urban Data Platform".
An urban data platform is a service platform that provides cities with transformed and valued data that can be directly used. As part of the mySMARTLife project, Nantes Métropole is partnering with the Engie group to develop an Urban Data Platform. The idea is to collect the data produced by the public buildings and facilities, in order to bring them together in a single platform.

You can find all episodes of the podcast (first one in English, the other episodes in French language) here.