Public Buildings

SmartEnCity Estonia

Smart city initiative

Residential buildings, energy services, mobility services public space

Public Buildings




International lighthouse project SmartEnCity project (started in 2017) is the first pilot in Estonia for integrating different technologies like energy renovation, urban transport, district heating/cooling, environmental monitoring and electromobility into one smart-city service. The project is fully renovating 17 old soviet-era buildings in center of Tartu, integrating home automation, building based PV micro-production, smart street-lighting, environmental monitoring, charging points for electric vehicles, energy storage using recycled batteries and a platform for data collection. Innovation also comes from the integration of different local, national and international stakeholders: municipality, consultancy, technical experts, project management, service providers etc.


Financing scheme:

H2020 grant



Main Barriers (Difficulties)

SmartEnCity is the first large scale smart city development project in Estonia. The challenges of the project are technical (creating an innovative combination of technical applications), financial (establishing sustainable financial models), environmental (convincing the target group to reduce the consumption of energy resources) and are related also with involving a large variety of stakeholders with different capacity, area of expertise and interests. The building renovation process has been a complex task that is aiming for energy performance not previously achieved by any other renovated apartment building in the country. The zero-emission public transport is not used in Estonia and in Eastern Europe. District cooling network is an innovative service not previously used in Estonia and is now for the most parts of the world. All these developments have required a careful planning and implementation in cooperation with the internal and external stakeholders – designers, engineers, service providers, construction companies etc. In some areas the project is exceeding the national regulations and has required a cooperation with the national institutions to further improve the regulations. Critically important has been the involvement and empowerment of the residents of the area to take the initiative to renovate the privately owned apartment buildings – apply for the grant, provide the other financial resources, apply for bank loans, find the experts for design, contract the construction companies and go through the deep renovation process. Project has provided an extensive support for the building associations before and during the refurbishment process. A dedicated capacity building program for the residents has been implemented for further support.