Event Description:


After half a decade of pioneering efforts to create smarter and more sustainable cities, the SPARCS journey comes to an end. As we reflect on our learnings, successes, and outcomes over the past five years, we invite you to our final event.

SPARCS Final Conference: Sparking the Transformation to Sustainable Cities is the culmination of our five-year journey. From 11 to 12 September 2024 in Espoo, Finland, the conference will offer various presentations, meetings, and networking opportunities that provide key insights into our work and the solutions we implemented in SPARCS.

In collaboration with Scalable Cities, we will also co-organise a full day of parallel meetings and sessions to share critical lessons on positive energy districts and urban innovation.

Save the date and join us for a memorable two-day event in September to shape the future of sustainable cities.

7 Reasons to join us!

  1. Explore the remarkable transformation stories of our seven cities on their path to becoming sustainable, positive-energy, zero-carbon communities.

  2. Discover insights from the journey of our two SPARCS lighthouse cities towards creating smarter, more sustainable urban environments.

  3. Gain a better understanding of how our five Fellow cities plan to upscale their work

  4. Visit SPARCS demo sites to see how our work in SPARCS has transformed urban spaces.

  5. Connect with a diverse network of energy practitioners, researchers, and urban experts to discuss sustainable urban development.

  6. Learn about the technologies and solutions implemented in SPARCS projects, gaining insights into their application and benefits.

  7. Participate in a full day of Scalable Cities events to amplify the impact of your initiatives and foster knowledge exchange.

The full agenda will be shared in the coming week.

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the agenda highlights here.

Travel arrangements


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Choose one of the two SPARCS demo sites for your visit


Lippulaiva – Espoonlahti’s New Urban Hub


Opened in spring 2022, Lippulaiva is a 150,000-square-meter mixed-use complex in Espoonlahti, featuring a shopping center, eight residential buildings, and integrated metro and bus terminals.

This is one of the SPARCS demo-sites where new energy and electric mobility solutions have been implemented, and engagement efforts have been tested. Lippulaiva shopping center has Europe’s largest geothermal heating and cooling plant for a commercial building which produces almost all the heating and cooling energy needed by the center. Center’s solar panels generate energy for elevators, escalators, lighting in public areas. Lippulaiva shopping center’s energy storage can be used to balance the operation of the electricity grid.

Get to know more about the Lippulaiva shopping center and the sustainable solutions created in the SPARCS project with the site visit. During the visit, you’ll get to learn more about the solutions, peek behind the curtain and see some of the technical solutions created. The site visit will consist of five solution points:

  • Solar panels as part of Lippulaiva’ s energy system
    • Visit the 15th floor of the residential building and see the solar panels on the roof.
  • Geoenergy as a service
    • Learn more about the Europe’s largest geoenergy facility located in a commercial building, and how it uses carbon-free geoenergy for heating and cooling.
  • Smart electric grid solution
    • Smart electric grid controls electricity consumption and storage. The electric battery is used to participate in Fingrid’s balancing power market to help in balancing the operation of the electricity network. Hear more about the solution and see inside the battery room.
  • Utilizing façade as part of energy system
    • See how a façade can act as part of energy system and how solar panels blend to the architecture with black panels and black frames
  • Community engagement in Lippulaiva
    • Learn how the local communities have been engaged in Lippulaiva.

At each of the solution points you will have an expert introducing the solutions and answering questions. Join us and learn what makes Lippulaiva unique!

Sello – Europe’s most ecological shopping centre


Since its construction in 2003, Sello shopping centre has prioritized energy efficiency. In collaboration with Siemens, as a demo site in SPARCS, Sello has developed a smart energy system featuring innovative solutions to save energy and enhance comfort.

As part of the SPARCS project, Siemens introduced the virtual power plant service at Sello, connecting it to the electricity reserve market. This service automatically optimizes electricity consumption to balance the grid, demonstrating district-level energy integration.

This demand response mechanism offers cost and environmental benefits and helps to even out electricity consumption peaks.

Sello supports carbon neutrality by adopting and developing innovative solutions in collaboration with Siemens and SPARCS partners. The centre’s technical systems, including flexible heating, solar panels, electricity storage, and e-mobility charging infrastructure, help balance electricity production and consumption.

Sello’s smart building system was also supported by KONE’s technical demo of a short-term power demand forecaster for elevators, and assessment of advanced people flow data. The e-bus charging system next to Sello, implemented by Plugit, supports the sustainable mobility.

Get yourself familiar with the solutions created in the SPARCS project with the Sello site visit. During the visit, you’ll get to learn more about the solutions, peek behind the curtain and see some of the technical solutions created. The site visit will consist of five solution points:

  • KONE: Elevators and escalators as part of smart automation solutions.
    • Learn how elevators and escalators can be part of improving the energy efficiency of the building and what is the role of advanced people flow analytics and power-demand based people counter for escalators.
  • Siemens: Virtual Power Plant & smart building technology.
    • Learn more about the Virtual Power Plan in Sello and visit the battery room.
  • Siemens: District heating demand-side flexibility.
    • Visit the machine room and learn how Sello is a part of district heating demand-side flexibility and what are the benefits of it.
  • Siemens: Solar panels as part of Sello’s energy system.
    • See the solar panels and learn about their role in the energy system of Sello.
  • Plugit: E-mobility charging infrastructure
    • Learn about the charging infrastructure for e-buses and see life demonstration of bus charging (if buses present)

At each of the solution points you will have an expert introducing the solutions and answering questions. Join us and learn what makes Sello the most ecological shopping center in Europe!


For further information, please get in touch with Eveliina Gronroos at eveliina.gronroos@vtt.fi and Vladislava Gospodinova at vladislava.gospodinova@gopacom.eu