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Questions to Rene Tonnisson, Member of the Executive Board, Smart City Lab

Why did Tartu choose to participate in the CITyFiED project, and how does it fit in with your energy and environment strategy?

Tartu decided to participate in CITyFIED project as Smart City development is of high priority for Tartu in coming years and we were looking for suitable networks which are dealing with smart city development related issues in order to learn from other cities having similar ambitions and challenges. We believe that we should not "reinvent the wheel" in Tartu in each of the Smart City development areas but we could rather engage in mutual transfer of knowledge and experience sharing between the CITyFIED partners and also make joint efforts in addressing the challenges and problems related to developing smart cities across Europe and globally.

What smart city measure or energy solution would you like to share with the CITyFiED community?

We are happy to share our experiences in electric mobility in particular related to high penetration of electric cars and experiences with electric taxis, etc. Tartu also has a good deal of experience in new district heating and district cooling approaches including how to increase significantly the usage of RES in district heating (in our cases up to 90%).

Name a challenge you think fellow cities and project consortium members could help you overcome…

How to better engage citizens into smart city development.

Tartu’s most ambitious smart city or energy efficiency target?

We are aiming to retrofit a big number of old Soviet style housing areas with goal to reach at least 70% energy saving compared to the current situation. Also worth mentioning is our new Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) which is currently under the approval in City Council. Once approved (April 2015) we will translate it into English to make it available on our website and share it with fellow CITyFiED cities.

23 March 2015