Siemens Launches Aspern Smart City Research in Vienna

July 08, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

In conjunction with partners, Siemens AG is launching a large smart city project in Vienna, Austria. A living laboratory will be created in the next five years in the waterside district of Aspern, one of the largest urban development projects in Europe. Here power supply, building systems, intelligent power grids, and information and communication technologies will interact optimally. The result will be the most efficient resource management possible, with maximum comfort for residents and users. On July 3, 2013, the partners signed the contract establishing the company Aspern Smart City Research, which has a budget of almost €40 million. The company will start work on October 1.

A multifunctional urban district will be created in Aspern, which is located in the northeastern part of Vienna. This area will include apartments and offices, a business, science, research, and education quarter. Altogether, it will cover around 240 hectares. Fifty percent of the space is reserved for public areas - plazas, parks, and recreation areas. Step by step, between now and 2030, the district will evolve into an intelligent city of the future, with 20,000 residents and 20,000 additional jobs.

This project represents an opportunity to develop a long-term integrated concept for an energy-optimized city district using appropriate technologies, products, and solutions in a real-world infrastructure. The goal is to make the whole system "smarter." One step involves connecting buildings that have different functions, i.e. offices and apartments, to the low-voltage distribution network. In the future building control systems will manage the energy exchange between buildings and optimize energy consumption locally. This offers building operators the possibility to participate actively on the energy markets.

Information and communication technologies play an important role in this process, as does data evaluation. New IT solutions detect faults in the system, recognize inefficient consumption patterns, and identify potential opportunities for savings. Decentralized power generation from renewable energy sources will supply Aspern's electrical needs. Modern storage technologies will play an important role in this project.