Smart City Lighthouse Projects meet at the European Smart Projects Summit in San Sebastián

26 March 2019, San Sebastián, Spain: part of the mySMARTLife team and representatives of the other 13 European Smart Cities and Communities (Lighthouse) projects met for the European Smart Projects Summit in San Sebastián, Lighthouse City of Replicate. The purpose of the two-day summit was to foster further collaboration opportunities, exchange knowledge and to welcome the two new projects MAKING-CITY and +CityxChange to the family of Lighthouse Cities by signing the amended manifesto of cooperation between these 14 projects. Furthermore, a culture of exchange and learning was supported through a number of presentations, workshops, a study visit and internal working group meetings.

Onto the workshops

Six parallel workshops covered issues like the transformation of districts into sustainable and smart buildings, sustainable urban mobility, funding possibilities for smart solutions, citizen engagement as well as data security and the energy transition. Our mySMARTLife colleagues Dr. Francesc Pardo Bosch from ESADE, Eduardo Miera from Tecnalia and mySMARTLife coordinator Rubén García Pajares moderated and spoke at three of the workshops.

On the road

The study visit demonstrated smart implementations in the Urumea Riverside District that is part of Replicate’s Lighthouse City San Sebastián. The Urumea Riverside District consists of a residential, industrial and a green area and was reached by electric buses that connect the city centre with this smart district.

Here, the group visited the Txomin residential neighbourhood where the first urban District Heating Network of this size in the Basque Country is in operation. The district heating network is owned by Fomento San Sebastián (coordinator of Replicate) and managed through a public-private innovative model, which will give service to more than 1,500 new and 156 retrofitted homes.

The industrial park Polígono 27 displayed smart ICT and infrastructures deployment and a unique sustainable building named Enertic, where experiences on smart implementations, difficulties, challenges and results have been shared.

Here in San Sebastián, the municipality has upped its game on sustainable mobility by introducing electric vehicles to the local police enforcement. In the case of the BMW e-scooters, an additional battery was installed to power their sirens & lights.

And working group meetings

The two-day event was rounded off with internal working group meetings at Talent House, with a view over  San Sebastián, with its beach and the historic city centre. There, the different working groups, such as the Board of Coordinators, the Replication or the Communication Group, met to discuss joint topics and to work on joint activities.

And Good Bye

What have we learnt from San Sebastián? Over these two days, we have learnt that we, the smart city family, consisting now of 14 projects, are delivering outstanding projects, encountering similar barriers and that we all need to find localised specific solutions to overcome them. However, across all projects citizen engagement is the key to delivering a truly smart city. In addition, we are aware that political commitment is necessary to make smart urban transformation a reality.

The 14 European Smart Cities and Communities (Lighthouse) Projects are: