Smart cities need to trust technology and data quality, by Erasmus University

12 September 2018

There is untapped value in a city’s data platform. The data, which grows exponentially, can help to streamline transport systems, reduce energy consumption and support co-creations in city services. However very few cities have yet managed to access these benefits. A study of urban data platforms by Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business and a group of master students at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), reveals a significant gap between the required and perceived trust in the quality of data in such platforms.

Read the whole article here.

Umeå University district selected for 5G test in Europe

27 August 2018

Our Lighthouse city of Umeå has been chosen as Sweden's first 5G city. The University, where our RUGGEDISED project takes place, will be the first 5G university in Europe. One benefit of the 5G technology is how it can manage large amounts of data in new and more advanced ways. It gives extremely fast connections with very low delay, improved security compared to what present-day network solutions can offer, and at a lower cost and reduced energy consumption.

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Rotterdam takes part in the transformative action award

1 August 2018

Our Lighthouse city of Rotterdam is not only working on smart digital solutions. The municipality recently submitted another initiative for the Transformative action awards: Integrated customer-centric sustainable transport service for the eldery and disabled.

The Transformative Action Award rewards current or concluded Transformative Actions that use the pathways of the Basque Declaration related to socio-cultural transformation,socio-economic transformation or technological transformation.

Rotterdam's submitted action aims at establishing a modified transport service for the elderly and physically disabled citizens of Rotterdam in a way that allows us to use a safe, reliable and pleasant transport service that supports the reason of the transport against a fair price for (SME) transport organisations. Every year, there are 30.000 unique clients with a combined travel distance of €6 mln. kilometres. This tender is worth €31 million and revolves around the client. The sustainability of the transport service is improved through the use of electric transport. The project also seeks to tackle social isolation, as clients from various backgrounds can use the service. The contract was awarded to a partnership consisting of 3 local transport companies in collaboration with some 10 partners who will implement the various contract components in harmony. The partners are highly diverse, from HR consultancies to experts in measuring customer satisfaction in mobility, and from app specialists to experts in the wellbeing and healthcare market (cf. annex 2). Virtually all parties in Trevvel are (local) SME businesses, which means we managed to make the contract accessible for smaller-sized companies.

Find out more.


Rotterdam takes part in the ‘Humble Lamppost’ scale up

29 June 2018

All over Europe and beyond, cities are looking at ways to make the urban infrastructure smarter and more interconnected, to optimize resources and improve the quality of life of citizens.

Light is a fundamental service in a city. It ensures safe transport, makes cities safer, and ensures that cities look their best. However, there is so much more that can be done to augment lampposts so that they can deliver a broader range of services for cities and their citizens.

A group of European city leaders are making a commitment to work together rather then in parallel on this topic. Representatives from city-clusters across Europe (Greater London, Metropole Rotterdam Den Haag (MRDH), Bordeaux Metropole and broader Aquitaine, Piedmont region and soon also a Spanish city-cluster) signed a declaration to align their ‘humble lamppost’ project activities.

The collaboration seeks to install more-common component-based solutions at scale, both within each cluster and, through a coordinated approach, across the group of city clusters. This will have a marked positive impact on the market. It will deliver the scale and consistency of needs that attracts the supply market, and the scale that delivers better value solutions at more affordable prices for the cities and their citizens. A clear win all around.

In RUGGEDISED our Lighthouse city of Rotterdam is looking at smart lamposts in its solution R11 - Efficient and intelligent street lighting.

Find more information on the "Humble lamppost" initiative on the EIP website.

Bringing RUGGEDISED to the French audience: Innovative City conference

27 June 2018

Our replication partner, ISINNOVA, was present in Nice for the Innovative City conference. Taking part in a panel about transnational cooperation, Francesca Pietroni provided an overview of the main challenges the cities are facing in RUGGEDISED and why the smart city concept can help them to be more resilient and efficient. She shared general insights gained by the project on how the cooperation is a fundamental aspect not only within the city administration but also with the other relevant stakeholders at city, country and international level.

ISINNOVA then participated in the round table with other interventions from the project RETIC, the Nice Chamber of Commerce, the cooperative and the company WIT Italia to discuss the best practices in terms of cooperation in the domain of “smart cities”.

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.