Nottingham chosen to be smart city trailblazer

Nottingham has been selected as one of three European cities that will act as pioneers (or guinea pigs) as part of a new EU project to encourage a shift towards smart, green cities.

Along with Valladolid in Spain and Eskisehir in Turkey, Nottingham will be given £5m of funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to tackle sustainability issues concerning transport, energy and ICT. 

As each city develops its own answers to these isses, its ideas will be shared and adapted to develop generic city solutions through the ‘Remourban’ scheme (REgeneration MOdel for accelerating the smart URBAN transformation).

The overall goal of Remourban is to find ways to increase efficiency and reduce emissions in ways that can then be replicated around Europe.

Leading light

Nottingham was selected thanks to its track record of delivering green initiatives, including the UK’s most extensive district heating system and a comprehensive public transport network. Project lead Dr Anton Ianakiev, a reader in civil engineering from Nottingham Trent, said that Nottingham would provide an intellectual blueprint to other cities.

“Nottingham has a rich heritage of sustainability, with fantastic examples of large-scale projects including the growing tram network and the large district heating system which is well known in civil engineering circles around the world,” said Ianakiev.

“This project will enhance the city’s reputation further by making it a showcase for energy efficiency, low-carbon transport and smart technology integration. It is the first time something like this has been done on such a large scale.”

Green schemes

As part of the five-year project, the East-Midlands city will received funding of £5m towards green pilots such as an electric car rental scheme, an extension of the district heating system and a ‘last-mile delivery hub’ where eight electric vehicles take small deliveries on behalf of hauliers to minimise the number of lorries entering the city centre.

UK cities are generally regarded as some of the most sustainable in the world, with a recent index ranking London, Birmingham and Manchester in the global top 20.

Remourban will be officially launched in April. Find out more about the scheme here.

Brad Allen

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