A smart city/community combines diverse technologies to increase the efficiency of how a city functions. Cities and industries join forces to develop a joint technology agenda.
The call for proposals will be open to industry-led consortia operating in the three sectors: energy, ICT and transport. The consortia will need to include partners coming from three Member States and/or Associated Countries teaming up with at least two cities. These criteria should ensure that the demonstration projects presented and selected are market-oriented and that they can be replicated in different cities.
One of the greatest challenges facing Europe is how best to design and adapt cities into smart, intelligent, sustainable environments:
- Cities create some 80% of the EU's gross domestic product with their concentration of trade, business and "people expertise". Cities are a driving force in generating Europe's economic growth.
- They will become even more important as the proportion of Europeans living in urban areas grows from just over two-thirds today to a forecast 85% by 2050.
- 68% of the EU population lives in urban areas, which consume 70% of energy. This accounts for 75% of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
- The information and communications technology (ICT) sector will require more and more electricity by 2020.
- Urban transport is responsible for one-quarter of all the emissions from road transport.
- Congestion costs Europe about 1% of GDP every year – most of if it from urban areas.