Southend on Sea is located on the east coast of England and has a population of approximately 180,000 inhabitants. Since the nineties, the city has engaged both at the national and European level to foster the transition to a low carbon economy in middle-size cities. As part of this commitment, the city is a member of the ‘Small Giants’ Initiative aiming to strengthen the uptake of smart city solutions in small and medium-sized European cities.
In view of reducing the city’s energy consumption and cutting its CO2 emissions, Southend on Sea has published a ‘Low carbon Energy & Sustainability Strategy 2015-2020’. Within this strategy, the city outlines its commitment to reduce by 34% the CO2 emissions of its schools and install systems for renewable energy generation in half of the city’s buildings. To help reduce the city’s energy consumption, Southend on Sea has already installed a smart, LED street lighting system, which includes a management control system.
Additionally, 40 properties are currently being renovated in the framework of a project financed by the European Structural Funds in Southend on Sea and the city is promoting the installation of renewable energy generation systems on its territory. As an approach, the city is developing its Low Carbon approach on a self financing, self sustaining basis which does not rely on subsidy or public investment so that the approach becomes sustainable in the long term.
Within the Replication Campaign of the EU-GUGLE and SINFONIA projects, Southend on Sea will join other small and medium-sized European cities interested in developing replicable smart city solutions to foster sustainable urban development.