EUROCITIES smart cities: Lisbon - Sharing Cities

  • environment
  • knowledge society
  • mobility

As part of its involvement in the Sharing Cities project, Lisbon is testing a number of approaches to improve energy efficiency, sustainability and quality of life in the city.

Lisbon is one of six major European cities involved in the Sharing Cities project. The cities have joined forces to explore how digital technologies can be used to improve quality of life for citizens.

Lisbon’s smart city strategy has citizens and their needs at its core. The city has defined a smart city strategy to guide its transition over the coming decades, backed by a commitment from the city council to invest €307 million. In becoming smarter, Lisbon’s main objectives include attracting more people to the city by promoting energy efficient housing, e-mobility, smart living and smart ageing solutions. It also aims to boost the economy and job creation by investing in R&D and combining this with policies to attract more entrepreneurs and improve access to higher education resources. All of Lisbon’s activities aim to contribute to a better quality of life in the city, through greater energy efficiency, mobility and improved social cohesion, along with localised regeneration efforts and citizen participation drives.

Lisbon was the first city in Europe to adopt participatory budgeting practices. The local government has been a strong proponent of this approach, which involves several thousands of citizens each year. As part of its involvement in Sharing Cities, Lisbon aims to build on this truly participatory approach to co-design new smart city solutions and sustainable urban services.

The city has various plans for its Sharing Cities ‘demonstrator area’ of 10km2 and home to 100,000 inhabitants. Below is a taster of some of the city’s plans.

Optimising energy use in buildings

  • Optimising energy consumption of buildings by installing and testing smart meters that limit maximum electricity flow and allow building and homeowners to better understand and control their energy consumption.

  • Developing a system to allow owners of photovoltaic panels to benefit from the energy produced by these in areas other than the location of the panels, providing that this is within the same time period. For example, the energy could be used for charging electric vehicles.

  • Developing a map of consumption and production of energy in the city through the use of smart meters, allowing for a better overview and control of the energy grid.

Smarter mobility

  • Using monitoring systems to be able to better control traffic flow according to air quality. For example, the timing of red lights could be adjusted to avoid stop-start driving patterns which contribute to particulate matter emissions.

  • Adapting street lighting based on pedestrian and vehicle flows, so that lighting can be dimmed when no traffic or pedestrians are detected.

  • Increasing the uptake of electric bikes and reducing the use of private vehicles by installing a park and e-bike scheme which will offer incentives such as lower parking charges to encourage people to park their cars and opt for e-bikes in areas where air pollution is worst.

  • Improving the energy efficiency of municipal vehicle fleets by deploying more electric vehicles.

Since 2014, Lisbon has been developing a large-scale project to implement an ‘integrated operations centre’, allowing it to centrally control all of its various sensors and devices. All of the city’s operational management teams would be brought together at this centre, which will feature control dashboards and an ICT platform capable of delivering city-wide management information and intelligence regarding resource allocation and operations management. This system will be fully compliant with open standards and will be deployed using an open innovation digital ecosystem. 


From 17 May to 17 June we are showcasing our work on smart cities through EUROCITIES smart cities month. Join our Twitter campaign @EUROCITIEStweet via #smartercities. 

EUROCITIES staff contact

Bernadett Koteles-Degrendele