Utrecht’s Kanaleneiland area becomes a sustainable district

Utrecht’s Kanaleneiland-Zuid district is taking on a new sustainable future, aided by a € 5.3 million from the European Commission (EC). The project will integrate investments in, among others, energy saving, sustainable energy generation and electric mobility. Smart data services will support this integration. The EC has made a total of 18 million euros available for the  European IRIS Smart Cites project, which Utrecht is executing as a lead partner, together with the Swedish city of Gothenburg and the French city of Nice among others.

An ecosystem of several actors are collaborating closely to deliver the urban transformation. Within the next five years housing corporation Bo-Ex will renovate twelve flats with a total of 644 social housing units  into almost energy-neutral homes. There will also be smart meters for generated electricity to be used directly in the home. In addition, there will be electric shared cars, electric buses and batteries stored in local garage lockups. These store renewable energy that is generated  by solar panels on roofs of, for example, flats and schools in the district. An ICT platform with open data will provide data exchange to platform to support the project and encourage innovative services to be developed. The plan for the first of the twelve flats  in Kanaleneiland will be further developed together with residents this spring.

Competition was fierce for the funding, with applications from across Europe. A strong vision for Utrecht’s urban development, the familiarity of LomboXnet and strong expected impacts for the environment, economy and communities was key to the city being chosen. The municipality is working together with Bo-Ex and residents in this project. In addition, partners such as LomboXnet, Civity, Qbuzz, Eneco, KPN, Stedin, Utrecht University and HKU are involved. The experiences and knowledge gathered throughout the project will be shared with other cities in the project, including Gothenburg and Nice.

For more information see: IRIS Smart Cities

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