Partnerships’ importance for the transition discussed at Recharge Earth

26 October 2022

“Climate change is everyone's problem but it’s no ones task to solve it”, was the first input shared as the RUGGEDISED partners Umeå Energi, Municipality of Parma and the Municipality of Rotterdam joined a session at last month’s Recharge Earth Energy Transition Conference, to discuss how they built the partnerships needed to succeed.

The statement was shared by Katelien van den Berge of the City of Rotterdam who has led the local implementation of smart and sustainable solutions in the ‘Heart of South’ District of Rotterdam. To achieve this, Katelien explained, an absolute key criteria had been a close partnership - and the building up of mutual understanding - between varied interests including both private companies, the Municipality and research. 

She explained that the City’s efforts to make its ‘Heart of South’ District more sustainable had demanded extensive work with stakeholders to align varied interests, especially in regards to who had responsibility for taking what actions. 

“It was not about one building, it was about a small village,” Katelien explained.

Find Katelien’s slides here.

Strategic work as relational connection

The session, an intimate one with roughly 30 participants, was moderated by Ard den Outer, an expert in city-business collaboration with the City of Rotterdam (but not the RUGGEDISED project). In welcoming the audience, he stressed how the efforts of RUGGEDISED had taken innovative ideas and proved what was possible. 

“RUGGEDISED really applied in the real world,” he said while explaining to the audience how RUGGEDISED had worked across cities, thematic areas and stakeholders.”

One of those real world-places, where the RUGGEDISED results could really be felt, was the City of Umeå, represented by Jörgen Carlsson from Umeå Energi. 

In the Swedish City, the Energy company worked especially closely with the local University (and its building owner Akademiska Hus) and the Region of Västerbotten operating the local hospital. 

Jörgen explained at the session that the partnership was from the outset established with a clear mutual understanding. This, he explained, was supported by the fact that Umeå Energi is owned by the Municipality meaning all the partners shared a full commitment to sustainability as a main criteria for their work.

Find Jörgen’s slides here.

In Parma, a Fellow City of the RUGGEDISED project that recently became one of the cities chosen for the EU Mission for climate neutral and smart cities, Enzo Bertolottii has been a leading driver of the effort in his role as Energy Manager. 

During Recharge earth, he presented how the city has worked diligently to prepare for this future, benefitting from the involvement in RUGGEDISED to establish the structures needed to push them forward. 

“The Carbon Map is the first step”, Enzo explained when presenting how Parma was working diligently in a coordinated alliance between the city, industry and research organisations to first map emissions, then plan action, then act, before then ensuring sufficient monitoring og the impacts. 

Find Enzo’s slides here. 

The session ended with involvement from the audience, mainly focusing on the different challenges faced in the cities, both on accounts of current legislation and in establishing the current cooperation between partners. From this debate it emerged that legislation was emerging improving the possibility of connecting various energy partners, and also a recognition that different types of ownership (public in Sweden, private in the Netherlands and Italy) had a large impact on the complexity of establishing these partnerships.

The role of smart solutions in combating the energy crisis, discussed at Recharge Earth Conference

11 October 2022

During the Recharge Earth Conference session ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’, the cities of Umeå (Sweden) and Amsterdam (The Netherlands), as well as Glasgow-based housing, care and property-management organisation the Wheatley Group, met to discuss the role smart city solutions can play in finding answers to the current rise in energy prices and for a socially just, green transition.

Colin Reid, Energy & Sustainability Manager at the Wheatley Group which is Scotland’s largest housing provider and a RUGGEDISED partner, spoke first. He made it clear that the current energy prices in the United Kingdom are leading to increases in energy poverty, and even the best smart solutions cannot solve this overnight.

This does not mean, however, that they cannot be a part of the solution. The Wheatley Group participated in RUGGEDISED by piloting and testing smart energy metres to reduce energy poverty specifically for electrically-heated homes.

Reid explained that electric heaters have traditionally charged residents overnight at a low cost. This led to overheating at night, while any use of heat in the evening (the time where most heating was needed) was at a higher cost for residents. Therefore, the Wheatley Group installed smart metres in one of its apartment blocks, giving residents increased control. At the same time, the smart metres ensure that the heating system is mainly charged when tariffs are most favourable.

“Having piloted this, having learnt and having refined it, we are rolling [the smart metre solution] out across 10.500 homes over the next 20 months with a sense of urgency. We are finding that people are using about 20 percent less energy with this system,” shared Reid. He also highlighted higher satisfaction among residents using the new system, not just its ability to reduce energy use.

City leadership

Two cities - the RUGGEDISED Lighthouse City of Umeå and the City of Amsterdam (part of the Lighthouse Project Atelier) - also focused on what smart solutions’ role in ensuring a just transition are. In Umeå, in large part thanks to hydropower and district heating systems, the rising price of energy is not being felt as strongly as in other areas.

This does not prevent the City from working on its sustainable transition, though. Umeå places a special focus on making the transition just by integrating a gender perspective. Carina Aschan, Project Manager, City of Umeå, mentioned several examples of how Umeå includes all its citizens in its work to become climate-neutral. One example is a study conducted in Umeå, which demonstrates that men are much more likely to invest in solar panels, while women are more reluctant to do so. In Umeå, this has led to a programme offering citizens to lease, rather than buy, solar panels. Regarding the gender focus, Aschan said:

“It’s not very common for cities to do this, we know that and we are a bit the odd one out, but [we] see [gender issues] as being closely connected to climate neutrality and we want to bring the discussion about gender to the table.” Aschan also underscored how much more sustainable Umeå would become if, for example, all men adopted the mobility patterns of women in the city.

In Amsterdam, the current energy crisis has also led to challenges, but thanks to planning dating back several years, the City is focused on using the crisis to pursue opportunities for a sustainable transition.

Mimi Eelman, Director of Energy Transition, Engineering Department of the City of Amsterdam, pointed to the City’s extensive ‘Amsterdam Heat Guide’ (2019) as a solid base for progress, but also underlined the complexity of the task at hand:

“Right now, people are not yet seeing the reduction of their energy bills from the measures we are taking. The question for us to answer is how we can get out of our current paralysis and achieve both short and long term goals. We need to invest, but we need to do it in smart ways.” Eelman pointed to some specific measures in Amsterdam, such as work to re-use waste heat from data centres.

The session was moderated by Ruud Schuthof, Deputy Regional Director at ICLEI Europe. To learn more about the solutions presented during this session, see below:

Urban Data in focus at Sustainable Energy Conference

5 October 2022

Going digital is a complex challenge for cities across Europe and the world, but the potential benefits for the energy transition, city administrations and citizens are immense. This was one of the takeaways from the session “Digital worlds: How data and digitalisation drive the energy transition - towards resilient and climate neutral cities” at the Recharge Earth Conference organised by RUGGEDISED with participation from project partners and Google. 

The session was moderated by Daniela Torres, ICLEI Europe, and began with an introduction (see slides) from Dr. Marcel van Oosterhhout, Assistant Executive Director for the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics and Business Director for the Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business, who conducted an extensive study on Urban Data Platforms across European Smart Cities as part of RUGGEDISED. 

“The digitalisation of data is a key component for a successful energy transition. It creates all kinds of opportunities to improve energy efficiency, to connect different systems, and overall it provides the flexibility we need to incorporate renewable energy into the system. As seen in RUGGEDISED, we need partnerships between private and public actors, as well as academia, and experiments to build these new ecosystems,” van Oosterhout shared.

One place where this type of development has been successful is in the City of Rotterdam, where work was completed via the city’s capacity as a RUGGEDISED Lighthouse City and in alignment with other city programmes. Roland van der Heijden, Programme Manager for Rotterdam’s Digital City, explained: 

“In Rotterdam when we talk about ‘the city’ it’s no longer only about the physical and social city, but more and more about the digital city. It is also really important to think about the ‘new city’. Is it something that we as a government and a society can also govern and shape?” 

In RUGGEDISED, the so-called Lighthouse Cities are not alone in having worked with urban data. The City of Brno, a RUGGEDISED Fellow City, also experimented with different phases of urban data use, in parallel to the Lighthouse Cities’ developments. Recently, a first iteration of Brno’s Open Data Platform has been upgraded and today presents a large number of data sets in easily accessible formats.

Martin Dvořák, GIS specialist, Data, Analytics and Evaluation Department, Citizen Participation, City of Brno, explained one key ingredient for the Platform’s success:

“At the beginning we negotiated with each city officer and encouraged them to make the data public and share it on our data platform. It worked, but it was a really slow process. What really made a difference was winning political support and receiving internal backing giving us an internal mandate.” Dvořák added that the Open Data Directive from the European Union also accelerated Brno’s work on urban data. 

Expanding the use of Urban DataWith the RUGGEDISED cities, as well as other European Smart Cities, having achieved important progress throughout the past six years, the discussion at Recharge Earth also centred on how other cities can take advantage of this progress. For this purpose, Anna Williams, Solutions Lead for Google Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) —  a tool to help cities and regions measure and analyse buildings and transport emissions and solar rooftop potential — joined the session. She discussed how cities can benefit from insights that are freely available to all.

If you want to learn more about the work done in RUGGEDISED, and beyond, on urban data, below are some useful resources: 

Climate Neutral City Incubators celebrated in Rotterdam

15 September 2022

For European cities aiming to achieve climate neutrality, the challenges are vast and the obstacles are clear to all. Nevertheless, the European smart cities of Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Glasgow (Scotland), Umeå (Sweden) and their partners from Brno (Czech Republic), Parma (Italy) and Gdańsk (Poland) may have some answers to share about the first steps toward climate neutrality. Last week, the cities met in Rotterdam to celebrate the conclusion of the smart city project RUGGEDISED.

In the heart of Rotterdam’s smart demonstration district Hart van Zuid, partners of the EU funded project RUGGEDISED gathered in the Rotterdam Ahoy convention centre to hear an official welcome welcome from Hermineke van Bockxmeer, Director of Urban Development for the City of Rotterdam. In this welcome speech, she compared working in large and innovative European projects to the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in the same location in 2021:

“The song contest started with the social goal of bringing people together after the war. Today, the question of how to build a sustainable Europe, is more relevant than ever, and Ahoy has been an accelerator in raising awareness about sustainability.”

A springboard for cities

The RUGGEDISED Project Coordinator, Albert Engels from the City of Rotterdam, focused on how the project could be seen as a springboard for cities and why innovative partnerships, like RUGGEDISED, are indispensable for the transformation of cities (see slides). This sentiment was echoed by Klaus Kubeczko of AIT (see slides):

“In RUGGEDISED, technology has helped, but it has not only been about technology - it has been about solutions. We have established support structures like urban innovation platforms and urban data platforms,” shared Kubeczko before highlighting how RUGGEDISED has worked as a public-private incubator of sorts, setting cities on a path to climate neutrality.

The three cities of Glasgow, Umeå and Rotterdam shared different overviews of their projects, with Rotterdam focusing on the extensive work done in Rotterdam’s ‘Heart of South’ (see slides). Meanwhile, Glasgow focused on the many different impacts of RUGGEDISED (see slides) and Umeå shared a quiz with the participants on various developments in Umeå.

The first part of the day finished with Adriaan Slob and Tess Tjokrodikromo from TNO, sharing how they had worked with the Lighthouse Cities on wide-scale innovation in urban areas. The presentation focused on the innovation capacity in cities (see slides) and also pointed to several guides prepared by TNO in collaboration with other RUGGEDISED partners.

Smart Change in cities

In RUGGEDISED, the Lighthouse Cities have not developed innovative solutions on their own. The cities of Parma, Gdańsk and Brno began the project to learn from the Lighthouse Cities, but have since become inspirations in their own right. Daniel Cassolà from ISINNOVA - the Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems - discussed how the cities have worked to ‘become smart’ (see slides), before each city then showcased their efforts.

Brno, represented by Lukáš Grůza, focused on its work in the Špitálka Smart district (see slides), and how that project has moved from ambitious hope to a clear plan, including a timeline for finding financing, hosting several rounds of workshops and creating collaboration in the city.

Joanna Zbierska from the City of Gdańsk presented ‘The second life of Lastadia’, and highlighted how the lessons learnt from RUGGEDISED have supported Gdańsk in succeeding with a comprehensive thermal modernisation of a gymnasium building from 1837 (see slides).

The city of Parma, represented by Marco Mordacci, relayed how the city has worked strategically on stakeholder engagement, counting both key city officials and citizens. The majority of the RUGGEDISED efforts took place through the Initiative Parma Futuro, with Parma succeeding in being chosen as one of the cities in the European Commission’s Cities Mission (see slides).

Following a debate between the Fellow Cities, Ghazal Etminan of AIT also introduced the audience to a peer-to-peer opportunity offered by Scalable Cities (see slides) (see website).

Upscaling smart cities to climate neutral cities

During the second half of the day, the sessions focused on various ways to upscale from individual RUGGEDISED solutions to the systemic change needed to expand smart cities’ thinking and approach towards climate neutrality.

First, RISE Sweden presented the concept of Innovation Platforms and how they can support cities embarking on smart city endeavours such as RUGGEDISED. Presented by Magnus Johansson from RISE (see slides), the presentation facilitated a panel discussion between the Lighthouse Cities on how the Urban Innovation Platforms should be placed within city structures.

Next, a debate was organised with support from Scalable Cities in which several guest speakers shared their view on bridging the current gap between climate-neutrality ambitions and financing.

“You need to understand the different types of investors and what their perspectives are, and if you understand that, then it will be a lot easier to have these conversations,” said Jonas Onland from the Association of Dutch Municipalities after pointing out that large institutional investors are in a prime position to boost current developments in cities following last year’s COP26.

“We need to see how we can create specific tools to implement smart city policies: tools that can aggregate a portfolio of projects to reach a critical mass as well as tools that deal with projects at different levels of maturity in a way in which we can discuss them with investors,” said Philippe Fournand, of Blue-Sight, who is currently coordinating the Scalable Cities Secretariat on behalf of the European Commission.

“We can only do that by working together. You should not only look for what you need to invest to become climate neutral, but also make sure you create a so-called bankable city in order for private investors to come with their ideas on how to turn the picture around,” shared Monique van der Voort from the City of Hague.

“We need to view this as a proper crisis [ed: climate change] and treat it as such. I think then we can start taking the right measures and be agile,” explained Laura Platenkamp from Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Find all the pictures from the event on FLICKR.

The final RUGGEDISED event was continued with study tours in Rotterdam and at the Recharge Earth Conference

Four RUGGEDISED cities chosen for the European Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities

4 May 2022

All three Lighthouses of RUGGEDISED, Rotterdam, Umeå and Glasgow, plus the Fellow City of Parma, have been chosen as part of the EU’s Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, the so-called Cities Mission. Out of a total of 377 applicants, 112 cities (100 inside the European Union and 12 from countries associated with Horizon Europe) were chosen to act as frontrunners.

When announcing the cities, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission, said:

“The green transition is making its way all over Europe right now. But there's always a need for trailblazers, who set themselves even higher goals. These cities are showing us the way to a healthier future. We will support them on this! Let's begin the work today.”

Reflecting on the fact that all the RUGGEDISED Lighthouse Cities, plus the Fellow City of Parma, were chosen, RUGGEDISED Coordinator Albert Engels, from the City of Rotterdam, said:

“It’s a great recognition of the work we have done in the RUGGEDISED project. The ‘Cities Mission’ will require that all of us, not just municipalities but also citizens, academia and private business, urgently develop new methods of collaborating towards a net zero world. With projects such as RUGGEDISED we have a strong foundation for successfully doing that, and we look forward to using the methods and experiences from RUGGEDISED towards fulfilling this new ambitious commitment.”

There will be many opportunities in the coming months to learn from the Horizon 2020 funded RUGGEDISED project. On 11-13 May, RUGGEDISED will join the World Congress of the city network ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, and a final conference is under preparation in Rotterdam for 6-8 September, 2022.

Sign up for the RUGGEDISED newsletter to keep informed.

Find the Factsheet 'EU Cities Mission: Meet the cities' here.

New business case study ‘Digital City Rotterdam’ is free to download

18 November 2021

Technology is only a small part of creating a successful digital platform for a city – in fact, social dimensions are strategically important too. That was one of the insights found in a newly published business case study based on the real experiences of a city becoming ‘smart’. The case study, free to download, is the result of the combined expertise of two specialist centres at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; its creators are the Case Development Centre (CDC) and the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics (ECDA) The business case, Digital City Rotterdam: Open Urban Platform describes the opportunities and challenges encountered when the City of Rotterdam created a digital platform for sharing, using, and leveraging data. ECDA conducted some of the research for Rotterdam as part of RUGGEDISED project.

Rotterdam’s digital transformation 

The case devotes particular attention to the issues of platform purpose, platform governance, financing, trust, and citizen engagement, and is written by three RSM academics; Dr Samaneh BagheriProfessor Tobias Brandt, and Dr Marcel van Oosterhout who is associate executive director of ECDA, one of RSM’s specialist research centres. 

Rotterdam’s digital transformation, underpinned by the EU-funded RUGGEDISED project, was based on data, some of which was researched by ECDA; analysing the network of electric buses. ECDA simulated the transformation to electric buses and explored the impact of electric buses and smart charging on service levels, costs and CO2 footprint, gathered data on the optimisation of charging the buses so it could link demand for electricity of electric buses to supply of renewable energy; studied the governance and design of urban data platforms and the role of municipalities; and developed new business models for companies engaging with urban data platforms.

Free to download and use

The case is freely available to the general public via The Case Centre. ECDA and CDC decided to make the case freely accessible so that information captured in the case can be used by educators, students, and professionals working on smart and sustainable cities around the world. It’s aimed at all students, businesses, and communities interested in knowing how a digital transformation happens.  

Education based on research

Dr Van Oosterhoutsays:

“The development of this case is an important step to disseminate insights from the EU-funded project Ruggedised to a wider audience of students and practitioners worldwide, to stimulate critical thinking in how we design the digital equivalent of our cities with the objective to create social value, make cities more sustainable, while keeping prosperity and stimulating innovation.” 

Dr Bagheri says:

“The case can be used to facilitate the discussion on how cities can improve or accelerate digitalisation. It emphasises how different technologies can be utilised and how stakeholders, such as the municipality, citizens and project developers, can work together to develop a successful digitalised city.

“In order for students to understand the importance of these aspects, teachers can have them play different stakeholders involved in the development of a smart city. Through role-plays, students can learn how to build trust and collaboratively develop ideas for the improvement of their city.”

A digital city is not just about technology 

The case devotes particular attention to the issues of platform purpose, platform governance, financing, trust, and citizen engagement – all of which influence the adoption of an open urban platform by city management and the possibilities for innovation in the City of Rotterdam. The case demonstrates that technology is only a small part of creating a successful digital platform in a city context, but especially other more social dimensions are strategically important, for example, a clear purpose on becoming a digitalised city, designing a good governance, and collaboration and trust building among stakeholders. 

There are more free RSM cases in the CDC catalogue 


RSM Case Development Centre

Business students and seasoned business experts can learn from the experiences of other real-life organisations and decision-makers. The Case Development Centre at RSM supports case-based management education by turning exceptional business and management experiences into powerful learning tools. The Centre connects world-class research, education, and business by developing high-quality case studies.

Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics 

The purpose of the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics (ECDA) is to facilitate the Erasmus University Rotterdam and its public and private partner organisations in preparing society for a data-driven future, human-centred, towards a sustainable world.  It supports organisations by turning data into business and societal value via over 25 areas of expertise, including inclusive smart cities and communities, accountability and fairness of AI and energy and sustainability.

More informationRotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

The news story was produced by RSM. For more information please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM by email at

You can also learn more about Urban Data through RUGGEDISED here:  

Photo by Markus Winkler, Unpslah

RUGGEDISED partnership extended for another year

3 November 2021

The RUGGEDISED partners have decided to officially extend the project until October 31st, 2022, following dialogue with the European Commission. The extension will allow the Lighthouse Cities to fully monitor the implemented solutions, following some delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally, RUGGEDISED was scheduled to wrap-up activities by the end of this month, but the decision to continue work has been underway for a while, explains coordinator Albert Engels from the City of Rotterdam:

“It became clear to us when COVID struck that some form of extension would be needed. To fully capitalise on the implementation of innovative solutions in all our cities, a thorough monitoring of their successes - and challenges - is needed. The continuation of our solid partnership is key to making this happen,” he says. 

Parma wins European prize for Climate Neutrality

26 October 2021

RUGGEDISED’s Fellow City Parma has won the first ever “Climate-Neutral” award from the European Mobility Initiative CIVITAS. The award was presented by Matthew Baldwin, Manager of the EU’s mission to reach 100 Climate Neutral Cities by 2030. Parma was selected as the winner because of its Low Emission Zone.

Reflecting on the win, Tiziana Benassi, Deputy Mayor for Environmental Sustainability from the City of Parma expressed:

“Our ambition, shared amongst the public and private organisations that are partners of the Parma Carbon Neutrality Alliance, is to reach carbon neutrality by 2030: a very ambitious yet achievable goal if we all believe change is possible and we work every day to fight climate change. We want to promote a new mobility culture, centred on our citizens’ needs, while being more sustainable and environmentally-friendly. Limiting access for the most polluting cars with the introduction of a Low Emission Zone across the entire urban area is our first step in the systemic transformation to make Parma a green and carbon-neutral city. The Green area, whose heart is the historical city centre (Blue area), will contribute to a higher quality of life for everyone visiting, working and living in Parma.”

The award ceremony took place in Aachen (Germany) during the CIVITAS Forum, one of the leading conferences dedicated to mobility and sustainable development at the European level . Among the strong points of Parma's candidacy was the ‘Carbon Neutrality Parma’ Territorial Alliance between the Emilia Romagna Region, the Province of Parma, the Municipality of Parma, Parma University and other local stakeholders.

Japanese and European Smart Cities launch international cooperation initiative

25 October 2021

An international cooperation initiative between Japanese and European Smart cities, proposed and designed by the research institute ISINNOVA in the context of the EU-funded project RUGGEDISED, was launched at a virtual city to city meeting on October 11. The cooperation aims to foster a facilitated knowledge-sharing exchange between international smart city programmes.

Mario Gualdi, President of ISINNOVA, said:

— "The RUGGEDISED project, together with our Japanese partners, is committed to innovating and exchanging knowledge with kindred smart city programmes. After starting this dialogue in 2019, we have affirmed that cities face many of the same challenges – launching this cooperation partnership is a great opportunity for us to address these challenges and to share successes and opportunities. This will support all parties in making their cities smarter and increasing the quality of life of citizens."

Kenji Matsuno, Deputy Director of the Office for Promoting Regional Revitalization stated:

— "It is great to see the official launch of this cooperation programme. Japan and the EU share common values based on the rule of law, and they both work towards sustainable, inclusive development. Cities are at the forefront of such efforts and this cooperation will provide a great opportunity to enhance Japan-EU cooperation at the local level."

During the official launch meeting, the project action plan and potential milestones were discussed; the cooperation seeks to build a collaborative exchange of best practices, expertise and information between the six RUGGEDISED cities - lighthouses: Rotterdam, Umea and Glasgow, and fellow cities: Gdansk, Parma and Brno - and key smart city players and cities in Japan.

RUGGEDISED, a smart city project dedicated to combining ICT, e-mobility, and energy solutions to design smart, resilient cities, is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Albert Engels, Coordinator of RUGGEDISED and Senior Process Manager for the City of Rotterdam, noted:

— “The cities of the European Smart Cities and Communities Cluster are working hard on ‘getting better connected’ and it’s important for us to also include partners outside of Europe. We share a commitment to smart cities being developed for and with citizens and I hope we will be inspired by the work done in Japan and that they will benefit from the experiences made in Europe.”

From the Japanese Government, the cooperation is supported by the Cabinet Office of Japan, which is responsible for the overall coordination of Japan’s smart city programme.

The Japanese cities participating in the cooperation at this stage are the City of Hamamatsu, the City of Kamakura and the City of Tamana.

While they are at different stages of smart city development, the Japanese partner cities are expecting to share their experiences and work together with European cities for more sustainable, inclusive smart city development.

The expectation is for both Japanese and European cities to establish an environment that cultivates mutual understanding and inspiration between cities committed to unlocking sustainable growth and a higher quality of life for their citizens through the deployment of smart city technology.

Glasgow takes charge on air quality and e-mobility initatives

8 October 2021

ICLEI Member Glasgow (Scotland) is scheduled to host “COP26” – the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The City of Glasgow has an impressive list of sustainability initiatives to learn about in the lead-up to COP26. Here are just a few of the things you need to know about Glasgow's recent sustainability accomplishments as we approach these crucial global climate negotiations.

Among its many impressive accomplishments, Glasgow is leading promising projects related to mobility, circular economy and air quality.

Glasgow was the first city in the United Kingdom to sign the Circular Cities Declaration. The Declaration aims to accelerate the transition from a linear to circular economy in Europe, and to foster a more resource efficient, low-carbon and responsible society. By signing the Circular Cities Declaration, Glasgow demonstrates leadership and commitment to actions which promote decoupling economic growth from resource use.

Glasgow is also working with ICLEI Europe on the RUGGEDISED project, through which the city continues on its journey to transforming from an industrial city to a sustainable, resilient and low carbon city, focused on the future, growing from its past, and delivering a greener and smarter city.

Glasgow is also one of only four regions trialing a program for public electric vehicle (EV) chargers called Agile Streets, which, when functional, will save hundreds of pounds a year and contribute to a green energy revolution. The city has also implemented a ‘Low Emission Zone’ (LAZ) in its city centre, which will help to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels, as well as other emissions associated with vehicles (internal combustion). The initiative aims to improve air quality for a cleaner and healthier Glasgow for all residents. 

To learn more about COP26, click here

To learn more about Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone, click here