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time. If a solution is to bring benefits from a social point of view, it helps

provide a better life; from an economic point of view, it can save money;

and from an ecological point of view, it reduces emissions. All these

factors will help the uptake of solutions.

“To help demonstrate viability, we have evaluators – both from a technical

side demonstrating the potential savings, as well as a financial evaluation

from the IESE Business School at the University of Navarra, Spain, to

show whether there is a short pay-back period. If we can demonstrate

smart solutions to visitors of the three lighthouse cities, then uptake won’t

be so difficult.

“The follower cities also play a critical role. There are organisational

issues when adopting new technologies, but it helps being able to come

and see first-hand how they could work and be adapted to your own

country. This is why we have these additional cities that we are working

with – to identify and iron out issues around replication, but also to help

set up links between cities and industry and ease the transition to

becoming a smarter, more sustainable urban environment that citizens

can enjoy.”

The GrowSmarter project is a venture that aims to help transform

Europe’s cities into smart urban environments of the future. With a focus

on addressing the Societal Challenges and involving the public sector,

industry, academia and, crucially, the citizen, this Horizon 2020 project

has the power to inspire a shining beacon of smartness, bringing benefits

to the continent’s economy and international competitiveness, as well as

creating jobs.

be boxes with pin codes to ensure the safe

collection of goods that they have ordered.

“We are looking at ensuring that the last leg of

the delivery is by bicycle in both Barcelona and

Stockholm. Furthermore, we are working a lot

on traffic management and particularly on

speeding up the flow of public transport; there

are several issues on sustainable mobility,

which all cities will work with.

“In conclusion, in the fields of buildings,

infrastructure and mobility, we are testing four

smart solutions in each of those three

categories, leading to a total of 12 smart

solutions. The idea is not just to test them but

to demonstrate them, encourage investment

in these smart solutions, and realise

developments in Europe and the rest of the

world which both stimulate growth and

reduce the CO

2

emissions; this is how we will

grow smarter.”

Citizen-centred

According to Landahl, the citizen is key to the

implementation of the project: “If we do not

have the citizens involved when we have the

information on how to save energy in their

dwellings, or if people are not interested in

saving energy, then the smart solutions will not

be realised.

“Furthermore, if citizens are not interested in

having their goods delivered to their houses

instead of to a nearby shop or post office, then

the smart solution will not be realised. If people

are not interested in taking part in a car sharing

scheme or a cycle lending arrangement, we

will not be successful in changing behaviour

and/or mobility.

“However, many people see such possibilities

as opportunities that will help them in their daily

life, rather than saving the environment or

reducing the level of greenhouse gases; there

has to be practical benefits. Yet, it’s possible to

demonstrate such green aspects as well, and

our industrial partners will be able to sell these

solutions using this argument.”

Uptake of smart solutions

Portal then sought to investigate the uptake of

the 12 smart solutions, and Landahl explained

the key challenges of this task: “The most

difficult aspect is realising a solution for the first

Gustaf Landahl

GrowSmarter

B R OW S E

www.grow-smarter.eu

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

www.horizon2020projects.com

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

I S S U E S E V E N

187

S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : E N E R G Y

Cologne, Germany:

reducing car use

and increasing

cycling is another

goal of the project