The overall goal of SPARCS is to demonstrate and validate innovative solutions for planning, deploying and rolling out smart and integrated energy systems that will transform cities into sustainable, citizen-centred, zero carbon ecosystems that offer a high quality of life for all urban dwellers.
SPARCS solutions will integrate key factors such as technologies for energy positivity in buildings and districts, flexible grid management, energy storage and e-mobility.
Achieving this will require long-term commitment from cities and an in-depth understanding of the challenges they face. Stakeholder engagement will also be key to the project's success and SPARCS aims to set up inclusive management and planning processes that involve industry, innovative SMEs and research organizations, urban planners and municipal administrations and, critically, urban dwellers.
The aim is to create an information society that places citizens at the centre of the decision-making process and increases general public awareness of the drive towards sustainability in the city. This will enable inclusive, integrated, and sustainable urban development, planning and management practices.
Establishing a robust and dynamic circular economic framework and mastering 'green city' business models will also be key to creating inclusive communities. Towards this end, SPARCS will conduct large-scale demonstrations in the lighthouse cities, along with feasibility studies in the fellow cities. The results of these demonstrations will be used to validate a blueprint for urban energy transition underpinned by citizen-centric approaches.