News Archive

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Carsten Rothballer: The beauty of the smart city approach is that everything is somehow directly or indirectly connected

26 February 2016

Tell us, how would you describe GrowSmarter in a nutshell?

GrowSmarter is special. It aims to showcase a series of 12 integrated smart city solution packages with numerous measures in the three Lighthouse cities Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona. The solutions range from advanced information and communication technology and better connected urban mobility, to incorporating renewable energy sources directly into the city’s supply network. The project enables public...

Can sustainable office buildings increase workers’ productivity?

26 February 2016

By Constanze Böttcher, DIRECTION project 

Efforts to make buildings environmentally sustainable often focus on the technical side, such as energy efficiency. But there is more to sustainability than just energy efficiency. Sustainability is also about the people using the building. Users should be involved in the planning of a building right from the start, even though this may be difficult in practice.

This is...

Towards Energy Union: The European Commission presents sustainable energy security package

26 February 2016


The Commission unveiled a package of energy security measures to equip the EU for a global energy transition to address possible energy supply interruptions. Energy security is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union strategy, a key political priority of the Juncker Commission.

The package sets out a wide range of measures to strengthen the EU's resilience to gas supply disruptions. These measures include; moderating energy demand, increasing energy production in Europe (...

New EU procurement rules: better quality, simplification and benefits for SMEs

26 February 2016

New directives on public procurement and concession contracts will enter into force on 18 April 2016, providing an opportunity to turn public procurement into a strategic policy instrument.

This new EU-wide legal framework will help cities to promote smart cities solutions by allowing environmental and social considerations, as well as innovation aspects to be taken into account when awarding public contracts. Under the new rules, it will also be easier for small and medium-sized...

How to renovate Europe’s buildings using less energy

26 February 2016


Practical Approaches to the Building Renovation Challenge is a paper summarizing the findings of building experts; i.e. researchers, engineers, architects and practitioners, from some 40 EU-funded projects.

Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and over a third of CO2 emissions in the EU. Most of the buildings that will exist in the year 2050 are already built. Renovation of the existing building stock is therefore key to meeting our long term energy and...

EUSEW 2016 opens call for Energy Days

26 February 2016

Energy Days is an initiative to raise awareness of sustainable energy use and renewables, taking place in June 2016 as part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW).

Do you have an idea for an event to encourage energy savings, inspire interest in renewables or boost business from green energy? Why not register it as an Energy Day? The focus this year is on energy consumers. Guidelines and support are available for organisers, and registered events will be publicised on the EUSEW...

Hans-Günther Schwarz: The 2nd ICT revolution will enable the use of smart solutions in all aspects of life

29 January 2016


Tell us a little about ERA-NET Smart Cities and Communities and its objectives.

The ERA-NET Smart Cities and Communities is a joint activity of the Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe and the Smart Cities Member States Initiative. Both networks have been around for a number of years, which has...

DIRECTION Project: Real Results of High Performance through Buildings

29 January 2016

The DIRECTION project has created a dynamic framework for constructing new low-energy buildings and its final results will be presented during an academia-industry seminar taking place on 17 February 2016 in Munich, Germany. 

Marking the end of the project, the final event will gather European architects, developers and constructors who will share their insights and experience on topics such as building performance analysis, cost control and design-construction-operation-methodology...

European Capital of Innovation 2016: the Nine Finalists

29 January 2016

Nine cities were shortlisted for the European Capital of Innovation Award 2016 which will be announced in April.  In the second year of the award, the European Commission aims to celebrate the European city that is building the best innovation ecosystem connecting citizens, public organisations, academia, and business with all-round innovations at city level.

The nine finalists chosen by a high-level jury of independent experts from 36 applications are:

Amsterdam (NL)...