London, Lisbon, Milan, Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw trigger investment in smart technologies as part of Sharing Cities programme
The UK may have left the European Union, but London, in a scheme led by mayor Sadiq Khan (pictured above), is working closely with other European nations to build workable business models for smart technologies.
Launched in 2016, Sharing Cities is a major international smart cities project that aims to address some of the most pressing urban challenges facing today’s cities, such as energy use, low-carbon transport and buildings, and harnessing data for the city’s good. The project works on the basic understanding that green technologies have led to significant change across the cities, which will continue to maintain close links in advancing research and development efforts in this area in coming years.
The five-year, European Commission-funded programme supports smart city technologies to maximise their benefit for Londoners and prove they can be replicated throughout Europe. The programme brings together 34 partners from across government, industry and academia and is on course to meet its ambitious target of €500m by 2021 as each city redoubles its focus on attracting investment into technologies it has been developing over recent years.
By developing business models that can be scaled up and replicated across European cities, Sharing Cities has supported the growth of a new green smart infrastructure market, which the project leaders say is a critical step in making London a zero-carbon city by 2030.
All six cities have demonstrated the benefits that using smart technologies and working together can have on carbon reductions, service delivery and wellbeing. The project is led by the mayor of London and delivered by a partnership of public and private sector organisations in the lead cities of London, Milan and Lisbon, and the fellow cities of Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw.
Initiatives within the project have already tested technologies and developed data-sharing platforms that increase the impact of these innovations. Building improvements to reduce energy consumption and electric mobility schemes – such as e-bike and e-car sharing, electric vehicle charging points and smart parking – make up most of the investment across the cities, with further funding expected to develop carbon-neutral neighbourhoods and build mobile apps to help people reduce energy consumption in their daily lives.
The project has already seen 10 low-carbon technologies – including retrofitting buildings with energy-saving measures, developing sustainable energy management systems for new and existing developments, shared electric mobility and smart street infrastructure – hit 50% of their target investment from a mix of public and private funds.