The Smart Light Concepts research project consists of 11 participating parties represented by 9 official partners: the universities Avans and Portsmouth, the cities Amiens, Bruges en Etten-Leur, County Suffolk, local government WVI and the grid operator Fluvius. The city of Roeselare is represented by the province of West-Flanders. The city of Veurne is participating in one of the pilots and is represented by WVI. The city of Mechelen is also part of a pilot and is represented by grid operator Fluvius. Fluvius also supports the pilot of Bruges. Below all participating parties are briefly introduced.
Amiens Metropole is located in the department of Somme and the Region of Hauts-de-France, Northern France. The region has an area of 348 km2 and has 182,600 inhabitants. The city has adopted the "Roadmap Energy Autonomy 2050". This roadmap describes the path to energy autonomy in 2050. And the efforts that are being made to improve energy efficiency (-62%) and a greater use of renewable and recoverable energies.
In 2018, Amiens was awarded the Cap Cit'ergie label. Earlier in 2015, the city received the honorary title Territory with positive energy for green growth (TEPCV). Both show the commitment Amiens has to promote the energy transition in the fight against climate change.
Avans University of Applied Sciences has 13 locations in the Dutch province of North Brabant. Its schools can be found in 4 cities: Breda, 's-Hertogenbosch, Tilburg and Roosendaal. A total of nearly 33,000 students study there.
According to the ‘Keuzegids HBO 2021’, a ranking guide for higher education in the Netherlands, Avans has been once again the best large university of applied sciences in the Netherlands. It has occupied that top position for the seventh time in a row. Avans scores good results across the board. Especially courses in the field of Language & Communication and Exact & Computer Science score above average.
Avans UAS has 6 centres of expertise and more than 25 research chairs within which groups of researchers conduct practice-oriented research. The SLIC is part of the Sustainable Finance and Accounting research chair. The project involves collaboration with the Smart Energy research chair.
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders, Belgium. The city has over 118,000 inhabitants and an area of 138 km2. The historic city centre is considered unique and irreplaceable. In 2000, the historic centre was recognised by UNESCO (the United Nations Cultural Organisation) as a World Heritage Site.
Because the city centre is on the World Heritage List, its unique character and appearance must be preserved. This represents an extra challenge for city administrators in making street lighting in the city centre more sustainable. For example, the newly manufactured LED luminaires must be an exact copy of the traditional lanterns.
Etten-Leur is located in the province of North Brabant, the Netherlands. The municipality has nearly 44,000 inhabitants and an area of 55 km2. The municipality stimulates low-greenhouse gas production and consumption. It is switching from fossil fuels to sustainable forms of energy: wind, sun and biomass. By setting a good example itself, Etten-Leur wants to encourage its stakeholders to also invest in renewable energy. At the same time, the municipality continues to strive for energy savings.
Climate emergency and the need for carbon reduction is not sufficiently alive among the residents of Etten-Leur. The municipality wants to change that by sharing information about the energy transition with citizens, companies and other stakeholders and thus increasing their awareness about it.
Fluvius is the Belgian network operator of electricity and natural gas in all municipalities in Flanders. In addition, it also provides the cable television and sewage network in some 100 municipalities in the Flemish part of Belgium. The company was created on July 1, 2018 from the merger of Eandis and Infrax.
Together with the local authorities, Fluvius will convert all light points in Flanders to LED lighting by 2030. Via this investment, 54 million euros can be saved annually on energy consumption and 44,000 tons of CO₂. Moreover, a conversion also offers more possibilities to better respond to interactive lighting technology and a stepping stone to "smart cities". Fluvius is directly involved in 2 pilots within SLIC.
Mechelen is a city in the south of the Belgian province of Antwerp. It is located between the cities of Antwerp and Brussels, on the river Dijle. The city has more than 86,500 inhabitants and an area of 65.8 km2. It has an authentic historic city centre with many medieval buildings. Mechelen has signed the so-called Covenant of Mayors on climate and has the target of emitting 40% less CO₂ by 2030.
Mechelen works closely with Fluvius for the installation and maintenance of the public lighting and is part of the SLIC research project. Fluvius is the Belgian network operator of electricity and natural gas in all municipalities in Flanders.
The University of Portsmouth is located about 120 km southwest of London. There are over 24,000 students enrolled, 4,000 of which are international. Portsmouth was named the UK's most affordable city for students in the Natwest Student Living Index 2016.
The University of Portsmouth was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017 -one of only four universities in the south east with the highest 'Gold' rating. The university was ranked 98th in Times Higher Education's ‘100 under 50’ rankings of international modern universities 2017 and in the top 500 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017.
With over 62,500 inhabitants, Roeselare is one of the larger cities in the province of West Flanders, Belgium. The city has an area of almost 60 km². Roeselare wants to be completely climate neutral by 2050 and is designing a climate-friendly city for this.
In 2017, the city signed the European Covenant of Mayors for climate and energy, committing itself to emit less CO₂, use energy more intelligently, provide opportunities for new energy sources and adapt to the changing climate. To achieve this, Roeselare started the website Klimaatswitch #VANRSL.
Suffolk is a county in the British province of East Anglia on the east coast of the UK. The county is home to about 757,000 people covering an area of 3,798 km2 (1,466 square miles) and is made up of 7 districts: Ipswich (famous for the football club), Suffolk Coastal, Waveney, Mid Suffolk, Babergh, St Edmundsbury , Forest Heath.
In September 2019, the Suffolk County Council established a special panel for developing local policies. The panel is involved in research into how carbon emissions and other harmful emissions can be reduced. This is good for the climate and is part of the ambition to make the county - including all buildings, schools and services - carbon neutral by 2030 at the latest. In addition, striving to reduce costs help.
Veurne is a city with over 12,000 inhabitants in the province of West Flanders, Belgium. The city has an area of over 96 km² and is a regional centre for the surrounding municipalities. The city has a number of primary and secondary schools, has a hospital and is an important public transport hub.
Veurne signed the Mayors Covenant 2020 in which the city wants to emit 20% less CO₂ compared to 2011. The city also plans to sign the Mayors Covenant 2030, which aims to emit 40% less CO₂ by 2030 compared to 2011.
In the SLIC project, Veurne has delegated the implementation of the pilot to WVI.
West Flemish intermunicipality
WVI is a service association that assists municipalities in fulfilling their tasks. It is active in 54 West Flemish municipalities with approximately 90 employees. WVI was officially founded in 2001 and is active in the following areas:
- Development of business parks;
- Realization of housing projects;
- Project and process management;
- Advice and studies in the field of spatial planning, mobility and GIS;
- Advice and studies in the field of the environment, nature, climate and energy;
- Sharing services, personnel and products (shared services)
- European subsidy projects;
- Support regional operation and cross-border cooperation.
Within the SLIC project, WVI is directly involved in the pilot of Veurne.
The province of West Flanders
The province of West Flanders is involved in the Roeselare pilot. It is one of the 10 provinces of Belgium and at the same time one of the 5 provinces of the Flemish Region. It is the westernmost province of Flanders and Belgium and is the only Belgian province situated on the North Sea. The province has an area of 3,144 km² and has approximately 1.2 million inhabitants. The capital of West Flanders is Bruges. Other large cities are Kortrijk, Ostend and Roeselare.