Re-defining Urban Metabolism by integrating holistic solutions

STARDUST offers a holistic approach in transforming the carbon-based cities to smart, highly efficient, intelligent and citizen-oriented cities, or “Innovation Islands”. These approaches come in the form of both technical and non-technical solutions.

On one hand, technical solutions will be provided in the following sectors: energy, mobility and ICT. On the other hand, non-technical solutions will be addressed directly to the different key players – policy makers, industry, academia, and the citizens – in the form of innovative business models and citizen engagement activities, which ensure the bankability of these solutions. Like yin and yang, both types of actions complement each other, providing the holistic mind set needed to define the new Urban Metabolism envisioned by STARDUST.


The high energy consumption observed among urbanised cities can be reduced by introducing smarter technology, methods and materials into their districts and buildings.


Retrofitting and innovative heating and cooling systems will be introduced to already existing buildings and districts to increase their energy efficiency while providing comfort to local residents. By developing efficient energy management protocols, user-designed interfaces of smart grids and storage systems and open sharing of data between users and other stakeholders, energy usage can be monitored and managed by the buildings’ inhabitants and by the energy provider. Renewable energy sources and smarter energy storage systems and lighting materials will be introduced to ensure and provide sufficient energy for the cities to make use of.


Vehicular traffic is currently responsible for about a tenth of the carbon dioxide emissions. More and more cars are expected to be out in the streets due to the growing global population and personal wealth.


More efficient means of transport and alternative fuels is urgently needed within Europe to break its large dependence on oil. Electric vehicles and their charging stations will be developed and installed in these cities to reduce the carbon emissions predominant in cities. Different types of incentives will be introduced to these cities in order to encourage citizens in using electric vehicles.


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) unlocks the potential of different cities by allowing them to connect and integrate with their operational processes.


Its transformative nature amplifies the impacts of other innovations piloted in the city by enabling their scalability, preventing technology and vendor lock-in situations and facilitating collaboration and innovation between stakeholders. The latest generation of the ICT smart city platform, the open access strategy, data centres and infrastructures, and user-driven and demand-oriented city infrastructures will be introduced to reduce greenhouse emissions and to promote social innovation and co-creation of ideas between stakeholders.

Engaging with citizens to improve urban life

Technical solutions can only do so much to improve the cities’ well-being. Indeed, a growing need for a more inclusive public administrations by means of incorporating citizens is needed to re-vitalize their city planning. This will pave the way to developing sustainable citizen-oriented Smart Cities using different approaches that promote citizen engagement via communication channels, activities, and ICT tools.