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Mayors and delegates from a number of European cities, industry and networks including Polis gather in Stockholm from 10 to 12 February 2015 to mark the launch of a new 25 million euro project: GrowSmarter is designed to shorten the path towards a more sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally smarter Europe, and is expected to create up to 1,500 new jobs. GrowSmarter is one of the first European Smart Cities lighthouse projects funded by the H2020 Research & Innovation Programme of the European Commission.
Opening the launch, Karin Wanngård, the Mayor of Stockholm, said: “It´s a great honour for Stockholm to be part of GrowSmarter and we are proud to be a Lighthouse City within the project. GrowSmarter holds a huge potential to create and spread new ideas enabling cities to develop in a social, environmental and economic sustainable way, in addition to creating new jobs."
"GrowSmarter is a role model when it comes to organising future cities – working together to reduce environmental impact, strengthen local growth and improving city life. We expect that by 2050, more than 6 billion people will live in urban areas. This trend requires some rethinking in cities – we need to think smart. We are hugely excited to be a GrowSmarter city!"
Stockholm, Cologne and Polis member Barcelona will act as ‘lighthouse cities’ within the project, implementing 12 smart city solutions: from advanced information and communication technology and better connected urban mobility, to energy efficiency. The solutions will be rolled out in a number of city areas, including downtown districts, suburban and industrial areas, ensuring a sample base representative of European cities.
Five ‘follower cities’, including Polis member Cork will work in close partnership with the ‘lighthouse cities’ to learn from their experiences, and provide a market for solutions suitable for their specific local context.
Dr Manel Sanromà, Chief Information Officer of Polis member Barcelona, said at the launch: “With GrowSmarter we are building a league of cities to the benefit of our citizens. We are breaking down silos between energy, mobility and ICT, as well as between cities. We are all different as cities, but also share the same anatomy. Therefore, we should work towards similar solutions for similar problems.”
Spearheaded by a team of local authorities, environmental technology partners, and European partners, including Polis, the project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme and will run for five years.
In October 2014 the consortium of partners (as above) application to the Horizon 2020 Programme was approved by the European Commission. 25 million euro was awarded to deliver a five year project entitled ‘GrowSmarter’ which began in January 2015. This project aims to stimulate city uptake of ‘smart solutions’ by using the three Lighthouse cities as a way to showcase 12 Smart City solutions:
The project enables public bodies to work in partnership with private organisations to facilitate market growth at a local level, reduce the environmental impact and improve quality of life for European citizens.
The combination of Smart Solutions, to be rolled out in this urban context, is intended to meet the needs of three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental and economic. The project has the potential to create the equivalent of 1,500 jobs across Europe, and aims to reduce energy usage by 60 percent, and cut EU transport emissions at project level by 60 percent. The GrowSmarter project consortium is comprised of 37 partners both from the public and private sector.
The project website is currently under development and will use the following URL: www.grow-smarter.eu