Learning by watching, improving by replicating

Innovating in urban energy and transport is complex and risky, but the successes and failures of others can help cities navigate their own way to becoming smart and sustainable.

20 Apr 2022 - NEWS RELEASE

Cities play a key role in fighting climate change. And a smart city is one which replicates and scales up innovation in this respect. MAtchUP has adopted a learning-by-watching approach whereby four “follower” cities are now replicating the project’s pioneering solutions in their countries. These cities are Kerava in Finland, Ostend in Belgium, Skopje in North Macedonia and Herzliya in Israel.

With help from the project, they have set out their own local Smart City Strategies which include sustainable energy and climate action plans. These cover energy, mobility and ICT.

In Kerava, a school and multi-purpose building, commissioned in 2021, have been designed with on-site renewable energy generation and a class A energy ranking. The school was built as a joint project with various companies in charge of design and construction. Kerava Energy utility covered the €37 million cost.

A heat network has been set up in Ostend. It started in 2019 and is now being extended. The network distributes energy that has been produced at a waste plant, allowing households, hospitals and public buildings to cover their heat and hot water needs. With a capacity of 7.5 MW, it is co-owned by the City of Ostend and residents who have bought a €250 share.

In Skopje, the municipality has invested almost €3 million to install more than 9,000 LED lamps which will be controlled by a smart lighting system. This measure, available throughout the city by 2022, is expected to cut energy consumption by 70% and cost by 50-60%.

Improving by replicating will lead follower cities to  real sustainability and zero carbon. The knowledge gained with their participation in MAtchUP will help them build a better future for their residents.