Sustainable city systems
The strategic challenge Sustainable City Systems (SCS) is to move from centralised energy, waste and water utilities to decentralised, integrated systems and more sustainable transport systems.
Specific challenges we address are:
- Urban planning: we are developing a market for planning and decision support tools aiming at creating sustainable cities
- Integrated utilities and mobility: we are support the transition to better integrated services and utilities, including sustainable transport systems and such as ports and airports
- Resource efficiency: we are connecting cities and their environment to help make the best use of the resources available
We help European businesses to develop high-value integrated and climate-friendly urban solutions for a global market. We focus on technical and market capabilities to support new levels of systems integration. We join business, city governments and academia in a unique collaboration to support the development of products and services for climate mitigation and adaption in the urban context. We act as an accelerator for European firms as they innovate to meet the needs of the world’s cities.
Efficient, functioning cities are vital to global well-being, but cities are facing unprecedented challenges with changing climate, population growth, shifting demographics and reducing resources. Regarding a low-carbon society, major steps cannot be set without taking transitions in urban utility infrastructures into account: (a) decentralised, multi-level energy systems for integration of sustainable energy resources (wind, solar, geothermal), (b) integrated use and re-use of waste and heat flows,(c) smart systems optimising variable supply and demand in space and time. The focus needs to be on creating integrated systems that maximise the benefits of cities, whilst managing the downsides.
The complexity of the challenge facing cities is beyond any single business, sector or discipline, and there is strong demand for solutions globally. To tackle these challenges, Europe and our community are well positioned. We demonstrate the relevance of an integrated and systemic approach and generate a critical mass of stakeholders, regulators and end-users. Key business partners (IBM, Sainsbury, Arcadis, Berlin utilities) and public authorities in our regions and national centres have a lot of potential synergies to develop and deploy integrated innovations for our future cities.
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