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Best Practice Solutions and Winning Elements for Success




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Celsius Smart Cities Workshop- 16th September 2015

This interactive workshop will bring together excellence from several advanced European Smart Cities projects that will put forward their expertise and their project results on integrated planning, energy efficiency and district energy solutions, among others.

MSc Global Sustainable Cities Brochure

The Institute for Future Cities (IFC) has published a new brochure for the MSc Global Sustainable Cities.

STEP UP cities have undertaken an inventory of projects to identify existing best practice solutions and elements that contributed to their success. A total of 36 best practice projects have been identified which all contribute to the European Union’s 2020 goals of energy efficiency, lower greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in renewable energy. 

The scope and focus of the projects varies widely, from large district heating networks to small retrofit developments. From the list of 36 best practice projects, nine have been identified as lighthouse initiatives which are based on an integrated approach to project development, bringing together several sectors and actors in innovative ways. These projects have potential for replication, either in part or in their entirety, and all have specific success factors that other cities can learn from.

To read more about best practice projects, download a summary of the best practice projects inventory here. Or keep reading to find out about the winning elements of success found to be present in successful lighthouse initiatives.

Winning Elements for Success

STEP UP has identified four key winning elements for successful lighthouse initiatives. 

Political leadership with a long-term approach

Strong leadership is vital due to a local authority’s unique position to influence other actors in the city. Research shows that successful projects have local political leaders who champion projects and act as enablers to make a concept become reality. Sustainable energy projects often last for decades, making a long-term leadership strategy crucial, lasting beyond short term political cycles. 

To read about examples of bold political leadership, explore the STEP UP cities lighthouse initiatives in the left-hand menu at the top of the screen.

Collaboration and dialogue with all stakeholders

Continued communication and collaboration is a winning element for many projects. Open dialogue is vital to ensure that the multiple sectors and technologies involved in lighthouse initiatives communicate, share knowledge and exchange information effectively. This can lead to improved project outcomes, enhancing potential for future expansion, replication or further collaboration.  

To find out about how stakeholder involvement can work in practice, use the left-hand menu to explore case studies of lighthouse initiatives in STEP UP cities. 

Contribution to multiple policy objectives

To achieve a low carbon and sustainable city future, policies should be aligned with other city strategies and so contribute to achieving multiple objectives. For example, an initiative may reduce carbon emissions whilst tackling fuel poverty and improving economic growth. Such projects are more likely to gain wider support across the city, and improve the overall quality of life for citizens by delivering on many fronts. 

For examples of how STEP UP lighthouse initiatives contribute to multiple policy objectives in their respective cities, navigate the left-hand menu for city case studies.

Creating business models to attract investment

Successful projects attract investors and reduce risk, increasing the scale and impact of their core activity. Therefore, a key challenge that must be overcome for many cities is structuring projects and creating business models appropriate to their context. A common theme in STEP UP lighthouse initiatives is in creating public-private partnerships, helping to reduce costs and risks for the local authority. 

To read more about how these partnerships can work, follow the links in the left-hand menu for more details on STEP UP lighthouse initiatives.

Recommendations for other cities

Through working on developing criteria for identifying lighthouse initiatives and exploring case studies of successful projects, STEP UP has developed a number of recommendations for other cities looking to develop their own lighthouse initiatives.

Lighthouse Initiatives

To read about these recommendations in more detail, or find out about the approaches taken by cities, you can download the report on STEP UP’s work on lighthouse initiatives here. If you have any further enquiries about this work, please contact info@stepupsmartcities.eu 


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