Always on the cutting edge, it was Mashup time again. This was the fourth installment of Mashup after other quality events addressing #OpenData, #Tech4Good and #SustainableFood. Sustainability continues to be one of our most important topics. On the evening of September 29, four speakers addressed the most pressing issues related to sustainable communities and cities, goal Nr. 11 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  The speakers didn’t disappoint and presented the audience with quality analysis and solutions. This time we were even able to join our first speaker at the Mashup in Budapest via a live streaming broadcast. All the impressions and stories of the night were collected with the hashtag #impacthubmashup on a tagboard.

Let’s jump to the fast and dynamic input speeches of the night all presented in the pecha kucha format:


Sustainable Communities & Cities in the future: Martin Powell from Siemens (Digital Super Speaker Live-Stream)

Image a city in the year 2050. Smog? Robots? Flying cars? There are 2 billion children on earth now. How many will there be in 2100? There will actually be the same, 2 billion. But the population will grow because of a longer average lifespan. You will share the same space with twice as many people yet consume 20% of the energy. Right now, cities are very wasteful when it comes to energy. However, changes are happening in all the largest cities.


Surface-air temperatures are predicted to continue rising. We are seeing extreme weather patterns and storms now because of climate change. 75% percent of the world’s cities are in areas exposed to extreme storms. But every city is different in terms of planning and other variables. One big question is, “How do we solve transportation efficiency and pollution issues in cities?” There are an average of 4267 deaths a year in London due to bad air quality. 50% of congestion in Moscow is due to people looking for parking spaces. We need to think differently about how we get around the city. What are some possible changes? Public transport? Larger taxis? Driverless taxis? Use of mobile technology is also changing the way people connect and organize. This can be used to help optimize energy use.


If you can begin to visualize your energy use, you can begin to visualize change.t’s not easy…. but it is simple. – Martin Powell


Some cities are already improving in other areas as well. Shanghai is actively promoting and constructing sustainable buildings. The Crystal building in London is an all-electric building that uses solar power and a ground-source heat pump to generate its own energy.



Sustainable energy systems for communities: Aoife Brophy Haney from ETH Zürich

The sectors with the greatest amount of energy use are industry, transport and buildings. Out of these three, buildings are using the largest amount of energy and the overwhelming majority is for heating. For this reason, buildings are a central part of meeting the Energy Strategy 2050 goals. The number of Minergie buildings being built is increasing. But for perspective, only 0.44% of floor-space is currently meeting Minergie standards.


There are three main factors to creating sustainable energy systems:

  1. Local renewable energy
  2. Connecting producers and consumers
  3. Storing energy


It’s not enough to have the technological solutions, our main challenge is that we need to think about integration as well. – Aoife Brophy Haney


There are three main challenges:

  1. Multiple interdependent technologies
  2. Multiple actors: planning, construction, operation
  3. Multiple interdependent goals: people, planet, profit


In order to bring it all together, there are three key lessons to be learned: We should not shy away from thigh upfront investment costs. Separating responsibility by project phases should be avoided. And if possible, these new and needed skills should be built up internally in every organization.




Sustainable community & news platform: Mauro Bieg  from

When the platform started there were 2324 municipalities in Switzerland. There are now a few less because some have merged. But that is how our idea took wings. Because of community sprawl and other factors, many have the feeling of not being very connected. There are social networks, however these are not generally local. There are many existing local newspapers, but news and information from these papers are accessible online in varying degrees or not at all. There needs to be a simpler, standard solution that communities can use to bring together local news, events and social content, creating a vibrant and accessible online hub.


Our goal is to bring communities together around this online news platform. In a way: make them go online to go offline more often. – Mauro Bieg


This was the motivation behind building a local news platform for communities. The platform is made up of half social content and the other half consists of content from local newspapers and organizations. It is now being piloted in Winterthur and there are other towns that will soon be on board.


For a better life in buildings: Gregor Kaelin from Allthings

Creating awareness by using data can increase sustainability. Real estate projects are now increasingly using digital information and systems. There are numerous digital services for homes and buildings. Allthings is an app to support a better life in buildings. Allthings works for all types of buildings. It is becoming like an app store for homes and buildings, with various components for the different aspects and data related to your living area. These can all be integrated.


We build applications for buildings, so that everything real becomes digital – to improve life in buildings. -Gregor Kaelin


92% of the people in the buildings with access to Allthings are using the application regularly, about every other day. This is creating a lot of data, 750,000 data points in 18 months. A 50% efficiency improvement should be possible and 80% of interactions between property managers and tenants can be standardized. Being able to monitor certain aspects of your home has the potential to increase sustainability. This is also beneficial to property owners because increasing sustainability for buildings increases the property value. The potential market is enormous and Allthings is already being used in 6,000 residential units and 3,200 office units.


How we live in cities in the future – how we heat, how we move around, how we build homes, how we consume – has a tremendous impact on our planet and wellbeing. And changing it for the better has the potential to change the world.


See you at our next Mash Up event on November 29, 2016!