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Collect data

Smart city data base – profiles

The “European Smart Cities” approach was elaborated by Vienna University of Technology (Centre of Regional Science) in 2007. It was revised for the specific requirements of the PLEEC project in 2013 to concentrate on medium-sized cities and their perspectives for competitive and sustainable development.  In order to enforce endogenous development and to achieve a good position, these cities have to identify their strengths and opportunities even more carefully and to ensure comparative advantages in various key resources against other cities of the same level.

These “Smart City”-profiles aim at supporting a forward-looking and evidence-based strategic planning approach. This implies following activities:

  • Providing the city’s profile and describing the most relevant assets and deficits in the city’s performance and a corresponding benchmarking across the respective key fields, and
  • Identifying types of cities based on their profiles as a base for detecting good practice in other cities.

In this context the “Smart City”-profiles identify six key fields of urban development (see Figure) incorporating the main aspects of “Smartness”, as indicated in the following definition:

“Smart City is a city well performing in [relevant key fields of urban development], built on the ‘smart’ combination of endowments and activities of self-decisive, independent and aware citizens.” (Giffinger et al. 2007)

Smart City Profiles

SMART ECONOMY (Competitiveness)

  • Innovative spirit
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economic image & trademarks
  • Prodoctivity
  • Flexibility of labour market
  • International embeddedness

SMART MOBILITY (Transport and ICT)

  • Local accessibility
  • (Inter-)national acessibility
  • Availability of IT-Infrastructure
  • Sustainability of the transport system

SMART PEOPLE (Social and Human Capital)

  • Level of qualification
  • Lifelong learning
  • Ethnic plurality
  • Open-mindedness

SMART ENVIRONMENT (Natural resources)

  • Environmental conditions
  • Air quality (no pollutions)
  • Ecological awareness
  • Sustainable resource management

SMART GOVERNANCE (Participation)

  • Participation public life
  • Public and social services
  • Transparent governance

SMART LIVING (Quality of life)

  • Cultural facilities
  • Health conditions
  • Individual security
  • Housing quality
  • Education facilities
  • Touristic attractiveness
  • Economic welfare
When developing the Smart City Profiles for the 6 PLEEC cities the conclusions were as follows:

The analysis of city characteristics using the Smart City database of 81 indicators (components) allows for a detailed benchmarking along several dimensions for 77 medium sized European cities.


The Smart City Profiles show that each city is unique with its own more or less well-balanced performances indicating specific strengths and weaknesses/deficits.


For developing energy relevant strategies city profiles provide a comprehensive overview which challenges should be tackled discussing them with local stakeholders.


Smart City Profiles are dedicated to trigger in-depth evidence and discussions; they should never be seen as alone-standing results.

For more information on Smart City Profiles please read PLEEC WP2 D2.1 and WP2 D2.2

Contact: Florian Strohmayer, Vienna University of Technology, Austria

Energy related indicators

A database of 49 energy efficiency indicators/data has been elaborated and each PLEEC city was asked to provide data. Since the cities measure different indicators the database became quite heterogeneous in terms of validity and data coverage. Even so it provides useful information for establishing and implementing a monitoring system for the EEAPs. The indicators have also been integrated into the Technology Assessment tool developed within PLEEC.

The collection of data was a long lasting and demanding process which was strongly dependent by the individual effort of partners. For the development of an ongoing monitoring system on energy efficiency the data in the figure below was collected.

49 indicators on the city level

Questionnaire – stakeholders

In order to enable effective work, the PLEEC project follows the idea of an evidence and social learning based approach. This implies following activities:


to realize the European Smart City model providing the city’s profile and describing the most relevant assets and deficits in the city’s performance and a corresponding benchmarking across the respective key fields, and


to identify types of cities based on their profiles as a base for detecting good practice in other cities.

The profile of a city is providing impulses for further discussion and research. Identified strengths and weaknesses in the profile should be discussed with local stakeholders. In PLEEC those stakeholders had been involved by the partner cities through a two-wave survey realized through specific web-based questionnaires in the national languages. The general objectives were (1) the detection of most important key fields of energy relevant urban development with corresponding domains as well as (2) the identification of innovation potentials across all domains of the respective city. The result from the questionnaire in Eskilstuna is shown to the right.

Understanding of energy efficiency potential

A potential for innovation in the respective domains is defined through the assessment of the group of stakeholders in each city.


The innovation potential is described across all domains and related to the current status of achieved energy efficiency in the respective domain. This difference between expected and actually perceived level of energy efficiency performance expresses implicitly the challenges and restrictions in each domain.


For more information on innovation potentials please read PLEEC WP2 D2.3

Contact: Rudolf Giffinger, Vienna University of Technology, Austria