Green students, Smart Campus: an European project

The idea of  efficient management of resources  is becoming the driving force for sustainable growth: smart cities and environment-friendly projects are attracting worldwide attention and in this context citizens' involvement undoubtedly plays a fundamental role.

Following this philosophy, the European Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program  2007-2013 has approved the project “Green Campus” in four pilot Universities.
The project aims at reducing the energy consumption through the development of ICT based services, integrated with existing energy management systems, collecting data and providing guidance that will lead to user behaviour transformation towards more energy efficient practices.

The pilot project is located at University Campuses in Milan (Politecnico), Helsinki (Metropolia), Lisboa (IST) and Luleå (LTU).
What the Politecnico of Milan has been doing is designing specific web applications that allow students and professors to interact with energy management systems; for instance teachers can signal their presence in office and the heating system will automatically turn on, students can book study spots or team workspaces arranged in an efficient way, avoiding waste of light and heat where and when they are not needed. The consumption of energy is shown in real time.
The innovation in this project is the exploitation of a new method, called Living Lab methodology, that has also being implemented in the other three Universities mentioned above. Its aims are the co-design and co-creation of the digital services with the users (that is why community participation is crucial), ensuring higher solution sustainability and better user requirement identification, which translates into a higher success rate of behaviour transformation and long term acceptance of the proposed solution.

Data related to the energy saving performed by the project so far is available at

Moreover, Politecnico and Università Statale of Milan are cooperating to transform the area of Città Studi into a leading sustainable campus.

Finally, someone once said that if you want to change the world you have to change yourself first, we may not be so ambitious in willing to go so far but as students we can help and push our university and community in being more sustainable, we can be more supportive towards green projects, we can keep green! And stay smart.

Wu Fei Fei