Smart cities are supposed to improve the quality of life

Smart cities are supposed to improve the quality of life

The SmartEnCity conference in southern Italy attracted more than a hundred European participants. Quality of life should be in focus in the clash between people and smart technological solutions

According to the mayor of Lecce, Paolo Perrone, it’s important to create a better city for the inhabitants and vast amount of tourists. The mayor has high ambitions about Lecce becoming the new European capitol of culture of 2019.

Lecce, which is located in southern Italy, was last week host for the annual SmartEnCity network conference, which through debate focused on the smart cities in the future.

The conference attracted politicians, scientists, advisors etc from more than 20 European cities. 


The smart city

The smart city focuses on becoming Zero carbon through energy effective households, green district heating, getting its power though windmills and PV, promoting bicycling and public transportation. The intelligent city is supposed to use its data and include citizens in making new solutions.


Lecce’s way to zero

Lecce is on its way. The goal for 2020 is for the city to reduce Co2 by 20% compared to 2007. The 2020 goal is going to be achieved, not only, through energy rebuilding private and public buildings, but also through the use of solar and wind energy. In the future Lecce is supposed to harvest energy from wastewater, biomass and the sea. Lecce has just finished a Hackerton event where the many datasets of the city where available for the citizens to use in competitions about finding the best solutions. Lecce is on its way, but there’s a long road ahead – inspiration from the outside world might just help Lecce succeed. 

Other cities are to learn from Sonderborg

Lecce is, along, with Asenovgrad in Bulgaria followcities in the SmartEnCity project, where Sonderborg, Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain and Tartu in Estonia, through demonstration projects supported by EU with 35 million euro, are supposed to lead the way to becoming smart and zerocarbon cities.


Transportation is a big challenge

Vitoria-Gasteiz with its 240,000 inhabitants is focusing on moving the cars out of the cities in order to make roads that are more suitable for public transportation and bicycling.

In Tirana the population is around 800,000 and due to a low budget the main focus is on bicycling.

In Milano 10 test areas have been pointed out, where electronic cars, smart parking and the sharing of bicycles etc. are being promoted.

In Florence gas, electric cars and the infrastructure are being improved in corporation with private companies.

Cars that use fossil fuels are in many places on their way out of the cities, the speed, however, in which the transition happens, depends on the size of the city and the possibilities to establish an effective public transportation system that, along with bicycling, can make the transition into green transportation. 

Participants from Denmark included Professor Brian Vad Mathiesen from Aalborg university (to the left) and Per Alex Sørensen from PlanEnergi. Brian Vad  Mathiesen directed the presentation and debate.


Brian Egering


28. February 2017