The GrowSmarter Project
The GrowSmarter project is an excellent example case study of a successful project aiming to transform cities for a smart and sustainable Europe. The project aims to stimulate city uptake of twelve smart solutions that are split on three areas of action for the ultimate goal of developing sustainable and environmentally smart cities. The first area of smart solutions is on the Low Energy Districts and stresses the need for affordable and sustainable retrofit solutions at a large scale related to smart building shell refurbishment and smart local electricity management. The second action area of focus is on integrated structures and has to do with smart street lightning, waste heat recovery and smart waste collection. The third and last area of focus is on sustainable urban mobility and gives solutions on how to tackle congestion through smart traffic management and how to improve air quality.
Maroua Jabouri '17, is a member of Cornell's COP22 delegation
To showcase how these smart solutions can work in practice, three lighthouse cities, Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona each selected a site in their city where the 12 smart solutions will be rolled out over the next five years and will be documenting their journeys with regular news updates. Stockholm, which has been working on climate change mitigation and adaptation since the 1990s, implemented many climate action plans and pioneering policies such as a tax increase on non-renewable energy sources and an increased investment state aid for renewable energy. The city’s goal is to become fossil fuel-free by 2040. Cologne, the fourth largest city in Germany, is also committed to reduce greenhouse emissions and increase energy efficiency and renewable energy usage by 20% before 2020, as well as to reduce carbon emissions by 50% before 2030. Finally, Barcelona is focusing on refurbishing current buildings to create zero energy blocks and installing district heating and cooling by introducing electric vehicles and installing charging infrastructure.
With 25 million euros of funding and a five-year lifespan, GrowSmarter has the potential to create the equivalent of 1,500 jobs throughout Europe by 2020, and the project-level goal of reducing both energy consumption and transport emissions by 60%.