The third annual Smart Cities Week D.C took place in October 2017 and attracted 1,300 delegates from around the world, including Malcolm Yadack from the Sim4Blocks project.

Smart Cities Week D.C is a two-day conference and exhibition that encourages the innovation of cities, and this year’s theme focused on smart infrastructure. Creative leaders and thinkers from all levels of government attend the conference to meet and listen to real-world examples of smart infrastructure solving growing urban challenges.

The conference was made up of keynote addresses, workshops, start-up presentations, innovative infrastructure solutions, roundtable discussions and panel sessions on various topics, including: Infrastructure innovation; City showcase; Climate resilience; Compassionate cities; Investing for Change; Built environment.

Sim4Blocks coordinator Malcolm Yadack attended the event in Washington D.C. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) sponsored a delegation of researchers from Germany, Yadack included, to be a part of the Smart Cities Week D.C conference and Yadack presented Sim4Blocks.

Along with HFT, the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research and Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg showcased their research and development projects that focused on the study of developing cities in a sustainable and efficient manner, making them safer and more liveable.

Image credit: Denis Largeron and the German Aerospace Center

“Our programme during the week in D.C included being invited to the German Reunification Day celebrations at the German Embassy on the first day, 3rd October. We then participated in two days of exhibiting at the Smart Cities Week D.C conference followed by attending appointments with officials from both the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology,” said Yadack.

The various projects of the delegation made for a large exhibition stand to enable the various projects space to present their research. For Sim4Blocks, Malcolm presented the overall project from a community level, looking at the three pilot sites as case studies for testing the flexibility of demand response services for businesses and home owners.

“The feedback I received was really interesting, and I was fascinated by how the motivation and perspectives are different in the United States compared to Germany and Europe. In Germany, policy and to some extent also prices, are being driven by large initiatives for the deployment of renewable energy generation, which in turn leads to interest in the possibilities for demand response as a way to balance the grid,” said Yadack.

“In the US, for example New York City, ageing grid infrastructure is a significant factor underlying demand response programmes. Just as in Europe, however, the policy and regulatory landscape in the US also varies widely from region to region.

“Speaking to many of the locals gave me valuable insight into how the local communities in America view smart cities and smart energy, and where they see it going,” said Yadack.