Sustainability in the cold at Ruggedised conference 

[2018-03-08] This week, a delegation from the European Ruggedised project, a project for sustainable solutions, has visited Umeå and not least Campus Umeå. Lisa Redin at the Building Office is leading the Umeå University side of the project.

What is Ruggedised?
“Ruggedised is a five-year EU project where Umeå, together with Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Glasgow in Scotland, collaborate to develop smart city districts and cities with sustainable and digital solutions. In Umeå, the university district has been chosen as the focus for improvement, which coincides with both the University’s and the city’s ambitions to develop the area. The idea is to make the solutions that we develop possible to scale up and be replicated by others, for instance the three follower cities: Brno, Gdansk and Parma.”   

How is Umeå University involved in Ruggedised?
“Umeå University is coordinating one of Umeå’s nine part projects. Our part of the project is called Demand-Side Management and consists of finding relationships between various energy parameters, presence and booking frequency in university buildings and premises – with the objective to reduce energy usage and optimise services such as cleaning and the use of audiovisual equipment. In another part, Akademiska Hus together with the other project collaborators are testing other smart solutions at Campus Umeå. One example is an installation of solar cells to one wing of the Physiology Building to connect to a battery facility in the property. The batteries are intended for charging electric bikes and cars. Umeå municipality will also be building a climate-friendly bus stop, a so-called Bus Rapid Transit Station, by Universum.”

Members of the Ruggedised General Assembly also experience an authentic winter and Samí culture, including reindeers. Photo: Anna Lawrence

What have the visitors experienced during their stay?
“They have hopefully experienced a vivid and sustainable Umeå with a passion for development, progress and future investments. During the days that the participants are here, they have met with our Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson. The participants have also worked, through a number of workshops, and discussed various technical solutions, and have shared their progress and blunders. They have also experienced a snowy winter and some Sami events, since our meeting coincides with the Sami Week, a celebration of our indigenous people and culture.  “

What was most exciting about the week?
“What has been most interesting and different to the European delegates is how we can achieve all of this in such a cold climate. The cold climate of course meant that building technology and systems for energy supplies differed from those of other cities already at the start of the project. We are also very good at collaborating in Umeå, which I think the participants have sensed. And not to forget – the reindeer they got to meet, which became both an appreciated and exotic event of their stay.”

Top photo: Mattias Pettersson

Editor: Anna Lawrence

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