What is the program Smart City Switzerland?

Smart City Switzerland is a program of SwissEnergy for municipalities. The aim of the program is to identify the opportunities in the planning and realization of urban projects while looking a cross-sectoral opportunities. New information and communication technologies (ICT) can provide an important contribution. Solutions become therefore more efficient and resource-efficient. The program wants to inform, set up a national network and promote smart initiatives.

Everything’s getting “smarter“!

Cities worldwide account for two thirds of energy use and 70 to 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. The term “Smart City” sums up the principle whereby cities use information and communication technology (ICT) to deploy and utilize their resources more smartly, i.e. more intelligently and efficiently. A Smart City protects natural resources, is the first step towards a post-fossil-fuel society and strives to attain long-term climate-protection goals. The inhabitants of Smart Cities benefit in the form of improved living conditions.

For Switzerland, the following defintion is proposed:

"Smart City" characterises a city that

  • systematically applies information and commuication technology as well as technology conserving ressources on its way to post-fossile society
  • intends to become independent o fossile energy carriers on the long run
  • conntects new technologies for infrastructure, buildings, mobility etc. to uses ressources such as energy or water as efficiently as possible
  • anticipates and realises future sustainable forms of mobility and the necessary infrastructure
  • forces integrated (city) plannig processes, e.g., for energy planning
  • ceates the spaces for innovation and the testing of new ideas (cleantech)
  • installs management systems ("Good Governance") to enale optimised leadership in the different areas and - through a holistic controlling - for developpements to be reported in a measurable and verifiable manner
  • provides the appropriate personal and financieal ressources

The interation and interconnection of these areas is the characteristic of a smart city with the aim of realising the potenial for ecologic and social impovements. 


In summary:

„A smart city offers its inhabitants maximal life quality with minimal consumption of ressources, based on an intelligent interconnection of infrastructure (transport, energy, communication etc.) on different hierarchic levels (building, quarters, city). 

„intelligent“ in this context does not necessarily equate information technology. Passiv or self-regulating mechanisms are to be preferred to actively controlled approaches when having similar performance.“

„Smart city“ is no new label, but describes a deepening engagement for the expansion of existing activities and projects of an innovative city possessing the „European Energy Award“. For those cities, the Smart City programme offers new possibilities for support of their innovative and „smart“ projects on the way to achieving the ambitious goals.

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