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New IRIS Smart Cities project supports implementation of Covenant cities
New IRIS Smart Cities project supports implementation of Covenant cities' action plans
4 October 2017 - 15:33

The recently started IRIS Smart Cities project will support several Covenant of Mayors signatories in the delivery of their local action plans.

IRIS - Integrated and Replicable Solutions for Co-Creation in Sustainable Cities - is a 5-year EU-funded project (October 2017 - 2022) which seeks to enable the co-creation of smart and sustainable cities in Europe, as part of the European Smart Cities and Communities initiative. In order to achieve this, the IRIS project will focus on five key areas for action - energy positive districts with integration of renewables, smart energy management, electric mobility, citizen engagement and digital innovation platforms.

Covenant of Mayors signatories Utrecht (the Netherlands), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Nice Côte d'Azur (France) will lead the IRIS project as "Lighthouse cities" and cooperate with local universities, innovation agencies and the private sector to implement their mobility, energy and ICT projects. Covenant cities Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain), Vaasa (Finland) and Alexandroupolis (Greece), as well as the city of Focsani (Romania), will learn from the experiences of the "Lighthouse cities" and adapt their actions to fit to their own local action plans.

In Utrecht, Gothenburg and Nice, the IRIS project will support the implementation of the SE(C)APs in various ways. Utrecht will use its involvement in IRIS to boost local renewables production (e.g. PV-systems) and increase the number of electric charging stations throughout the city. Furthermore, it will transform Kanaleneiland Zuid into a Near Zero Energy district, notably through the deep renovation of buildings.

In Gothenburg, the ElectriCity partnership (involving regions, businesses and academia) will be scaled up, in order to boost the proliferation of sustainable, energy-efficient and clean transport in the city. Moreover, the Swedish Covenant signatory will develop six new buildings in the Johanneberg campus, which will provide affordable rents for young tenants. These new buildings will be using recycled bus batteries as storage for electricity, and also offer an electric car pool together with e-bikes to residents.

The Southern French city of Nice will benefit from the IRIS project for the thermal insulation of buildings in its Les Moulins area, reducing their energy consumption by more than half. In addition to this, Nice's buildings in the Grand Arenas district will be interconnected, so that shortages and surpluses of energy can be easily exchanged to reduce costs. The Grand Arenas heating and cooling network will be also integrated with local PV production to sustain heating pump consumption.

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