Smart Cities Council and Alstom hosted session at Innovative City to accelerate the adoption of Smart Grid and Smart City Initiatives worldwide

Mon, 2015-06-29 16:15 -- SCC Staff

The Smart Cities Council and Alstom hosted together an event at the Innovative City conference held in Nice (France) on 24-25 June to promote next generation initiatives for smart grid and smart city developments internationally. With speakers convening from Europe and the U.S., the event combined the public and private sectors to further identify solutions for overcoming common barriers city leaders face when transforming their grids and moving toward smarter cities. 

Urban growth is happening at unprecedented rates. Today, 3.5 billion people live in cities across the globe, growing to 6 billion by 2050. The rapid pace at which urbanisation is occurring brings new challenges to municipalities, from water sourcing and transportation, to waste and distributed energy resources management.  City councils need to address these problems but often do not know where to start, or how to take a holistic approach. 

The Smart Cities Council defines a smart city as one that embeds digital technology across all city functions. The Council offers objective, vendor-neutral guidance to help city leaders make informed decisions on how to improve their community’s livability, workability and sustainability. With input from Lead Partner Alstom, the acclaimed Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide is a conceptual roadmap used globally to address growth strategies by focusing on universal principles that unite key areas such as energy, transportation, water and public safety. 

“With more than half of us living in cities now, it has become clear that we can't fix the planet unless we fix cities. And you can't have a smart, sustainable city without smart, sustainable energy,” said Jesse Berst, Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. “That's why Alstom's pioneering work in smart grids, control systems and microgrids is so important to all of us. They provide the foundation for a smart city.” 

By switching to a greener economy and producing energy entirely from renewable sources, local authorities can save money while incorporating the environment into their cities’ ecosystem. That is just one topic which was discussed at “Smart Cities Now: Building Blocks for an Urban Vision”. Global smart cities technology experts and advisors engaged with U.S. and European city leaders to discuss how the public and private sectors can work together to help cities achieve these goals. The market for smart city technologies is growing rapidly, valued today at $8.1 billion and forecasted to grow nearly fivefold by 2018 reaching $39.5 billion (ABI Research).

With smart grid demonstrations delivering phenomenal results, it is clear that microgrids are the essential building blocks to resolving the next energy transition challenges around the world,” said Laurent Schmitt, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for Alstom. “The Smart Cities Council Readiness Guide offers a very pragmatic approach to implementing smart grids and ICT as the backbones to the future of smart cities.”

About the Smart Cities Council

The Smart Cities Council is the trusted advisor to equip cities with tools and knowledge to cope with expanding populations, shrinking budgets and aging infrastructure. It is comprised of the world's foremost smart city practitioners advised by unbiased, independent experts, including top universities, national laboratories, standards bodies, climate advocacy groups and development banks. The Council’s goal is to accelerate the growth of smart cities worldwide by providing city leaders with best practices and vendor-neutral guidance on technology, finance, policy and citizen engagement. For more information, visit or view a brief introductory video about the Smart Cities Council. 

About Alstom

Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 88,000 people in around 100 countries.

Alstom Grid has one clear vision: to develop innovative solutions for a flexible, reliable, affordable and sustainable electrical grid, everywhere. We design, manufacture, install and service the power transmission and distribution products and systems that empower the planet’s low carbon economy... for now and for the future.

Alstom Grid has over 130 years’ experience and ranks among the top three in the electrical transmission sector with an annual sales turnover of €3.8 billion. Alstom Grid’s 17,000 employees are spread across 87 manufacturing and engineering sites worldwide and have one common mission: be our customers’ trusted partner, from the source to the city.

Energising a smarter world… with Alstom.