The Smart Cities Helix was amongst the first tranche of Helix communities launched by Crowdhelix in early 2013, and is led by the world-renowned academic institution NTNU: the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Closely integrated with the focus areas of the Energy, Transport, and Digital Helixes, the Smart Cities Helix provides an Open Innovation community for experts seeking international collaborators to carry out research and innovation across the following topics:
- Smart & decarbonised buildings
- Big data for buildings
- Integrated & smart urban transport systems
- Smart urban planning
- Digitised urban infrastructure
- Building energy performance improvements
- Energy smart grids
- Positive energy districts & Energy Islands
Under the European Union’s Horizon Europe funding programme, a dedicated Mission has been established to galvanise cross-sector expertise towards realising the transition towards climate-neutral and smart cities worldwide. As set out in the Mission outline documentation, more than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and this is expected to reach 80% by 2050. Cities and metropolitan areas are also key centres of economic activity, knowledge generation, innovation, and new technologies.
This Mission is also expected to contribute towards the targets set by international policy frameworks such as the COP21 Paris Agreement, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (notably SDG11), the Urban Agenda for the EU, and the Habitat III New Urban Agenda, as cities play a central role in all of them. In particular, Crowdhelix intends to support the Mission’s aim to include citizen science and public engagement in its delivery, by widening participation to new communities beyond specialist R&I stakeholders.