Lyon’s smart city strategy

Leaving Toulouse and Marseille (see previous blogs) we travelled to Lyon. The main reason for our visit to this city was that exactly a year ago I sold the research arm of my company to Ubiquick, and the new owners of BuddeComm are based in Lyon. We caught up with the management team and it was great to hear that the research business is flourishing and that the synergy between BuddeComm and Ubiquick  is delivering good results. So there was reason to celebrate this during our visit.

We also enjoyed Vieux Lyon (St Jean) and Fourvier where the Romans started the city Logdonum, a city that regularly features in Astrix and Obeliks.

Lyon was the key French smart city presented at last year’s World Smart City Summit in Barcelona, an event in which I participated.

The city is constantly evolving and becoming an innovative, sustainable and vibrant smart city.

Along with local stakeholders and residents, Lyon Métropole provides leverage for innovation and creative force in the metropolitan area:

·       to meet urban challenges;

·       to support new urban practices;

·       to create a Lyon lifestyle.

The final goal is to create economic, social and societal value for the Greater Lyon metropolitan area by bringing together all territorial players.

The strategy is based on community strength by deploying an approach to innovation built on the ‘working together’ model:

·       methods based on open innovation to build new urban services with the help of users;

·       an agile approach that includes and anticipates digital evolution;

·       robust public-private-citizen co-productions that encourage innovation and experimentation;

·       very close contact with the population through the activation of new forms of citizenship;

·       an approach and actions that are shared and without barriers, in collaboration with territorial partners.

 At the time of our visit the following smart city statistics were available:

·       104 innovative projects

·       289 diverse partners, including 13 European cities

·       33,500 jobs in design and research

·       first industrial co-urban project (between other urban and regional centres)

There is also a strong focus on innovation. Throughout the city there are several innovation hubs, start-up centres and innovative collaboration projects with both business and academia. All of these initiatives are based in a high level of collaboration.

The showcase of these developments is in the heart of the Lyon Part-Dieu district. It is here that TUBÀ was born – a place of innovation, incubation and development for innovative businesses in the city of tomorrow, using public and private urban data.

The most recent development here is the Lyon Living Lab: ‘Démonstrateurs industriels pour la ville durable’ (industrial demonstrators for the sustainable city). They have called for tenders.

As mentioned above, there are a large number of smart city projects underway. Key ones are based on a healthy environment, sustainability , energy and transport.

An interesting example of these projects is Plan Oxygène. Here the city wants to create the conditions for innovation and co-build innovative and interactive innovations with territorial partners to meet air quality goals. The objectives are to change the behaviour of local residents using digital leverage, develop technological capability for reducing and treating emissions, and develop urban monitoring capabilities.

And a few years ago HIKARI was created – the first energy-positive mixed block in Europe (offices, shops and housing). The HIKARI buildings combine an excellent energy performance of the bioclimatic architecture with the renewable energy production and networked building operation.

Lyon is also very active in international collaboration – Lyon Smart Community (with NEDO in Japan); Greenlys; Smart Electric Lyon; Watt & Moi; the experimental rollout of Linky; the European ‘Transform’ project in partnership with Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Vienna, Genoa and Hamburg.

Paul Budde


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