STARDUST Meets Halfway at the heart of Trento

The STARDUST consortium welcomes its third year as partners gathered together for its 3rd General Assembly in the city of Trento this October 2019 to discuss the latest updates.

On October 24 and 25, the STARDUST consortium held its third general assembly at the Lighthouse city of Trento (Italy). Partners shared with one another the latest updates and witnessed the Madonna Bianca district, where one of the STARDUST interventions is taking place.

Led by CENER, the STARDUST project is a Smart Cities and Communities (SCC-01) project funded under the European Union’s H2020 Programme. Its goal is to create smart cities in the form of “innovation islands” where smart buildings, and renewable energy solutions, energy efficiency, ICT and sustainable mobility co-exist with the help of the citizens and local stakeholders’ active participation.

The STARDUST consortium at one of Madonna Bianca district’s social housing buildings

Having entered its third year, the Lighthouse cities of Pamplona (Spain), Tampere (Finland) and Trento (Italy) are gearing up on completing the installation of their solutions. These will be monitored and replicated soon across the Follower cities of Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Derry (UK), Kozani (Greece) and Litomerice (Czech Republic).

In the Lighthouse city of Pamplona, a new electric bus line powered solely by renewable sources has been integrated to the city’s smart grid while an easy-to-install photovoltaic roof generator (in the form of a plug&play roof) has been recently added to the municipal police building. Continuing where they left off, the Lighthouse city of Tampere is renovating other buildings and have implemented the proposed hackathon solutions for their “Smart Street Lighting” initiative. As for the Lighthouse city of Trento, the local partners are putting the pieces together by retrofitting of Madonna Bianca district’s 3 social housing buildings based on the winning design of “Torri 2020” launched by ITEA Spa.

These are just some of the many smart cities interventions being introduced to the cities. As part of the STARDUST project’s main objectives, all three Lighthouse cities will be collecting these data in the form of open city information platforms.  These are being developed not only to monitor effectively the cities’ energy usage but also ensure that the citizens are being provided a better lifestyle. Of course, the consent of citizens are to be considered as these platforms are being built.

Martino Gubert (Eurac) explaining the technicalities behind the refurbishment taking place in the Madonna Bianca district

At this moment, the representatives from the Follower cities of Cluj-Napoca, Derry, Kozani and Litoměřice reported their wishes on meeting their respective cities’ sustainable urban plans. Their next line-in-action is to merge with the Lighthouse cities in the form of knowledge sharing activities. Doing so will allow Follower cities to understand which among the Lighthouse cities’ solutions are viable for replication.

Once the meeting ended, the entire STARDUST consortium went to the Madonna Bianca district and witnessed for themselves the renovation taking place in one of the 3 buildings. Built in 1979, these social housing buildings suffer a great deal in terms of energy consumption. Their existing heating system and thermal storage will be modified and will be monitored accordingly. Everyone then headed out to the Santa Massenza Power Plant, a hydroelectric power plant that is being managed by Hydro Dolomiti Enel, the Trentino company Dolomiti Energia Group, which is also a partner of STARDUST.

Now that the STARDUST project is entering its third year, partners were given the chance to see each other’s progress. Furthermore, they hope to surpass the obstacles and work on safeguarding its mission on turning its smart city solutions into a replicable plan for all types of cities.