SmartEnCity’s main objective was to develop a highly adaptable and replicable systemic approach towards urban transition into sustainable, smart and resource-efficient cities in Europe. This will be achieved through the integrated planning and implementation of measures aimed at improving energy efficiency in main consuming sectors in cities, while increasing their supply of renewable energy and demonstrating the benefits.

The ultimate goal of the SmartEnCity approach and the combined actions was to move European cities towards the Smart Zero Carbon emissions vision. This goal has been achieved by a number of Europe-wide replicable strategies aimed at:

  • Reducing energy demand through the use of innovative technologies in building retrofitting, sustainable and clean transport systems and intelligent control ICT; as well as raising awareness of all involved stakeholders.
  • Maximising renewable energy supply, through the use of locally available sources

Involving all relevant stakeholders and including citizens in the planning and decision-making process is an underlying element in all steps. A holistic evaluation of the three Lighthouse Cities was also central to the project, taking into account not only the district energy efficiency but also soft factors, such as how the interventions contribute to an increased quality of life in the district and the whole city, the acceptance by the citizens as well as the improvements in the city economy.

The SmartEnCity approach has been defined in detail, and subsequently laid out and implemented in the three Lighthouse Cities (Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain, Tartu in Estonia and Sonderborg in Denmark), to be further refined and replicated with the development of Integrated Urban Plans (IUPs) in all participant (both Lighthouse and Follower) cities.