Panel 5. Smart and sustainable communities

Nowadays, 55% of the world’s and 74% of the Europe’s population lives in urban areas and by 2050 the numbers are expected to increase to 68% and 84%, respectively. Cities generate great opportunities for simultaneous environmentally and social sustainable development and economic development, employment and wealth generation. However, in order to reach this the risks and the conflicts of interests in exponential growth has to be handled very carefully. Although cities worldwide only occupy 2% of the land area, they consume 75% of global energy and generate 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, sustainable development of urban areas and multidisciplinary planning is a challenge of key importance.

In order to be able to manage urban areas in a sustainable manner, the local governments in partnerships with the local business life and civil society, the citizens and all the relevant stakeholders need to work more closely together on making cities smarter. In this context, new innovative systems can be used to enhance the typical provider-consumer model, leading to the higher energy consumption awareness on both sides, with consumers being able to assist the energy service providers in their processes of integration of renewable generation.

Smart urban technologies can provide an important contribution to the sustainable development of cities, with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offering new interdisciplinary opportunities to improve services while reducing energy consumption and emissions. ICT is also a key for implementing new roles along the energy value chain, where traditional business models are rapidly becoming outdated, with more demanding consumers and sustainability policies. However, it is of utmost importance to design the smart solutions, so their added value exceeds the resources necessary for implementing the measure. Sustainable is always smart, but smart is not necessarily sustainable.

This panel invites contributions that are dedicated to the design, development and assessment of smart and sustainable cities, communities and city districts, being focused on smart communities or urban planning, local actions and multidisciplinary and cross-cutting aspects.

Contributions may focus on a local and/or a global perspective on smart and sustainable cities and communities, including drivers and barriers. Some relevant topics are:

  • “Smart and sustainable communities” as a concept (characteristics, relevant indicators, relation with other concepts and potential impacts);
  • Global outlook and comparisons of smart and sustainable cities (case studies, replication and transfer across cities and communities);
  • ICT (smart meters, smart appliances, monitoring and control systems, etc.) for energy management at community and city district level and their potential for energy and costs savings as well as smart urban technologies to improve quality of life.
  • Demand flexibility (load shifting, demand response, integration of small-scale and large-scale energy solutions, or energy storage) for the grid integration of intermittent renewable generation (matching between local generation and consumption and ancillary services to enhance grid reliability);
  • Smart urban technologies to improve quality of life (improved indoor air quality and/or comfort, convenience and accessibility), and to provide economic and social impacts.

Urban planning, local actions and cross-cutting aspects

Contributions may focus on urban planning issues or the implementation of local actions, as well as on cross-cutting aspects linking several aspects related to sustainable communities and city districts. Some relevant topics are:

  • Regeneration of urban space, design options for greening urban environments and urban challenges related to energy and climate;
  • Local actions (experiments, projects and demonstrations) in cities and rural areas and their role for learning and upscaling;
  • Local governance structures and urban governance strategies and policies for community solutions and cooperation to achieve low carbon energy transitions at community and/or urban area level.
  • The role of public and private sector, including local energy companies for sustainable communities;
  • Multidisciplinary planning (including circular economy and society aspects) for smart and sustainable urban development and energy efficient cities and city districts;
  • Citizen engagement and cross-sectoral collaboration (stakeholder involvement) for sustainable communities.

Panel leaders

Agneta Persson, AnthesisEnveco, Sweden

Agneta Persson is Head of Energy and Sustainable Cities Nordic Region at the Anthesis Group. She is a Civil Engineer, with a degree from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. She is one of Sweden’s leading experts in sustainable energy systems, energy efficiency, low energy buildings, technology procurement, demand-side management and market transformation with 35 years of experience in energy and environmental issues. She is a pioneer in the technology procurement area, with a broad experience from developing, managing and implementing several Swedish and European projects in this field.

Agneta has also been involved in and managed several inter-disciplinary urban development projects in e.g. Sollentuna, Stockholm, Lund, Helsingborg, Uppsala and Malmö in Sweden, Sibbesborg in Finland and Melbourne in Australia.

Agneta is also a dedicated eceee supporter. She is one of the eceee Vice Presidents and she has participated in all but one of the summer studies.

Pedro Moura, ISR University of Coimbra, Portugal

Pedro Moura is Assistant Professor at the University of Coimbra and Researcher at the Institute of Systems and Robotics. He has a background in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with an Engineering degree (2002) and a Ph.D. (2010) in Energy from the University of Coimbra. He has been involved in more than 30 national and European projects related to energy efficiency, renewable generation and smart grids. Some recent research projects in which he has participated are CERtuS, ErPLot27, ENERsip, Energy2B, EMSURE, EESEVS and NextStep. He has authored and co-authored more than 70 papers published in top-tier journals, conferences and books and is reviewer in 35 journals published by IEEE, Elsevier, Springer and Wiley. His research interests include energy planning and smart grids, focused on topics such as demand-side management and demand response programs, grid integration of renewable energy generation, electric vehicles and energy storage.

2019 Partners