Photo: Barcelona City Council

Photo: Barcelona City Council

Last modified: 16/11/2012

The city will implement the winner project of 'The Urban Lab Challenge 2012' in public buildings

The innovative system developed by JAP and PGI Engineering proposes to use the walls of buildings to generate energy and improve air quality. The objective of the project 'The Urban Lab' is to transform Barcelona into an urban laboratory where innovative products and services are implemented.

The project, LPW (Leaves Performative Walls), presented jointly by the companies JAPA and PGI Engineering, has won the competition "The Urban Lab Challenge". The result was announced at the Smart City Expo 2012 congress.

The winning proposal consists of a series of photovoltaic wall panels in the form of leaves or branches which, once installed on the walls of buildings and visually blending in with their surroundings and the urban vegetation, promote energy self-sufficiency through renewable sources and contribute to the improvement of air quality in the city thanks to the chemical composition of their materials. The prize will allow the developing companies to implement a pilot project in a municipal building in Barcelona.

The other two finalists of the competition were the Barcelona Urban Ecology Agency, with a project that proposed the reduction of the cost of light and heat energy in buildings with double-glazed windows with the installation of a transparent curtain, and Optima Energy Management, which presented a process of cleaning the air using a treatment which transforms the exterior surfaces of a building into a purifier.

A competition to promote urban innovation

The competition "The Urban Lab Challenge", forming part of the Open Cities European project, aims to promote services and innovations in fields such as urbanism, mobility, ecology and ICT of administration. It is co-financed by the European Union, lead by ESADE and with the participation of Barcelona City Council, through Barcelona Activa, and cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Berlin, among others.

This year, the competition was aimed at companies, SMEs and entrepreneurs in the energy efficiency sector, which have presented innovative projects or services that involved an improvement in the energy demand of municipal buildings, incorporating criteria of self-sufficiency and reduction in carbon emissions.

Barcelona, an urban laboratory

In 2008, the City council promoted the project Barcelona Urban Lab as a tool to facilitate the use of public spaces in the city to implement pilot projects, at a stage prior to their commercialisation, with a clear benefit to citizens.

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