Gdansk gets first hand smart city knowledge in Rotterdam

14 June 2018

Our Fellow city of Gdansk brought a delegation to visit our Lighthouse city of Rotterdam, to learn more about the smart solutions implemented there.

The recovery of low-grade heat is among the most interesting ideas smart city. The source of dry heat can be, for example, sun-heated asphalt or a sewage network. Is recovering dry heat feasible in urban conditions? How far is it from an idea to a commercial solution? Representatives of Gdańsk's local government decided to check this in Rotterdam. Other topics were also discussed during the study visit such as the zero emission public transport, 3D city modeling and open data.

Read the visit report on Gdansk's municipal website.

RUGGEDISED organised a policy session at EUSEW 2018

6 June 2018

RUGGEDISED organised a policy session during the European Sustainable Energy week on June 6, to talk about the contribution of energy smart solutions on social cohesion in cities.

The session, moderated by Carsten Rothballer from ICLEI, brought together experiences from cities and experts to discuss different approaches and challenges in thinking about the impact of smart cities on citizens and their quality of life.

The Lighthouse cities of Florence from fellow project REPLICATE and Glasgow from RUGGEDISED each stressed the impact of energy solutions in socially-challenged neighborhoods. In order to reduce energy bills and increase energy security, the cities are aiming for connected buildings and local renewable energy generation. The question of comfort and security, thanks to better energy and peak load management, was addressed with the example of the university district in the city of Umeå developed in RUGGEDISED.

Lighthouse cities as well as experts from the Architecture's Council of Europe and Urban Innovation Vienna highlighted the collective social responsibility and the necessity of integrating all stakeholders of the energy supply chain from planners to resident’s right at the start of urban development projects for a successful transformation.

Download the ppt of the session on the EUSEW website.

Second workshop of PARMA FUTURO SMART

6 April 2018

The second workshop of PARMA FUTURO SMART was held on April 6, 2018 at the Officine ON / OFF (co-working spaces in Parma). This session was dedicated to a cross-sectoral comparison for the definition of thematic scenarios to work towards a Smart City.

The Workshop entitled "Scenarios for PARMA FUTURO SMART at 2030 - Through the multi-stakeholder comparison for the co-definition of Scenarios for Parma Smart City-" was organized by the Municipality of Parma and Infomobility, with the support of Isinnova and Focus Lab. The event, in continuity with the Kick-Off Meeting of 30 November 2017, is part of the RUGGEDISED project. The meeting was attended by important local actors from different backgrounds: representatives of the Municipality, members of the University of Parma, companies, public and private bodies and members of high schools.

The aim of the Workshop was to define different scenarios for Smart Parma in 2030, through a participatory process at a local level, starting from global trends. A work phase was dedicated to cross-sectoral comparison in 4 thematic tables, same as the kick-off event: Energy-Environment & Smart Grid-Infrastructure, Transport & Mobility, Society & People, Economy & Innovation.This meeting was an important step towards a vision of the future of Parma, from a smart point of view, which does not only mean "innovation, resilience and technology," explains Assessor Tiziana Benassi on environmental sustainability policies. - "but also dialogue, social inclusion, sustainability, creativity and identity. Petals that are part of the same flower. A smart city, humanized and structured on a strong territorial network made up of places, people and policies that are integrated in a transversal way ".At the end of the meeting there was a concluding plenary session where the speakers of each group illustrated to all the participants the scenarios emerging in the various sectors, also through a graphic representation developed by four students of the Toschi Artistic High School.

New open data platform in Brno

21 March 2018

Brno launched an online platform for open data at, one of the first cities in the Czech Republic to do so. This platform is designed to be used by the public and will also help students and professionals. Besides data-sets, people can find useful apps as well as articles about data, the platform and other helpful tips. The interactive apps that uses the data from city are the most popular tools on the website. People can see for example a map of car accidents in the city or they can compare orthophotos of the city taken at different points in time.

The Deputy Mayor for Smart City Agenda, Jaroslav Kacer, says: "Data is our “new urban wealth„ and we need to use it to its full capacity."

Data published at are collected from the city itself, city organizations and other providers. The development of the website is an endless process and it will continually change depending on new data-sets and technologies. The platform is very useful for academic sphere who can use the data in analysis, thesis or other academic research work. Data journalists and developers will appreciate an easy access to data sets as well.

Users can also choose from plenty of apps about the city such as maps of properties, quality of life or density of transport in the city of Brno. The process of creation of this platform was a long and difficult task. The legislation and sometimes lack of political backing hindered the progress but in the end the city successfully opened up for the public.

Open data website is a first step to replicate the Open-data decision platform created by Glasgow. Brno is planning to use the data in the process of decision making and base the city planning on facts.

Warm welcome for the General Assembly in Umeå

13 March 2018

The third General Assembly of our RUGGEDISED project took place in northern Sweden, in our Lighthouse city of Umeå. Now 18 months into the project, it was a time to get together and reflect on the work done, challenges overcome and ways for the cities to learn from each other.

The meeting started with a welcome reception in the town hall, hosted by Mr Anders Ågren Vice-Mayor of Umeå and Mr Hans Adolfsson Vice-Chancellor of the University of Umeå.

Two days of meetings then took place, going through the updates from each city as well as updates from the different work packages. The Lighthouse cities of Glasgow and Rotterdam both give updates on their solutions regarding energy, E-mobility and ICT solutions. Glasgow spoke of the challenge facing the smart district, with old energy structures that need to be renewed and a population facing fuel poverty, who can barely pay their energy bills. They are also looking at Emoblity and have gained insights from Rotterdam on the topic. They are looking at the best way to implement the needed infrastructures, while promoting behavior change from car users and taxi owners. In Rotterdam, a key challenge has been overcome regarding the smart energy grid solution. The energy provider ENECO has taking over this solution and found a business model that suits the heart of south buildings and could later be replicated in other areas of the cities if successful.

A study visit in the University district was the opportunity to learn more about the solutions implemented in Umeå, regarding energy exchange between buildings, new business models, peak load management as well as the climate-friendly bus stop. We were transported in a local eletric bus, as not everyone is use to the cold temperatures of a northern Swedish winter.

A second part of the visit brought the group to a local heat and energy plant, from RUGGEDISED partner Umeå Energi, a city utility company that produces most of the heat for the city thanks to biofuel.

We also had the chance to get some inspiring discussions and feedback from members of our Advisory board: Mr.Thomas Olofsson, professors in Energy Efficiency at the University of Umea, Mr.Graham Colclouch, smart city adviser and Mr.Arjan van Timmeren, professor of the chair in Environmental Technology & Design at the faculty of Architecture at TU Delft and lead Principle Investigator of the Amsterdam-based Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS).

The second day was the occasion to hear from our Fellow cities, that are closely following the project to plan their own smart districts in the future. The city of Parma talked of the importance of breaking the silos down. They have created the concept of "Parma Futuro Smart" as a participatory process, also connecting it with other projects, and recently launched with a big event in the city. In Brno, they are building a smart agenda by creating a smart city committee. Their launch event gathered 200 people in total 200 people. Their ambitious vision is given them a regional halo and they are inspiring other South Moravian cities to follow their lead. In the city of Gdansk, they are planning their smart district with the aim of providing a high-quality of life for their citizens. The question of floods being a local issue, they are particularly interested in solutions linked to water management.

Among the key topics that emerged from the discussions were the question of the use of data, as well as citizen engagement. In all smart cities, the creation of open data platforms is central and the new GDPR regulation is on everybody's mind. RUGGEDISED is also working hand in hand with the other EU funded smart city projects (SCC01) and the city of Rotterdam will be chairing a joint task force on data management.

Learning from the successful smart cities – SCC replication workshop

INEA event

26 January 2018

On 26 January 2018 representatives of 40 cities sat around the table at the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) with industry representatives and experts to ensure that the €263.84 million invested by the Commission through the Horizon2020 Smart Cities and Communities programme generates returns.

The event included a general presentation of the activities of INEA and its participation and contribution to the H2020 programme, especially in the field of energy, transport and ICT.

For RUGGEDISED it was a good opportunity to network and strengthen cooperation with other similar projects; the project's "Fellow" cities could share their barriers to replicate and implement smart solutions as well as learn from the experiences and best practices of other cities. ISINNOVA, who are leading the replication in the RUGGEDISED project, was present alongside our "Fellow cities" of Gdansk, Parma and Brno.

Marco Mordacci from Parma commented: "It is always welcome and useful to discuss with other cities how they are handling the same issues we are working on. It really helps fellow cities to grow and improve knowledge and awareness. We learnt how to set up an open data platform and about the energy refurbishment of residential buildings. We are even more conscious that there some issues that are easy to replicate in every country and others that are extremely linked to the national context. I think it would be useful to go even more into detail, in order to give a full understanding of the procedures and about technical, legal and financial issues of every action."

MUNISS Student contest in Brno

18 January 2018

International student contest MUNISS officially started on 18th of January in Brno’s Assembly Hall of the New City Hall. The opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Mayor of the City of Brno for Smart City Jaroslav Kacer, Deputy Mayor of Bratislava Ľudmila Farkašovská and the Chief Architect of the City of Bratislava Ingrid Konrad, Czech and Slovak students and representatives of universities.

Students from different fields, universities and cities meet to work on studies focusing on the development of Brno or Bratislava.

Selected topics in Brno are Kraví hora, Jižní centrum a Špitálka. Students are very interested in the area of Špitálka which is part of the district heating factory. This area is also part of international project RUGGEDISED. There is several reasons why Špitalka was chosen as one of the topic. One of them is to define a position of Locality manager who will take care of the area during the RUGGEDISED project. “Locality manager will communicate with owners, partners of the project and citizens to speed up the process of creating a smart city district.” says Jaroslav Kacer the Deputy Mayor of Brno. The output of MUNISS will also be foundations for international architectural competition which will create and urbanistic and architectural plan for this area.

Students will put together a plan for the chosen area in horizon of 5, 10 and 15 years in MUNISS. They will need to evaluate condition of the area now and what might affect it in the future. Bratislava’s topic is an area of Obchodní ulice in the city center. Students will work on their projects in an international teams until the end of May this year. After evaluation of contest entries, the winners will be announced in Bratislava.

MUNISS website

Smart Solutions Expert Analysis to help follower city Brno become a city of the future

21 November 2017

The SIX research center will coordinate an expert analysis on smart solutions as part of the project RUGGEDISED as Brno is closely collaborating with the SIX research center on this project. The next step will be the development of an expert analysis evaluating the benefits and risks of particular technological solutions. As a result of this analysis, the city of Brno will know which solutions to apply in the future.

The findings of the analysis will summarize all 31 smart solutions - technological solutions that will help to build sustainable and ecological cities. The city of Brno will be able to decide which smart solutions can be implemented and which ones are compatible.

The city of Brno also wants to share their experience and knowledge with other cities and already reached out to some cities from the South Moravian region to help them become part of the project's City Interest Group. What does it mean for those cities? They’ll become part of RUGGEDISED project by joining an international shared platform with other project members.

“Sharing knowledge and information about possible innovational solutions with another cities from South Moravian region is the key to become a better and sustainable city and it would be difficult to achieve such an information” said Deputy Mayor, City of Brno Jaroslav Kacer. The analysis coordinated by SIX centrum will be provided to those cities as well.

RUGGEDISED Kick-off in "Fellow" city Parma

Parma Futuro Smart

30 October 2017

The city of Parma is a follower city in the RUGGEDISED project. It will follow closely the smart solutions developed in Rotterdam, Glasgow and Umeå over the next 4 years and carefully prepare for its own smart city implementation.

On 30 November 2017, the City of Parma launched the participatory process in the city under the title "Parma Futuro Smart".

The event took place at WoPa - Workout Pasubio, a former industrial complex, promoted by the Municipality of Parma and the Order of Architects of Parma and converted into a socio-cultural center. This workshop represented the beginning of a participatory process that will be developed over the next few years (2017-2018) with semi-annual meetings, in order to work together with all the actors in a smart vision of the city.

The event was introduced by the city Mayor, Federico Pizzaroti, followed by presentations and a series of rountables. Discussions focused on four topics:
> Smart energy and environment,
> Smart transport and mobility
> Smart society and people
> Smart economy and innovation.

All partners committed to dedicate required resources and expertise to support the smart project and to define a common ground for a smart model for Parma city. They were also asked to talk about their companies project and solution for a future vision of a smart city and to enable interoperability and easy integration via open interfaces. The event was concluded with the presentations of the different scenarios made by the groups.

Find out more on the new Parma Futuro Smart website.

RSM students’ thesis research for RUGGEDISED

13 September 2017

Students from the Erasmus University presented their final MSc Business Information Management theses to the RUGGEDISED project team.

Each presentation was judged on its managerial implications and impact by representatives of the City of Rotterdam as well as RSM faculty members, coaches and others involved in the project including KPN, DWA, RET and Eneco.

The theses looked into subjects related to smart mobility, sharing of data, predicting energy use, innovation ecosystems and governance models.

Find out more