Solving Cities

E.U. invests $450 million in smart cities

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The E.U. is funding smart cities projects with a focus on energy, transportation, and information and communications technology.

With about three-quarters of Europeans living in cities, consuming 70 percent of energy in the European Union, the E.U. is taking a particular interest in making their cities more efficient through smart technology.

Earlier this week the E.U. announced that next year about $450 million (365 million euros) will be allocated to help cities develop smart city technology. The funding was announced along with the E.U.'s Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership. The funds will help pool research resources in three smart cities sectors: energy, transportation, and information and communications technology. Each project that is financed through this initiative will focus on all three sectors.

"Innovation drives Europe's competitiveness and is the best means of addressing energy efficiency. Thanks to this partnership, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, smart metering, real-time energy management, or zero-energy buildings neighbourhoods solutions will spread among more and more European cities," said E.U. Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger in a statement.

This investment in smart city tech is a notable upgrade from its most recent investment. In 2011, the E.U. launched the Smart Cities and Communities Initiative, which invested about $100 million (81 million euros) in the technologies this year. Next year will see an increase of about $350 million, a signal that the E.U. is getting more serious about smart cities.

Photo: Flickr/Generaal Gibson

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure