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This book presents cutting-edge work on innovative planning methodologies, tools and experiences aimed at supporting the transition of our cities and regions towards a more smart and sustainable dimension. This book comprises a selection of the best papers presented at the international conference “Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions 2015”, held in November 2015 in Bolzano, Italy. Contributions from different research fields within urban and regional planning from the scientific as well as the professional community are presented: energy planning for cities and regions, how to couple the energy-climate goals with the development or renovation of the built environment and how to tackle the vulnerability to climate change; smart and sustainable technologies, big data, integrated infrastructures and mobility management, from holistic geospatial tools to innovative apps and Internet of Things; benefits, costs and opportunities of urban transition toward a more smart and sustainable dimension, accounting and assessment of values and trade-offs within the decision making processes; governance for smart and sustainable growth, fostering place-based policy-making, active and effective stakeholders’ participation, co-production and public-private partnerships; cooperation and demonstration projects: their role in fostering the adoption of new approaches and technologies, towards the development of win-win solutions.



Climate-Energy Planning


Optimization of Load Flows in Urban Hybrid Networks

A sustainable supply of energy in urban regions requires an adequate infrastructure and operation. At present, the different energy sources (i.e., electricity, gas, district heating) are used separately without any connection to each other. To increase the flexibility of energy supply, the usage of energy hubs is a possible way. Energy hubs are connection points between the energy sources that comprise the key elements of so-called hybrid networks. Using the energy/hub approach, surpluses and power shortages from a specific energy network can be avoided. The hubs offer various technologies of energy conversion and can include electrical and thermal storage. Thus it is possible to convert electrical into thermal energy (heat pump, electric heating), chemical (gas) into thermal (furnace), or electrical energy (micro gas turbine) into, respectively, thermal and electrical energy (combined heat and power) depending on the used technology. The correct operating strategy for these energy hubs is an essential factor in order to minimize CO2 emissions of urban energy systems. Therefore, a simulation model was developed in MATLAB®. The minimization of CO2 emissions is based on a mixed-integer linear optimization of the overall system, consisting of the supplying infrastructure, energy hubs, and thermal/electric loads. First results have been obtained by a case study for an urban region supplied by three different energy carriers (gas, electricity, and district heating).
Thomas Kaufmann, Dominik Bothe, Wolfgang Gawlik, Karl Ponweiser

Technical, Financial and Urban Potentials for Solar District Heating in Italy

AIRU, the Italian association of district heating, and the Department of Energy of Politecnico di Milano have tried to evaluate the economic, technical, and urban potential of solar district heating in Italy as an efficient and flexible system to spread the use of solar thermal energy in urban areas. This potential has been estimated with the analysis of five case studies of solar thermal integration in district heating networks in the north of Italy: three with a centralized solar plant in existing district heating, one with distributed solar in an existing network, and finally one of a new solar district heating network. These studies, realized in the framework of Solar District Heating Plus project, aim at verifying the technical and economic feasibility of this integration. Besides the more common economic and technical study, a critical analysis looking at the urban aspects of this technology is proposed in order to analyze local potentialities and barriers for this technology. Centralized solar thermal integration has had positive results, while distributed solar rooftop-plants integration turns out to be not economically sustainable. A need for heat planning and heat mapping in urban design emerges as needed to promote and simplify the spread of large-scale renewable-energy plants.
Alice Dénarié, Marco Calderoni, Matteo Muscherà

Building-Stock Analysis for the Definition of an Energy Renovation Scenario on the Urban Scale

This paper describes the enhanced typology approach we developed as an operative tool for building-stock analysis and its implementation in two case studies. It is based on the outcomes of the IEE Project Tabula, which introduced the classification of residential constructions in reference typologies according to the architectural features and the construction period. These typologies compose the matrix, representing the whole building stock of a territory. The enhanced approach described in this paper is focused on analysis on the urban and inter-municipal levels, and enables estimations of the overall energy demand of the constructions, while associating with each real building the energy performance as calculated for the relative reference typology. Starting from the analysis of building stock, we developed renovation strategies with different levels of interventions (i.e., base, standard, and advanced) for the representative building typologies. Accordingly, we foresaw several energy-saving scenarios considering different renovation rates and levels of intervention for the building typologies, and we identified the most cost-effective renovation strategy on the whole building-stock level. The implementation of the approach on the urban level provides a general overview of the main energy-consuming typologies, identifying the buildings’ needs for renovation and the potential savings. In this regard, the results could constitute effective support for defining tailored policies. We applied the approach within two preparatory studies to develop an integrated energy strategy on the inter-municipal level: the Rotaliana-Königsberg Valley Community and the Passiria Valley. The paper presents the main results of these applications, highlighting the different strategies for the data collection and approaches for the definition of the typologies according to the available sources of information and the main features of the building stock.
Dagmar Exner, Valentina D’Alonzo, Giulia Paoletti, Ramon Pascual, Roberta Pernetti

Collaboration in Regional Energy-Efficiency Development

Regional energy efficiency has become an increasingly popular topic in the discussion concerning sustainability and energy issues. Although energy production, renewable fuels and emissions have attracted more attention in the mainstream media, saving energy has become equally important. Additionally, issues such as sustainability and regional energy self-sufficiency are becoming increasingly important as drivers of change, alongside the traditional energy price factor. Balancing the system has an important role in the overall efficiency, and optimization requires close collaboration of all partners producing, consuming or transmitting energy. Traditionally, various stakeholders within a region have managed and developed their energy use or production independently. Utilizing, for example, the excess energy of other stakeholders in the region has been rather sporadic. From the system (i.e. regional) perspective, independent efficiency development in the sub-parts (e.g. individual companies) has its limitations and acknowledging this has directed attention to the opportunities of regional energy cooperation. This requires a new kind of collaboration between the stakeholders, from the identification of efficiency improvement opportunities to potential joint investments. The purpose of this paper is to study these potential regional collaboration opportunities between the stakeholders and the boundary conditions related to their implementation. One finding is that bilateral collaboration and development is already taking place, but broader cooperation is still somewhat modest. Furthermore, the stakeholders are usually well aware of the benefits of broader collaboration and have already identified some potential forms of cooperation. However, the long-term nature of the development of energy systems presents challenges for collaboration. It requires long-term commitment from the stakeholders, as well as a coordinating organization that has the aspiration and means to facilitate the collaboration over a long-time perspective.
Markku Mikkola, Ari Jussila, Tapani Ryynänen

Innovative Technologies


Lighting up the Landmarks with Information About the Environment

In order to ensure sustainable development of our cities, we all have to do our part. There is a growing awareness about environmental problems, and citizens want to be informed and find the information about the environment relevant for all, not just for those who are making decisions. Many communities want to have a role in making their cities attractive and livable. However, the public cannot always easily perceive the causes of environmental problems—e.g., neighborhood or city-level energy consumption, air and water pollution, or noise levels. Making such information easily accessible and understandable to all is the challenge this paper addresses. This paper argues for the use of public buildings and local landmarks as a means for communicating information about the quality of the environment by employing their existing illumination systems as a medium for transferring and disseminating the respective information. Instead of using one color or randomly changing colors (as is a case employed on many public buildings nowadays), the proposal this paper advocates for is to connect the light color to the corresponding environmental parameter, and, in this way, convey the information. For instance, if CO2 is taken as a relevant parameter, when the emissions go above a certain level, the building could glow red. The intensity of color or a choice of color corresponds to the parameter that is measured. This is an informative, non-invasive, simple, and inexpensive solution that can help in raising awareness about the environmental problems and, at the same time, make the public informed. The information presented in this way is easy to understand, it is visible to a large number of people and “glanceable”. Furthermore, it could support the involvement of a community in coping with the environmental issues by spurring a bottom-up action and making the community one step closer to the ideal of making their cities sustainable and resilient. The approach in developing this system is embodied in the concept of smart cities. It is also viewed as a contribution to smart solutions and the use of technology in a smart way, as well as a way that contributes to the public good. In addition to presenting and justifying this proposal that is based on several parameters of sustainability, the paper will also discuss the potential benefits of the system for raising the public awareness, and will reflect on the relationship between community involvement and urban planning.
Matija Brković, Višnja Sretović Brković

Taxi of the Future: Big Data Analysis as a Framework for Future Urban Fleets in Smart Cities

Smart city needs smart mobility—travel should be made as convenient as possible through sustainable urban transport solutions. Transportation systems in many parts of the world are facing unprecedented challenges in the 21st century as increasing population, urbanization, and motorization growth continue to pressure these systems. Hence, cities need smart planning for a sustainable future, and this calls for greater governance across all levels of transportation decision making. Reimagining the role of information technologies (IT) and connectivity in today’s cities enables us to realize the promise of smart mobility through the Internet of Things (IoT) which provides interlinking of vast networks, devices, and data which have thus far never been linked. As such, one of the strategies for smart cities to overcome the urban-mobility challenge is to spearhead the technological leap with big data. Within the frame of smart cities, leveraging big data and IoT is considered to be a key enabler for transforming urban mobility system towards higher flexibility and better integration with existing transport modes, as well as providing smart and sustainable mobility solutions such as sharing concepts, electric vehicles, and autonomous driving. However, the prerequisite for taking advantage of big-data analytics is to first address the issues of data availability and accessibility. Hence, by highlighting the need for urban data, this paper aims to draw attention to the taxi as an essential part of future urban fleets in smart cities for the shift towards sustainable mobility. Taxis solve a niche in the urban-mobility system as they provide to the general public flexible, door-to-door services. Such a semi-private character enables full-area coverage to better support travel demands, and thus the taxi industry has a significant function in the mobility system. However, compared to other transport modes, the taxi is often overlooked and receives little attention from planners and policy makers. So what does the taxi of the future look like? The project “Future Urban Taxi” rethinks the taxi from bottom up. It focuses on how the taxi: (1) as a vehicle, has to adapt to user demands and specific urban contexts; and (2) as a system, can be integrated into the mobility web of a city in a more effective and sustainable way. This is one of the sub-projects under the initiative “Ambient Mobility Lab” which is supported with funding by the Ministry of Finance and Economics of the federal state Baden-Württemberg in Germany.
Susanne Schatzinger, Chyi Yng Rose Lim

Modeling Future Land Use and Land-Cover Change in the Asyut Region Using Markov Chains and Cellular Automata

The Asyut region in Upper Egypt is often considered as one of the most appealing regions in Upper Egypt for its importance as a medical, educational, and commercial center. As a result of these factors and regarding its location, which is surrounded by agriculture land, the available land area is quickly decreasing. However, the government has established New Asyut city to absorb the urban growth outside the Nile Valley. Yet the region’s importance and the increasing population have led to significant urban growth, which has led to increasing loss of agricultural lands within the Nile Valley. Modelling spatially the dynamic change is important for innovative planning strategies. This study’s main aims are to characterize the past urban growth process and to investigate a future scenario intended to help decision-makers in redrawing their policies for sustainable development to save the agriculture areas by absorbing the urban sprawl towards the new cities outside the Nile Valley. Satellite-derived Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) maps of the study area from 1990, 2003, and 2015 were processed. The explanatory driving forces were quantified and ordered using an analytical hierarchy process. The outputs were then processed within a framework of the Markov-cellular automata, and a multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) was used to produce the future suitability model. The model was verified using ROC and Kappa statistics. The study concluded that combinations of diversified driving forces exist during different periods. It found that the current urban development process is in a critical stage where urban and rural areas will face unprecedented stress on agriculture areas over the next 15 years. The present policies cannot deal with the future challenges regarding the direction of urban development. However, the study suggests that differentiated policies, based on the investigated scenario, should be considered to guide reasonable urban expansion; these have important implications for urban planning and management in Egypt.
Hatem Mahmoud, Prasanna Divigalpitiya

Benefits, Costs and Opportunities


Recycling the City New Perspective on the Real-Estate Market and Construction Industry

Themes related to the conservation of the existing city recently became a relevant issue in national and international public policies. One of the challenges that European Union and Italian authorities seek to pursue is sustainable-cities development on energetic, social and economic levels, discouraging urban sprawl, and promoting reuse of the existing real-estate stock. City reuse instead of its expansion onto greenfields has then become in Italy a priority for the construction industry. The aim of the paper is to point out the potential radical change of the construction industry in Italy and the new perspectives the industry can pursue in the future. Existing city reuse can be undertaken in two ways: through demolition and reconstruction or retrofitting the existing real-estate stock. The preference between the two options depends by real-estate market dynamics and by zoning rules made by local authorities. In the majority of Italian cities, retrofit operations appear to be the true challenge because real-estate market values are not capable of supporting radical city transformations through demolition and reconstruction. Market figures make clear that the shift towards reuse is already under way, with a significant growth of the reuse-segment over the span 2008–2014. Nevertheless, the major costs for reuse and the limited budget of Italian families represent relevant issues standing in the way. So the construction industry confronts a new challenge: innovating reuse technology—with reduced costs and increased effectiveness—and finding new sources of value to support the investment choice. The Dutch Energiesprong case study shows that highly-industrialized retrofit processes and the conversion of the energy bill into a financial source to support stock refurbishment represent the pillars of a disruptive and effective strategy.
Ezio Micelli, Alessia Mangialardo

Co-benefits of Smart and Sustainable Energy District Projects: An Overview of Economic Assessment Methodologies

The concept of “co-benefit” is commonly adopted to define any additional positive impact of a policy, program, or project, arising alongside the desired primary goal. Co-benefits relate to human health and well-being, as well as environmental, economic, and social aspects. The concept, investigated beginning in the 1990s, is recognized today, as supported worldwide by several notable organizations, to provide a better grasp of the economic value of foreseen or applied measures. Nevertheless, given the complexity of achieving complete pictures and understanding many interrelations or cascade effects, co-benefits are often only analyzed locally or measured qualitatively. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the methodologies for economic assessment that are applicable to the monetization of co-benefits related to Smart and Sustainable Energy District Projects. Starting from a previously defined framework of expected co-benefits, we analyzed the various techniques, identifying the most appropriate with respect to target stakeholders and expected outcomes. As a result, we obtained a clear and comprehensive assessment model, tailored to a specific project type, and operationally applicable. This model would sustain the funding, public acceptance, and political commitment of Smart and Sustainable Energy District Projects, enabling the various stakeholders to better understand the entire economic value of a project, in addition to energy saving and greenhouse gasses reduction.
Adriano Bisello, Gianluca Grilli, Jessica Balest, Giuseppe Stellin, Marco Ciolli

Assessing Socio-Economic Sustainability of Urban Regeneration Programs: An Integrated Approach

Traditionally, the assessment of urban and territorial transformation scenarios has been based on the application of economic analysis, such as cost-benefit analysis. Many authors have highlighted the limits of economic analysis in addressing urban and territorial transformation decision problems; these limits are mainly related to a reductionist approach that does not enable consideration of the overall complexity of the system, and to the impossibility of including stakeholders in the decision-making process. For these reasons, methods belonging to the family of Multicriteria Analysis have become more and more important, even if drawbacks related to the use of non conventional procedures and to the difficulties of conducting the analysis have been put in evidence. The paper explores the use of a hybrid approach based on the combination of economic analysis and multicriteria analysis for supporting decision-making processes in the context of urban regeneration processes. In particular, the article investigates the construction of an integrated evaluation model able to consider both qualitative and quantitative information and both economic and extra-economic data in order to provide a socio-economic rating of alternative regeneration projects or strategies. Starting with a real case study related to a social housing estate located in Northern Italy, the paper illustrates the proposed integrated approach for rating four different strategies for the regeneration of the site.
Marta Bottero, Giulio Mondini

Sustainability Benefits Assessment in Urban Transport Project Appraisal: A New Method of Transport Project Appraisal

Transport project appraisal is an important tool in complex decision making. It helps in comparing options and prioritizing between competing choices. It can also influence the distribution of financial resources across various projects that are often executed from common sources of funding. Many important decisions taken during the development of a transport project critically rely upon estimates resulting from the project appraisal process. Most widely used appraisal methods are project based such as cost-benefit analysis (CBA), multi-criteria analysis (MCA) and environmental-impact assessment (EIA). For the appraisal of certain types of macro-level transport projects strategic appraisal methods like strategic environmental assessment (SEA) are also applied. Each of these methods has its own limitations and shortcomings which have not improved over time. In this position paper, we present a new methodological approach to transport project appraisal. This approach is based on a systematic assessment of sustainability benefits of a project, hence this approach is named Sustainability Benefits Assessment in Urban Transport Project Appraisal (SBA-UT). The approach has evolved from an in-depth review of the scientific literature about technical constructs and applications of various project appraisal methodologies used for transport project appraisal.
Somesh Sharma, Harry Geerlings

A Research Proposal on the Parametric City Governance

The issue of spatial management and governance is currently one of major challenges of modern urban planning. Discourse on new ways of urban management gains new meaning and is in fact a discussion about the contemporary urban planners’ skills and tools. The paper presents a concept and an initial phase of the research whose main objective is to develop methods that could aid local-level spatial planning and support rational choices. The research presented in the paper examines whether, and to what extent, methods derived from econometrics, operational research, and mathematics could be incorporated into spatial decision-making process. The potential of parametric governance is investigated in order to improve the effectiveness of decision-making in the area of city governance. The reflections presented in this study are, among others, focused on building a system that reflects the internal relations between decisions and projects in urban governance, which are a specific expression of the process of city management. Methods and techniques that would be used to assist the decision-making process in spatial planning should make the process more transparent, objective, and rational as the need to build a new and comprehensive system of urban management is (and will be) a particularly significant challenge in the coming years. The paper discusses the initial outcomes of the presented research and indicates challenges that will be addressed in the further work.
Magdalena Wagner

Governance Approaches


Policy and Governance Innovations for Sustainable Urban Development: An Overview of the 2014–2020 Structural Funds Programming in Italy

This paper deals with policy and governance innovations in EU regional policies, illustrating how the strategy for sustainable urban development has gradually consolidated over time, progressively enlarging the scope of interventions and the related financial resources. As is well known, the current programming (2014–2020) calls for prominent attention to the territorial dimension and, in particular, to the EU urban agenda. In fact, member states have been invited to introduce specific policy instruments in order to promote integrated sustainable development in urban areas at national and regional levels. Evidence from a preliminary analysis of the Italian programming documents shows, however, that the success of these instruments cannot be taken for granted. Quite in line with the experience of other EU countries, the scenario of implementation of the new governance and policy provisions varies significantly across the country, bringing to light a number of obstacles and challenges to their diffusion within domestic policy structures.
Ekaterina Domorenok

A Critical Reflection on Smart Governance in Italy: Definition and Challenges for a Sustainable Urban Regeneration

The aim of this work is to analyze the projects carried out by public institutions in the field of smartness, in order to reflect on the most effective mechanisms of governance. To this end, the paper is organized into two main sections. The first section provides a literature analysis of theoretical frameworks as they pertain to the role of political bodies, the policies, and their impacts on local communities in relation to the governance of smart cities. The second section explores the ongoing implementation of “smart city” projects in Italy, in order to understand how cities address their development perspectives from a conceptual framework to the construction of an actual urban space, faced with divergent politics, messy social systems, and different scales of urban governance. In this framework, disparities between urban governance scales and ideologies encompassing smart cities seem linked to the relational systems that local administrations can develop between neighboring cities. The final section summarizes the authors’ conclusions, giving particular attention to how networked urban systems are programmed, because they have been found to be key to strategic and transformative planning.
Chiara Garau, Ginevra Balletto, Luigi Mundula

How to Become a Smart City: Learning from Amsterdam

This exploratory study has been carried out to better understand the development process of strategies that allow large European cities to become smart. This aim is achieved through the analysis of the Amsterdam’s smart city strategy. By using case study research with a descriptive approach, the activities undertaken during the implementation of this successful initiative have been mapped and organized in a step-by-step roadmap. This made it possible to obtain a detailed description of the entire development process, useful knowledge to consider for other similar initiatives, and a conceptual framework for future comparative research. All these results will support the construction of a holistic and empirically valid theory able to explain how to build effective smart city strategies in this type of urban area.
Luca Mora, Roberto Bolici

Living Labs: A New Tool for Co-production?

Living Labs are places for real-life test and experimentation where users and experts co-create innovative products and services through an ICT-based collaboration. Founded in the context of private firms, LLs evolved into a policy tool implemented to facilitate service innovation also in the public sector. Furthermore, due to their strong focus on user participation, LLs are now increasingly central in the smart-city strategy of various municipalities such as Barcelona, Helsinki, Tallinn and Birmingham. Citizen creativity, in fact, is an integral part of smart cities and the ‘laboratory dimension’ perfectly fits with this new approach to urban development. Namely, the transformation of the city into a living lab is aimed at supporting the process of policy innovation at the municipal level through local empowerment and the promotion of partnership among enterprises, public administration and citizens. In this respect, LLs can be viewed as a new form of co-production that is a process through which citizens participate in the design and creation of products or services that are less expensive and better tailored to citizens’ needs. Drawing on data related to 59 LLs listed in the database of the European Network of LLs, the paper is aimed at describing the main characteristics of LLs and at examining their strengths and weaknesses as co-production tools.
Giorgia Nesti

Participatory Practices in London Urban Strategies: The Example of Bankside in the Borough of Southwark

In the United Kingdom people have realized that the traditional centralized government, characterized by a top-down approach, does not improve people lives. On the contrary, it generates bureaucracy and makes people feel constrained and deceived rather than included in the decision-making process and among the makers of their future, as it should be in a healthy democracy. For this reason, great power was devolved from the central government to local authorities, local communities, neighborhoods, and individuals through the approval of the Localism Act of 2011. This paper briefly introduces the act and analyzes Community’s engagement in the planning process and in the regeneration program in the district of Bankside, in the London Borough of Southwark. It is articulated via the following parts: the introduction, the description of the Localism Act, the presentation of the process of definition of the Neighbourhood Plan, the illustration of the Neighbourhood Plan of Bankside, the exposition of the experiences with the Bankside program, the regeneration program of Bankside, which includes the description of the various organizations that operate in the area, and the illustration of the various activities carried out in the area to involve the local community, the evaluation of community engagement with a particular focus on the case study, and the conclusion. The paper shows the positive impact of community involvement in planning processes and provides recommendations for policy makers based on the successful practices in the neighborhood of Bankside. In addition, recommendations for further research are provided at the end.
Francesca Leccis

Development Theories and Infrastructural Planning: the Belluno Province

Currently, the English word “smart” has become commonly used in the field of urban and land planning as an adjective referring to an evolving “good”, or clever, know-how. It is a word that is usually applied to the process of qualitative urban and land planning, as opposed just to quantitative planning. Since the Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the urban and planning (but also architectural) disciplines have been accompanied by terminologies that could somehow represent a better way of “carrying out” transformations, passing from an “ecological city” to a “sustainable city” and finally to a “smart city”. Each adjective represents a vision of the transformations: for example, an ecological city is a town with more public green areas, the sustainable city pays more attention to the preservation of physical and chemical parameters (air and water quality, etc.), and the smart city is more focused on the realization of efficient technologies. Actually, the above interpretations of transformation do not have a real meaning, as it is absolutely evident that the city and the territory, in compliance with the disciplinary statute, must be transformed by taking into consideration the human, biotic, and abiotic elements, i.e., they must have an environmental approach. The adjective environmental has been defined in the long-standing scientific research (Odum, Leopold, McHarg, Stainer, Nebbia, etc.) which, since the 1930s, has been developing the ability to utilize dynamically and synchronically the three levers that define sustainable development: the economic, the social, and the ecological (biotic and abiotic) levers. Following the historical periods and the geographical contexts, the use of the three levers may progressed at different speeds, while yet focusing attention on the feedback among the same levers. In the case study (Belluno province), the environmental (ecological, sustainable, smart) development depends on the infrastructural lever for inverting a phenomenon of social and economic decadence of a territory, also due to pervasive and aggressive competitive policies of the neighboring territories. In fact, in the province of Belluno, environmental development is conditioned by the priority use of the social and economic (primarily infrastructural) levers in the medium and long term. It is evident that this priority in the use of levers is accompanied by the ability to take the opportunities given by the high-quality ecological and landscape conditions existing in the Belluno province.
Giovanni Campeol, Sandra Carollo, Nicola Masotto

Demonstration Projects


Transformation of a Small-Livestock, Rural Community into a Green, Nearly-Zero CO2-Emissions Settlement

The community of Eleonas, North Greece, is characterized by intensive livestock and relatively moderate rural economic activity. Residents of the community produce organic crops and livestock by recycling waste primarily from agricultural and livestock residues. These processes are carried out in a not particularly environmentally-friendly way. The community has a new target: upgrading their economic activities in the region by adopting more environmentally-friendly activities. The strategic vision is developed in hierarchical steps that aim to satisfy the requirements of rational economics and environmental protection:
  • the primary goal is to reduce energy waste, air pollution, and pollution of the ample water resources by the current irrational waste management;
  • then to meet their reduced energy needs by generating all possible renewable energy from every potential local source, especially biomass, energy crops, and the sun;
  • and finally to create conditions that will favor the enhancement of entrepreneurship in the primary (alternative crops) and secondary (milking and slaughterhouses in a livestock park) sectors in the community.
The aim of the project is to convert the Eleonas community into a green community of nearly/zero CO2 emissions, and thus, demonstrate the capability of development through a different model that will support the decentralized infrastructures.
Argiro Dimoudi, Vasilis Stathis, Christos Pallas

Interregional Cooperation as a Key Tool for the Achievement of Strategic-Energy and Climate Targets: The Experience of the INTERREG IVC RENERGY and SEE RE-SEEties Projects

Interregional cooperation is fundamental to improve the effectiveness of local sustainable energy policies, as a response to overarching EU strategies and commitments. The RENERGY and RE-SEEties projects constitute valuable international cooperative experiences which proved that the transfer of knowledge among scientific institutions and local authorities can support a real synergy among politicians, businesses, and citizens and the achievement of the main targets of the Covenant of Mayors. Both projects produced a methodological toolkit aimed at supporting local authorities in creating a sustainable and resource-efficient future giving rise to local implementation plans ready to be endorsed. The RENERGY project, aimed at developing efficient-energy policies at regional level in an inclusive, integrative approach, focused on the transformation of urban communities from energy consumers to producers. The RENERGY toolkit had the purpose to provide local authorities with a roadmap to develop their Local Implementation Plan (LIP). The methodology was tested by the partners in their communities giving an innovative and positive approach to local energy policy whereas good practice exchanges, Energy Labs and Case Studies, contributed to the transfer of knowledge and to increase local community awareness. The RE-SEEties project was aimed at contributing to the resource-efficiency challenge by investigating energy consumption and waste production and disposal, examining the role of potential changes in consumption patterns and policy-making alternatives to support the achievement of resource-efficiency targets. A comprehensive approach to energy and waste flows at the urban level was thus adopted in order to reduce the overall carbon footprint of cities. A step-by-step methodology was devised to approach jointly energy and waste issues, whereas structured initiatives were promoted to support a change of behavior and tight cooperation between municipal officers working on different themes. The interest aroused within and beyond the involved communities, as well as the important results achieved in these two projects, testify to the importance of a proactive engagement of local governments and stakeholders on energy and climate themes, as well as the necessity of adopting a long-term comprehensive approach to ensure socially inclusive growth and a steady transition towards a low-carbon society.
Carmelina Cosmi, Monica Salvia, Senatro Di Leo, Filomena Pietrapertosa, Simona Loperte

EU-GUGLE: A Sustainable Renovation for Smarter Cities from a Pilot Project

The European building stock is mature, and expanding cities need inclusive and innovative renovation solutions for all citizens while intensifying city densification. The European project EU-GUGLE aims to reduce primary energy consumption by 40–80 % and increase renewable energy use by 25 % through nearly zero-energy building renovation models for initiating large-scale, Europe-wide replication in cities and communities. About 200,000 m2 of residential and public buildings are being refurbished by implementing a balanced mix of technical, socio-economic, and financial solutions adapted to local needs. Six EU partner cities are participating, each revitalizing an urban district: Aachen, Bratislava, Milan, Sestao, Tampere, and Vienna. The comprehensive integrated approach used in EU-GUGLE is in line with the European Smart City initiative, and each participating city has created nearly zero-energy Smart City master plans based upon lowest-energy thermal renovations coupled with innovative renewable energy services incorporating every aspect of smart district life. All stages of the planning, construction, and post-occupancy phases of the large-scale district renewals are being documented, monitored, and evaluated to create sustainable district renovation methodologies for “smart renovations for smart cities” to meet the objectives of the European Commission’s Smart Cities and Communities Initiative for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 % within the European Union by 2020. The paper outlines the approach each city has taken and highlights case studies of the individual solutions created in three of the six cities.
Naomi Morishita, Michael Heidenreich, Rosa Hemmers, Maria Vankann, Tiina Sahakari, Terttu Vainio, Lorenzo Pagliano, Martin Treberspurg, Doris Österreicher

ICT Tools to Foster Small-and-Medium-Enterprise Collaboration in the Energy-Retrofitting Sector

Since decades, the European Commission has turned the spotlight on energy efficiency in the building sector. While the technological domain has been investigated achieving interesting results, on the organizational and financial sides there is still a lot of room for new advancements. Especially in certain countries, the construction sector has to face many challenges. The highly fragmented markets, the cumbersome organizational models adopted by big enterprises on the one hand and the lack of knowledge and skills of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on the other hand, the perpetual variability of supporting schemes, and the plethora of regulation frameworks represent huge barriers in leveraging new ways to collaborate. Focused on SMEs, the NewBEE EU-project sheds light on innovative methodologies to set-up new collaborative business models in the energy-retrofitting sector that may accelerate the transition towards more sustainable buildings and cities. SMEs currently face two main problems: (a) the availability of easy-to-access knowledge and (b) the ineffectiveness of existing organizational and business models. To tackle these issues, NewBEE provides a comprehensive ICT platform to foster innovative methodologies facilitating the collaboration of actors in the energy-retrofitting chain, enabling the adoption of the business models. The paper briefly introduces the NewBEE-project approach followed by the description of the core modules of the tools:
Prompt and accessible information about emerging technologies and business model are collected in the information repository.
The pre-assessment tool enables buildings’ owners to roughly estimate the energy-saving potentials of common renovation processes, receiving in return an order of magnitude of the investment’s costs.
The virtual breeding environment is the main module of the tool: it is where SMEs collaborate, putting in place virtual collaborative networks to make a proposal.
The financial simulator enables building owners, investors, and SMEs to understand the effects of different financing schemes and the implications of energy-cost variations on the profitability of the investment.
The energy assessment module provides a professional tool to simulate the building performance before and after the refurbishment process.
The application of the NewBEE methodology has been tested in four real business cases: Spain, Slovenia, Germany and Finland. Recommendations raised during the demonstration phase are reported. In a mature market like the building one, the NewBEE project shows how innovative ICT technologies may help SMEs to fine-tune their business model, creating opportunities to collaborate both in a virtual and a real way.
Fabio Disconzi, Arturo Lorenzoni

Integrated Urban-Energy Planning for the Redevelopment of the Berlin-Tegel Airport

In order to achieve their sustainable targets, cities are today looking for better solutions for integrating infrastructure systems into their urban planning. A large variety of tools exists for decision support both in energy planning and in city planning, but few of them combine detailed multi-energy modelling and a user-centered collaborative development process in the early phases of an urban project. With the opening of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, the Berlin-Tegel Airport (Berlin TXL) will be redeveloped as an innovative hub for cutting-edge research and industry under the umbrella of Berlin TXLThe Urban Tech Republic (UTR). The European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER), the energy provider Electricité de France (EDF), the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (ISR) of the University of Technology Berlin (TU Berlin) and the Drees and Sommer Advanced Building Technologies company for energy design started in 2014 a collaboration with Tegel Projekt GmbH, the agency in charge of the development of the site, in order to unify urban and energy planning for the redevelopment of Berlin TXL. Based on an innovative modelling approach coupling both spatial and multi-energy systems, they developed a simulation prototype illustrating the interrelation between different technologies, land uses, and planning decisions. Several collaborative workshops were conducted as TU Urban_Labs led by the TU Berlin in order to integrate relevant actors into the planning process. This paper describes the integrative and collaborative approach developed by the participants to answer the needs and questions of Tegel Projekt GmbH regarding the energy planning of the future redevelopment of Berlin TXL according to the spatial setting.
Jean-Marie Bahu, Christoph Hoja, Diane Petillon, Enrique Kremers, Xiubei Ge, Andreas Koch, Elke Pahl-Weber, Gregor Grassl, Sven Reiser

European Union Research and Development Funding on Smart Cities and Their Importance on Climate and Energy Goals

The scope of this paper is to examine the European Union support in terms of research and development funding on the topic of smart cities. A detailed literature review, based on a project-by-project investigation, and a data analysis process identified these expenditures since the research on this topic was first funded. The portion of the Sixth and Seventh Framework Programs funding dedicated to smart cities is only 3 % of the total funding for energy projects and an all-time low of 1 % is expected within Horizon 2020. The low funding for the investigated field fails to capitalize on the high savings potential represented by the urban primary energy use in Europe. Restructuring the funding distribution for research and development in energy could better fulfill the potential primary energy savings of the European urban sector and contribute to achieving the European Union's climate and energy goals for 2020, 2030, and 2050.
Simon Pezzutto, Farnaz Mosannenzadeh, Gianluca Grilli, Wolfram Sparber
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