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34  Summer 2016 European Energy Innovation


CITYkeys: Measurement matters

By Nikolaos Kontinakis, CITYkeys project coordinator, EUROCITIES

For any urban community, taking                the research institutes VTT (coordinator,   follow-up projects. Follower cities
            the digital leap and going         Finland), AIT (Austria), and TNO            are defined as cities that have not yet
            green is never an easy feat. The   (Netherlands) – and EUROCITIES. Our         acquired the full technical competence
            success of a ‘smart city’ project  role is to help identify project partners’  to become a lighthouse city. However,
 hinges on good and solid preparation,         needs and gather their feedback on          they need to be fully involved in the
 and its execution, or evaluation of           the tools being developed. Additional       project from the beginning and have
 its success, must be preceded by              cities have been invited to contribute      enough committed resources to deliver
 meticulous measurements.                      in order to gather as much evidence         a replication plan of most (if not all) the
                                               and feedback as possible about the          solutions developed within the project. 
 Enter CITYkeys. The aim of this two-year      practical use, benefits and challenges
 project, launched in February 2015 and        of key performance indicators (KPIs)        The Commission also identified
 funded by the European Commission’s           and smart city project evaluation           ‘horizontal activities’, which aim to
 Horizon 2020 programme, is to                 frameworks.                                 support the ‘lighthouse’ projects by
 develop, and eventually validate, a                                                       addressing cross-cutting challenges,
 ‘bottom-up performance measurement            TWOFOLD APPROACH                            such as regulatory barriers or
 framework’ for monitoring and                 At the dawn of the smart city era, the      standardisation issues. With its focus on
 comparing the implementation of               European Commission decided to take         performance monitoring, CITYkeys falls
 smart urban technologies. The strategic       a twofold approach to the development       into the latter category.
 goal of CITYkeys is to accelerate the         and promotion of such solutions. Within
 transition to low-carbon, resource-           the framework of the more recent            At the outset of the project, the
 efficient cities. The method and the          Smart Cities and Communities call for       CITYkeys partners and EUROCITIES
 indicators that have been developed           proposals, it opted for the creation of     members were invited to complete
 are to be used to evaluate smart city         so-called ‘lighthouse’ projects, each       two separate surveys. The aim was to
 projects and to facilitate the replication    with two or three ‘lead’ cities and a few   assess the actual needs of the cities
 of the successful ones in different           ‘follower’ cities. Under this scheme, the   and their stakeholders regarding a
 contexts.                                     lead cities or communities team up as       performance measurement system.
                                               ‘lighthouses’ to demonstrate the use        A total of 19 large cities from across
 CITYkeys brings together the municipal        of a mix of innovative technologies in      Europe responded to the first survey,
 authorities of Rotterdam, Tampere,            specific cities and urban communities       while around 50 stakeholders provided
 Vienna, Zagreb and Zaragoza, as well as       and to provide models for numerous          input on their relevant needs and

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