Development of Smart Sustainable Cities within Europe

People looking at solar panels

Together with the CARPE network (strategic network of the HU), HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht started an international project to encourage the development of sustainable cities: the ESSENCE project (European Sustainable Solutions for Existing and New City Environments).


The aim of this project is to stimulate the development of smart sustainable cities.


These are the results of the closing conference of the ESSENCE project.  Since then, we have been offering the international 'Smart Sustainable Cities' minor in Utrecht, which includes lectures by scholars from the participating universities (Hamburg, Turku, Valencia, and Manchester). These universities have also included the outcomes of this project in their curriculum. In addition, a 'Smart Sustainable Cities' community was developed and expanded as a follow-up to the project.

The project has also led to further research collaboration with the SAUNAC project. This project involves sharing the knowledge and information we acquired with five universities in Vietnam. We are still working with the original municipalities and the network continues to grow.


01 September 2014 - 31 August 2017


By means of ‘blended learning’ we developed a varied learning environment. ‘Blended learning’ is a combination of face-to-face education with distance learning. This combination has been incorporated in the 'Smart Sustainable Cities' minor. We developed this minor in collaboration with 3 municipalities: Utrecht, Turku (Finland) and Alcoi (Spain), and with four universities: Valencia (UPV), Turku (TUAS), Hamburg (HAW) and Manchester (MMU).

In addition, we organised various related teacher-training courses, brief workshops, events and an international student competition. During the project, knowledge and experience was shared through meetings, publications and a website.

HU researchers involved in the research

Collaboration with knowledge partners

CARPE, an international partnership of universities of applied sciences. This is the first network of universities of applied sciences in Europe.

Partner universities of applied sciences:

  • Valencia (UPV)
  • Turku (TUAS)
  • Hamburg (HAW)
  • Manchester (MMU)


The project received a grant of € 450,000 from the Erasmus+ programme Strategic Partnerships of the European Commission. The project receives this subsidy in part due to its strengthening of the strong international ties within the CARPE network, and also due to its emphasis on quality improvement and innovation in education in relation to regional cooperation.

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?