The concept of “smart city” has received special attention from researchers and decision-makers worldwide. Despite its increasing implementation across the EU, the environmental benefits and impacts of smart city strategies remain unclear. A two-year Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie research project led by Eurac Research (project ARTEMIS) aims to understand whether and how smart city strategies can effectively improve the environmental performance of urban systems.
More than half of the global population lives in urban areas, which are associated with 60-80% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, resource use and waste generation worldwide. These shares are expected to increase in upcoming decades as urban population and impacts per capita continue to grow. While the trends result in significant sustainability challenges, the concentration of population and economic power in urban areas offers a unique opportunity to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of urban systems, thereby reducing the environmental impacts associated with human activities. Smart city strategies focus on the deployment of innovative information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve urban systems, in terms of quality of life, economic, social and environmental sustainability. But how sustainable are smart cities? This research project aims to answer this question by developing an integrated environmental impact assessment framework, and a set of indicators to evaluate environmental impacts of smart city strategies. The project will analyze the interventions implemented in two EU-funded smart city projects, one in Lisbon, Portugal, and the other one in Trento, Italy.
The aim of the project is to support decision-makers on the design and implementation of smart city strategies that can improve the environmental performance of urban systems, and to advance the environmental impact assessment of cities.
ARTEMIS kicked-off earlier this month and will take two years, until September 2023. The H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship will be carried out at Eurac’s Institute for Renewable Energy, in Bolzano (Italy), by Joana Bastos and Daniele Vettorato, in collaboration with Prof. Leonardo Rosado, from the Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden).
“ARTEMIS brings together experts in smart cities, urban metabolism and environmental impact assessment, to support decision-makers in tackling climate change and shaping a smart, sustainable and healthy urban future.” Joana Bastos, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow (EU-H2020 Grant Agreement No. 101026073)