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29 February 2016

Stockholm blog #2 From a Smart to the Smartest City in the World!

The city of Stockholm has defined a vision to become the smartest city in the world by 2040. In January 2016, the Smart City strategy work started with representatives from several departments. Furthermore 100 Mkr (10 M€) has been set aside for 2016 as a specific budget for making the city smarter and investing in the Internet of Things, Open Big Data and digitalisation of city functions as well as city environments.

For GrowSmarter this is very important, as the actions in the project can be closely linked with the vision and strategy and results from the project, which, if successful, can be scaled-up in the city with the defined budget.

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

What’s going on in Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area buildings?

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

For those of you who didn’t have a chance to read my previous blog post, the smart solutions for low energy districts will be rolled out in three building zones, namely Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area (see map here). Now for an update on where we are with things currently.

All the preparation and planning for the refurbishment of the residential building in Valla Torg is finally done! The first stage of the efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment (solution 1) will start in March together with Skanska. This includes work such as insulating basements, installing new sub-centers required for adaptive control systems, installing new district heating pipelines to substitute old pipelines with high heat losses.

In the private condominia BRF Årstakrönet the project has started preparations for installation of adaptive control systems (solution 1) and indoor sensors (solution 3). This will be done during January-February 2016. Data from these applications will be transferred to the Veolia Hubgrade © - Energy Saving Centre a control- and optimisation centre. The same solutions will also be implemented in the Valla Torg and Slakthus area buildings during refurbishment.

Fastighetskontoret/Real estate administration office has produced principal documents for buildings in the Slakthus area. Next step is procurement of building contractor and producing production documents in cooperation with the contractor. Refurbishment of the Slakthus area buildings will start in April/May.

New information centre on the way

We are currently working with an exhibition venue in Valla Torg to put together an exhibit showing all the different smart solutions and their location in Valla Torg as well as status of implementation. We hope to be able to open this to the public in a few months time and we expect this space to serve as a natural starting point for study visits in the area. There will also be an exhibition room in the Slakthus area showing smart solutions for visitors.

Action area 2: Integrated infrastructures

Connecting up waste heat for reuse and maximising our fibre network

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

Integrated infrastructures, such as the open district heating system and extensive fibre networks, are an important part of making Stockholm a smart city. To achieve our City’s environmental goals, close cooperation between inhabitants, industry, the public sector and many other players is crucial. Environmental and information technology are both key priorities in developing a sustainable society.

Waste Heat recovery

Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) will be implemented in two locations. In Hammarby Sjöstad, waste heat from data centres will be directed into the district heating system, while in in Farsta (some 5km South of the Slakthus area) waste heat from supermarkets will be used. As soon as agreements are signed, implementation will start.

A new and exciting development in the Slakthus area is the incorporation of the nearby Tele2-sports arena as an energy source for heating buildings. A pre-study found that there was enough waste heat from the sports arena to heat up two commercial buildings in the GrowSmarter project as well as other city-owned buildings in the neighbourhood.

© Fortum

Big data management

The extensive fibre network owned and developed by the City is something that makes Stockholm unique. Stockholm enjoys 100 % broadband coverage, both fixed and mobile. The fibre network in Stockholm is provided and administered by Stokab, a company owned by Stockholm City Council. In total, the network stretches the equivalent of more than 30 times around the earth. It is 1.25 million fibre kilometres long, 5,500 cable kilometres long and boasts 600 crossover connections (nodes) and more than 15,000 access points (ODF).

The goal of the City's fibre network efforts is to build a competition-neutral infrastructure capable of meeting future communication needs, spur economic activity, diversity and freedom of choice, as well as minimising disruption to the city’s streets.

Read more on Stokab and the city's fibre network

Watch the movie on the world's largest open fibre network

Stockholm - The Connected City

As part of GrowSmarter, we are looking to use this extensive fibre network to do two things:

1. Connect up and enable a more strategic approach towards city functions such as lighting, parking, transports, building and street maintenance;

This will be tested using the two buildings in Slakthusarea. Between March and May 2016, we will organise several internal workshops with a number of city departments to identify the exact measures we could roll out within the scope of the project, with implementation scheduled to take place during autumn, and an official launch in 2017 when the buildings are made open to the public.

2. Link up the network with a Wi-Fi connection to collect data from sensors for better city planning.

Our partner IBM, which is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), had its first workshop with the city’s traffic department to define data sources and locations of sensors to gather data related to pedestrian and bicycle flows in the city. Together with mobile phone data the IBM Smart Cities Research lab in Dublin will analyse the flow of people in the city, which in turn will feed into our big data platform for use by city traffic planners. With this additional information at their fingertips, city planners will be better able to address different planning questions e.g. what is the ideal width of a sidewalk to enable good pedestrian flow, while at the same time projecting a leisurely feel to encourage people to stop and talk.

Installing smart LED-lighting

The installation of smart LED-street lights (solution 5) will start in March and be finalised in summer in Valla Torg. The adaptive LED-lighting will save 50% of energy, but still provide the same sense of security in walking and bicycling paths.

Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

Growth and snow put a slight brake on things

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

As part of the GrowSmarter project, we have planned to install a number of charging stations and refuelling stations all over the city.

Contracts for the first two refuelling stations(solution 11) have been signed and the third is on its way. City plans needed to be changed in some cases and building permits are required. These administrative issues took longer than expected due to the fact that Stockholm is growing fast and priority is given to new housing projects. The first filling station in Årsta is expected to be established in the end of 2016.

As part of the GrowSmarter project, Fortum has planned to install up to 10 charging stations and one fast charger (solution 11). The fast charger will soon to be put up in Årsta. The location has been selected and the charger has been delivered. Now it’s only has to be put up and connected. Lots of snow right now might delay this a few weeks…

Other mobility measures will start to be implemented during spring and summer or early autumn. I will return to these in my later blog up-dates. Meanwhile enjoy the video (adjacent), that the city has put together to give you an overview.

Discussed in this blog

Solution 1: Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment

Solution 5: Smart street lighting

Solution 6: Waste heat recovery

Solution 11: Alternative fuel-driven vehicles

Mika Hakosalo

Site Manager, Stockholm

For the previous blog post, click here

29 February 2016

Barcelona blog#2: Speedy charging stations – only 20 mins!

We have been busy over the last few months installing fast charging stations across the City to make it quicker and easier for electric vehicle users to get about.

We are also installing a tool in over 200 dwellings for citizens to monitor their electricity consumption via their smartphone, tablet or computer, at any time, in any place. 

Action area 1: Low energy districts

Introducing the Wi-beee, helping residents save energy

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

Over 200 dwellings in Barcelona have signed up for installation of a consumption analyser Wi-beee. The Wi-beee is a unit that monitors and gathers electrical data with the purpose of helping consumers better manage their energy consumption. Once it is installed, the device converts the measured parameters into information that is sent via a Wi-Fi wireless connection.

Like Cologne and Stockholm we have a number of other measures which would ideally be rolled out in an integrated way, however the exact location has yet to be finalised together with our citizens. Our citizen consultation is ongoing and as soon as we have some more updates we will share this with you.

Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

Speedy charging stations – only 20 mins!

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

Over the last few months, Endesa and Barcelona Council have worked together to install fast charging stations in strategic places across the city to encourage take-up of electric vehicles, which can now be charged in only 20 minutes.

This speedy charging service is thanks to new technology, developed by Endesa, called Fast Charge Station (FASTO) or Fast Together. FASTO has a maximum power of 50 kW DC which allows electric vehicles (EVs) to gain an additional 60 kilometres of range in a charge of only 10 minutes. The unique design of FASTO means it can be installed quickly and integrated into all kinds of urban environments. It can be used for both private vehicles and city-owned fleets.

Three connector types currently used in the market (CCS-Combo), CHAdeMO and AC Mode 3 charging protocols are combined into one module optimising its functionality and compatibility with all EV equipped with fast charge system.

FASTO’s simple human interface is designed to improve usability and interaction between the user and the fast charger. In addition, the charger can be managed remotely and integrated into e-mobility systems which are in place across the city. Currently, four out of five fast charge points have been installed.

By connecting up a network of fast charging stations across the city we can work towards providing a continually better service for EV users in Barcelona. The chargers are able to collect a range of performance indicators and direct user feedback e.g.where the best location is for installing these fast chargers, how they work, any additional services which may be desired, possible improvements to explore etc.

At the same time, we can keep track of the monthly electricity charged or the number of charging events per year and calculate the reduction of CO2 emission in Barcelona as a result of EVs and electric charging.

Joan Blanco

Site Manager, Barcelona

For the previous issue, click here

29 February 2016

Cologne blog#2: Citizen engagement in the Stegerwald settlement

Here in Cologne we have made a dedicated push towards our citizen engagement initiatives in the Stegerwald Settlement, where a number of smart solutions are going to be rolled out. Just before the end of 2015 we held a citizen event with local residents where we shared information on the GrowSmarter project and also gave the opportunity for citizens to get involved through our Community Reporter programme.

Our colleagues and partners at Urbis Up are in the process of collecting different data sets to be fed into a data platform to help us work more strategically when it comes to traffic planning.

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts
Citizen involvement: the Stegerwald Settlement

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

Just in time for the year’s end (24 November, 2015 to be exact!), the City of Cologne hosted an event to inform residents from the Stegerwald settlement about the GrowSmarter project and the impact it would have for them locally.

Our goal was to take tenants and other interested attendees on a journey into the future of their residence, gain acceptance and encourage active involvement in the measures such as smart home, car sharing, data information etc.

Tenants meeting © Stadt Köln, RheinEnergie

The tenants meeting was also an opportunity for local project partners (RheinEnergie, AGT International, ampido, cambio carsharing, DEWOG, KVB, ui – the urban institute and Stadt Köln) to present an overview of all the ambitious activities planned to take place in the Stegerwald settlement, as well as framing it in the context of the GrowSmarter project as a whole.

One of the videos, produced by the event organiser RheinEnergie explains all the different energy measures in an amusing way. Take a look, it’s worth it! The event was also documented by Community Reporters / Stadt Köln who produced a video in German as well as one with English subtitles.

Local newspapers were present and reported about the event:
What’s next?
To provide a continuous flow of, and access to, information the GrowSmarter project, Stadt Köln and the local industry partners will continue to host bi-monthly informational meetings on-site, at the Stegerwaldcafé, to answer any questions and/or gather tenant’s suggestions.

Stegerwaldcafe © Stadt Köln

We are also keen to build up a local group of Community Reporters in the Stegerwald Settlement. We are in contact with local youth groups and elderly citizens as we would like to encourage them to document the changes that are happening around them and particularly, though not exclusively, the impact of GrowSmarter.

More information on this can be found:

Action area 2: Integrated infrastructures
Cracking open data - stimulating local entrepreneurs & traffic management

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.

In our last blog update we introduced our platform, the Cologne Cockpit. At this stage we are very busy gathering data sources to share via this platform and so the interface is still under development. But to give you an idea what we are talking about, our partner ui! – the urban institute developed a mock-up, below:

All further real data will be shared via our open data platform. The lion’s share of the data is government data from the municipality of Cologne, which is gathered and split into 13 different categories, e.g. structural data, geographical information (GIS) or environmental data. Since open data in Cologne is not only a city-run project other stakeholders can also participate. By the end of 2015 we had seven stakeholders, including the police of Cologne and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

The idea behind sharing our data in a freely accessible and transparent way is to make it reusable and enable participation and engagement of civil society thereby releasing social and commercial value.

Below are some website user-statistics for 2015:

It is very encouraging that there is an apparent growth and continued interest in open data which shows prevailing mood on this issue. Some 25 Apps have already been developed based on the Cologne open data platform which shows a wide range of different use cases. For example a mobile App which shows the parking capacity in real-time, a game to better get to know the Cologne districts, as well as different visualisations.

The City of Cologne has established itself internationally as a known player in the field of OpenData and we are therefore keen to keep making progress in this area, also through the GrowSmarter project, to open up innovation potential by sharing data in this way.

In this blog
Solution 8: Big data management
Measure 8.1 : Big data platform

Barbara Moehlendick
Site Manager, Cologne

For the previous blog post, click here