Nottingham has been chosen to be the first city to host a smart cities study tour for the REMOURBAN project. 70 delegates from across Europe came to Nottingham to take part in a series of smart city workshops and to visit the ambitious REMOURBAN funded energy projects for housing and transport. Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham City Homes organised the tour in cooperation with REMOURBAN and representatives from the European Commission with the aim of sharing best practice.

REMOURBAN is a European wide Smart Cities project that is demonstrating energy efficient interventions in Nottingham and two other European cities. The project aims to develop a model to show the impact of smart integration of sustainability and regeneration of our towns and cities, focusing on energy efficient housing, transport and information & communications technology.

The tour took in the current Greener HousiNG works in Sneinton which are using European money to radically alter the appearance and feel of 400 houses, saving residents on their energy bills and cutting carbon emissions. Energy efficiency interventions include external wall insulation, LED lighting, solar panels, battery storage and new connections to the district heating network’s low carbon energy supply. There was also a stop at the new electric bus charging depot at Queens Drive Park and Ride which supports the service of 12 electric buses.

The day also incorporated a special event where representatives from 9 EU-funded ‘Lighthouse’ projects representing more than 50 European Union towns and cities signed the Lighthouse Projects Cooperation Manifesto. This marked the formal collaboration among the cities to share best practice on the lessons learned from their smart city projects and is seen as an important step in the EU’s endeavours to maximise project outcomes and ensure these become mainstream beyond the projects themselves. This event symbolises the ever-closer partnership among Lighthouse cities across Europe working together to achieve a more sustainable future of which Nottingham is proud to be a part of.

Councillor Alan Clark, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability, said: “The REMOURBAN concept is a great fit with the council’s commitments to tackle both fuel poverty and to reduce the city’s carbon emissions. We were delighted to welcome delegates from towns and cities across Europe all facing similar challenges to Nottingham to share learnings and experience of how to reduce the energy demand of our cities whilst ensuring that they continue to thrive and that people can live well. I’m really proud that Nottingham was the city where the Lighthouse Projects Cooperation Manifesto was signed, Nottingham is recognised as a leading European smart city for our efforts to create a sustainable future and we need to work with and learn from our neighbours.”

Dr Anton Ianakiev, a reader in civil engineering at Nottingham Trent University, said: “The Smart cities workshops and the Study tour are recognition for the excellent and innovative work the REMOURBAN team is doing in Nottingham. The project with its wide scope application in housing and transportation will help in the transformation of Nottingham into a Smart city.”

REMOURBAN Project lead Miguel Ángel García Fuentes said “Nottingham, a city recognised for its strong environmental drive, was an ideal setting for project partners to pledge their commitment to Smart Cities and Communities. Furthermore, a site visit enabled delegates from the European Commission, The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency and other Lighthouse projects to see for themselves the practical impact of REMOURBAN’s green endeavours in Nottingham’s Sneinton district and e-bus charging depot.”