Around 80 delegates from the EU’s nine Lighthouse projects along with officials from the European Commission and INEA converged on Nottingham last month pledging to strengthen project cooperation towards making our towns and cities smarter and more sustainable
The nine Lighthouse projects are spearheading the EUs efforts to offer holistic and integrated approaches to ecological and citizen-friendly urban regeneration. Together they are worth around €250m and represent some 60 cities across Europe.
On the back of a study tour organised by Lighthouse project REMOURBAN, Councillor Sam Webster of Nottingham City Council and Michael Carr, pro-vice chancellor of Nottingham Trent University hosted the signing of a Cooperation Manifesto which officially embodies the close cooperation already taking place between the Lighthouse projects.
The manifesto signing and study tour took place on 2 March and represented an opportunity for all the Lighthouse projects to get together to share findings, methods, strategies and barriers. Topics of discussion included business models for Smart City replication, best practices and Nottingham City’s 2020 Energy and Carbon Strategy. As part of the gathering, REMOURBAN coordinator Miguel Angel García Fuentes of Cartif Foundation in Spain, presented the project’s Urban Regeneration Model architecture that will provide valuable inputs to the Action Cluster on Integrated Planning from the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities.
In addition to the site visit to Nottingham’s Sneiton district and the city’s e-bus charging depot, the event offered the opportunity to convene meetings among the coordinators and the replication and dissemination task force. Their aim is to share knowledge on replication challenges and develop a common communication strategy to maximise replication potential within a growing number of European cities. This is a key issue for SCC projects which indeed have many overlapping themes and goals, but with different emphasis covering diverse urban areas. As Elisabeth Schmid from youris.com, leader of REMOURBAN dissemination and communication activities, reflected at the end of the event: “Designing a joint communication plan for nine Lighthouse projects seemed a bit of a tall order. Luckily it soon turned out that we could draw on the strong commitment and enthusiasm of our fellow projects. As the leader of the Task Group for joint dissemination and communication activities, our efforts so far have focused on letting all these positive energies to converge into something which gives added value to our projects’ reach. Together in Nottingham, we have been able to outline a cogent dissemination plan which ultimately is about generating replication opportunities beyond the projects themselves. We’re delighted to be part of this team and from what we’ve seen here in Nottingham our work is already starting to pay off”.