The UI has been invited to join a three-year international research and practice network on smart cities and grids.

Based on recent interest in research and practice on the issues of ‘smart grids’ and ‘smart cities’, the objective of the international working group is to explore and to understand how this socio-technical shift from ‘linear’ to more ‘circular’ forms of electricity provision is reordering socio-spatial relations and land use patterns. Does the increasing socio-technical diversity of energy supply and use provide tailor-made solutions for specific locations, or does it invoke splintered urban and regional geographies?

The expert group will investigate spatial variation and implications of the development of smart cities and grids in Europe. The international working group will meet for two to three workshops a year.

Meetings will be held at various locations across Europe, mainly where group members are located. The group will consist of up to twelve permanent expert members, complemented by invited experts relevant to and originating from the meeting locations (particularly officials and practitioners from energy utilities, urban and regional governments, energy agencies, technology and consultancy firms, academic scholars, and the like.). Open meetings with the participation of relevant local stakeholders and scholars are possible to promote exchange and communication across Europe.