MD1574 Sharing Cities: Horizon 2020 programme Smart Cities

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
16 December 2015
Decision by: 
Boris Johnson MP (past staff), Mayor of London

Executive summary

In September 2015 the European Commission (EC) awarded as successful the GLA’s application to the Horizon 2020 (H2020) Smart Cities and Communities ” Lighthouse Project” programme. This three year programme supports the large-scale implementation and integration of very near-to-market smart city technologies and systems, to maximise their benefit in demonstrator areas and prove their replicability across wider city environments. 

The EC has approved €24,988,759 for the GLA-led ‘Sharing Cities’ consortium. The ‘Sharing Cities’ consortium and project will be co-ordinated by the GLA, and delivered by a partnership of experts from public and private sector organisations in the lead cities of London, Milan and Lisbon. The GLA is not required to provide cash or in-kind match in relation to the EC’s grant award.




That the Mayor: 

•    Approves the GLA’s acceptance of the grant award of €24,988,759 from the European Commission for the coordination and delivery of the ‘Sharing Cities’ project; and
•    Approves expenditure of up to €24,988,759 for the period January 2016 to January 2020 for the coordination and delivery of the ‘Sharing Cities’ project.



Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    Exploring and exploiting the potential of smart city technology (sensors, actuators and supporting data integration operations, also known as the Internet of Things) to improve city services and better manage city assets and infrastructure is increasingly important in seeking to deliver better quality of life for communities and improved operating environments for businesses in cities. 

1.2    The H2020 project will develop, deploy and seek to integrate replicable solutions in the energy, transport, data and ICT sectors.  In demonstrator areas, it will also test the replicability of these physical, digital and human systems to deliver sustainable place and resource management opportunities. The main delivery activities in London are set out in para 1.10; associated objectives and social, economic and environmental outcomes are set out in paras 2.1 and 2.2.  The successful delivery of Sharing Cities will place London, and the GLA, firmly at the front of global developments in smart city development.

1.3    There will be one demonstrator area in each of the three lead cities of London, Milan, and Lisbon.  Demonstrator areas take into consideration:

(i)    Complex urban challenges linked to significant economic and population growth, where solutions are thought to be scalable and transferable. 
(ii)    A varied urban setting including well established residential communities and businesses, alongside major redevelopment schemes. 
(iii)    A significant inward and outward movement of employees and visitors. 
(iv)    Strategic assets for low-carbon transformation in the H2020 timeframe.
(v)    Key transformation projects/plans currently being implemented or scheduled for the near future.
(vi)    Existing infrastructure assets.

1.4    The Demonstrator area for London is the Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG). In addition to RBG and the GLA, other London partners range from regional authorities to small specialist SMEs - Transport for London, Imperial College, KiwiPower, UrbanDNA, Concirrus, Mastodon C, Siemens UK and Future Cities Catapult.

1.5    There will be a further 3 ‘follower’ cities - Burgas, Bordeaux and Warsaw. These cities will be actively involved with the three lead cities.  They will validate city service designs and implement a number of specific solutions. 

1.6    Sharing Cities will be directed by the GLA Intelligence Unit.  The GLA Delivery Team will conduct the broad programme monitoring and administrative management required by the European Commission.  

1.7    The project will be live for 3 years, with a further 2 years of Impact Monitoring. The Grant Agreement with the EC is scheduled to be signed on 16 December 2015, with the project commencement scheduled to start in January 2016 and project closure scheduled for January 2020.

1.8    In total €24,988,759 will pass through the GLA’s accounts, with €2,460,635 (approximately £1.8m) of funding awarded for specific GLA activities. This includes funding for staff resources; resourcing will be met through a mixture of existing staff and recruitment to posts, to be agreed by Programme management.   

1.9    The remaining €22,528,124 funding will be paid to the project partners. Project partners will submit claims for activity in arrears. Based on these, the GLA will compile and submit claims to the EC for the partnership as a whole. The EC will reimburse the GLA (which shall be accountable to the EC for all of the funding) in arrears for expenditure on receipt of these claims and the GLA will reimburse partners following receipt of payment by the EC. All partners will be signatories to a formal Consortium Agreement, the detail of which will be agreed between the GLA and those partners, officers seeking the advice of TfL Legal as necessary.

1.10    Main delivery activities in London are as follows:

1.10.1    Applying retrofitting solutions to 357 residential properties and five non-residential properties in RBG, integrating low carbon energy sources, physical modernisation, digital controls and public-private energy-saving solutions (as part of a larger borough programme already partly supported by the GLA’s RE:FIT programme).

1.10.2    Development of a decentralised energy and smart energy management programme supporting the long-term 2050 London Energy Plan, and implementation in RBG of a smart grid to form an energy management and market platform.

1.10.3    RBG will further develop its UK Pilot car-sharing scheme (funded by Government and industry) with eight driverless electric vehicles, 20 electric vehicles and a shared electric vehicle logistics trial, integrating these into a shared public/private mobility scheme through the installation of smart vehicle sensors.

1.10.4    Launching a bike sharing scheme in RBG with 30 electric bikes (e-bikes) and 4 e-bike docking stations, integrating reservation and bike movement analytics with existing bike-hire schemes and e-bike charging with electric car charging points and working with TfL to exploit the learning and model to build on the TfL trial across London.

1.10.5    Development of 300 smart-parking places in RBG with sensors integrated with smart lampposts, enabling a smart parking app to support driver interaction, reduce parking place search time, as well as monitoring of NOx emissions and enabling management of pollutant vehicles in areas with high NOx levels.

1.10.6    Upgrading 400 lampposts in RBG with smart interoperable multi sensors to support dynamic real-time data collection and analysis, data sharing, citizen engagement and predictive analytics, in the areas of environmental monitoring, smart parking, electric vehicle charging and WiFi access, as part of wider programme of street lighting upgrades to reduce energy use.

1.10.7    Development of a common open standard reference architecture and urban data sharing platform.

1.10.8    Development of an energy management and market platform to optimise energy use and reduce energy bills and emissions.




Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1.    Sharing Cities has the following consortium-wide strategic objectives:

2.1.1.    To demonstrate that the implementation and integration of smart city solutions in complex urban environments can increase social, economic and environmental value.  That this value is also scalable across regionally diverse areas and not geographically limited.

2.1.2.    To explore and prove the extent to which a difference can be made through adopting a digital first and data-driven approach to the improvement and ‘connecting up’ of existing infrastructure, as well as the design and running of new city infrastructure.  

2.1.3.    To drive the creation of a new set of next stage digital services which will help citizens make better choices around transport and energy efficiency, which when scaled up will enhance the city’s ability to hit key targets for mobility, housing, energy efficiency and resilience, and economic development.  

2.1.4.    To understand, develop and trial business, investment and governance models, essential for aggregation and replication of smart city solutions in cities of different sizes and maturities, in Europe and beyond to make transformative improvements, and enhance sustainability.

2.1.5.    To respond to the increasing demand for participation in Open Data markets; to enhance mechanisms for citizens’ engagement; to improve local governments capacity for policy making and service delivery through collaboration and co-design; resulting in outcomes that are better for citizens, businesses and visitors.

2.2.    Expected outputs and outcomes for London:

2.2.1.    Development of tools and approaches to better inform local residents and businesses and secure their participation in improving local areas.

2.2.2.    Development of an energy management and market platform to optimise energy use and reduce energy bills and emissions.

2.2.3.    Retrofitting low carbon, energy-saving solutions to 362 properties, generating annual savings of 607 t/CO2, c£130k in energy bills and 2.6m KWh in energy consumption.

2.2.4.    An additional five shared electric vehicles and installation of 28 smart vehicle sensors, generating a reduction in private car use, and annual savings of c720,000 km car mileage and 92 t/CO2.

2.2.5.    An additional 30 e-bikes and 4 e-bike parks installed generating a 20% mode shift from cars, and annual savings of c810,000 km car mileage and 135 t/ CO2.

2.2.6.    Development of up to 300 smart-parking places, generating a reduction in CO2 and air pollutants of up to 15%.

2.2.7.    Upgrading 400 lampposts with smart sensors, generating 30% savings on energy use and approx. £16m over 25 years.

2.2.8.    Development of a common open standard reference architecture and urban sharing platform, which will enable city managers to make stronger, data-driven decisions about better management and development of places, making local services more efficient and responsive to the needs of residents, businesses and visitors.

Equality comments

3.1.    Innovations in technology and the use of data are presenting new ways of meeting peoples’ needs in urban landscapes. These technologies have the potential to transform the efficiency of city operations; city-level decision making; and the relationships with people and businesses to improve sustainability; while at the same time addressing resource pressures faced by communities and authorities.

3.2.    An increased emphasis on technological solutions can have both positive and negative impacts on people with protected characteristics. Green buildings and improved infrastructure will cut carbon emissions, and alongside information about NOx emissions will improve health outcomes for Londoners. Smart-parking, self-driving cars and e-bike services can specifically support people with certain disabilities, while access to shared vehicles can increase mobility for those on low incomes. A whole programme of work will be dedicated to communication and engagement to ensure that people from all age groups and ethnic backgrounds are not excluded from participating in these opportunities.

3.3.    The project will adhere to accessibility best practice for print, website and other means of communication.


Other considerations

4.1.    Risk 1 – Poor performance or engagement by one or more members of the partnership

Mitigation – As required by the Commission, there will be continuous monitoring of Partners’ progress to ensure adequate progress is made and resourcing is maintained, and where not available, the GLA will seek support from within the consortium to address shortcomings. This will be linked closely to addressing project slippage and time delays. Where partners are unable to reach a consensus, majority rules will apply – if a decision is highly conflictive, the Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will be consulted.

4.2.    Risk 2 – Security of project and personal data

Mitigation – Where applicable, systems will be based on secure web-servers with security levels defined down to the dataset and user level to ensure that only the correct GLA staff can see each dataset or model. Data will be anonymised where personal information is required.

4.3.    Risk 3 – Financial risks

Mitigation – The project is 100% funded by the EU (as ‘committed funds’ it is not subject to the budget review). The GLA will be able to claim quarterly in arrears throughout the project, limiting the cash flow implications to the GLA. The items and timing are covered by a grant agreement with the EC. A legally binding consortium agreement will be signed by all project partners, clearly placing responsibility for any instances of fraud, financial mismanagement or underperformance with the appropriate Consortium member (although it should be noted that the GLA will be responsible ultimately to the EC for the funding). Key Delivery, Environment and Intelligence staff will be involved in supporting the project as part of their existing roles and responsibilities. Funding for extra staff resource has also been identified in the bid.

4.4.    Risk 4 – Intellectual property

An IP protection policy will be implemented, in line with a binding agreement between consortium partners, consistent with the overall approach targeting open data platforms and avoided vendor lock-in. This will create an environment in which new knowledge from the project can be exploited and disseminated, both within and beyond the consortium.

4.5.    Mayoral Strategies

This project links to a number of Mayoral Strategies which make use of demographic, employment, housing or other projections. Specific examples include:

- The London Plan
- The London Infrastructure Plan 2050
- The London Energy Plan


Financial comments

5.1.    There will be no GLA net cash contribution to this project. Over the maximum duration of 5-years (up to 2020), the GLA (as the Project Co-ordinators) will receive €24,988,759 from the European Commission, of which €2,469,541 will be utilised on Project Management costs and Administration of the project by the GLA. The balance, being accounted for within the GLA accounts will be administered to project partners 


Investment and Performance Board

7.1.    The Board received a report on 30 October setting out the proposals enclosed in this MD and recommendations were endorsed.


Planned delivery approach and next steps



MD  Approval

November 2015

Grant Agreement with EC signed

December 2015


December 2015

Delivery Start Date

January 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (external):

January 2020

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

January 2018

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

January 2020


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