Cities are major contributors to climate change (generating 70 % of the global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions). The EU-funded ATELIER project will demonstrate positive energy districts (PEDs) in eight European cities that will strive for sustainability and carbon neutrality. Amsterdam and Bilbao are two lighthouse cities that have committed to generate an energy surplus of 1340 MWh of primary energy, prevent 1.7 kt of CO2- and 23 t of NOx-emissions, and invest EUR 156 million to realise their PED goals. Bratislava, Budapest, Copenhagen, Krakow, Matosinhos, and Riga are the fellow cities that will replicate and adapt successful solutions. ATELIER’s ultimate aim is for more PEDs to spring up around Europe.
ATELIER is a smart city project that demonstrates Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) within 8 European cities with sustainability and carbon neutrality as guiding ambitions. Amsterdam and Bilbao are the Lighthouse cities that will generate an energy surplus of 1340 MWh of primary energy, prevent 1,7 kt of CO2- and 23 t of NOx-emissions, and invest 156 mln Euros to realise their PEDs. Together with district users, ATELIER will showcase innovative solutions that integrate buildings with smart mobility and energy technologies to create a surplus of energy and balance the local energy system. Bratislava, Budapest, Copenhagen, Krakow, Matosinhos, and Riga are the Fellow cities that will replicate and adapt successful solutions.
All cities will establish a local PED Innovation Atelier to co-produce locally embedded, smart urban solutions. In the ateliers, the local innovation ecosystem (authorities, industries, knowledge institutes, citizens) is strengthened, enhancing embeddedness and removing any obstacles (legal, financial, social, etc.) for implementation of the smart solutions. The Innovation Ateliers are designed to be self-sustaining and to live on after the project has ended. The ateliers are engines for upscaling solutions within the ATELIER-cities and replication to other EU-cities. ATELIER integrates a high degree of citizen engagement throughout the project, by actively involving local residents (>9000), local initiatives, and energy communities in activities to align technical solutions with citizens’ objectives and behaviour. Each of the cities will develop a City Vision 2050 that creates the roadmap for upscaling the solutions in the long term. ATELIER has the ambition to pave the way for “energy positive cities” in Europe. All ATELIER activities will be monitored (socially and technically), and lessons learned are systematically drawn and disseminated to relevant SET-plan groups, city networks, and innovation forums.
In Amsterdam and Bilbao smart urban solutions will be deployed to create the Positive Energy Districts:
In Amsterdam, approvals of the environmental permits of buildings in Buiksloterham are achieved for the 2 envisioned building blocks. Smart grid developments progress at a steady pace. Energy Management System developments build on the experiences at the Schoonschip floating neighbourhood and this is well connected to ATELIER through participation in the innovation Ateliers and provision of experience. For e-mobility, a preliminary study has been conducted on the global strategies for smart charging. The Buiksloterham e-hub has been operational during P1 and a first interim evaluation took place.
In Bilbao, the actual design of the various demo-sites is, due to COVID-impact, at present re-assessed in variations regarding the initial approach. A redesign in Zorrotzaurre is made. The urbanisation of the North area has started, including district heating, in the Center area, Digipen and Mondragon University are settled in Beta 1 and Beta 2 buildings.The initial approach of the envisioned geothermal network validated the implementation of four geothermal rings, but it is being redefined due to a substantial reduction of built square meters in the North demo area. Work started on the analysis of the implementation of smart metering devices and monitoring of electrical consumption of buildings. A planning process and a number of tools are being deployed to enable partners cities to produce their own City Vision 2050 which will guide the urban energy transition and aiming to integrate it into their planning procedures for a more effective implementation - a work flow structured according to Cities4ZERO methodology.
The planning framework of the 8 ATELIER cities was set: a complete analysis of city background, interests, expectations, plans affecting the city compilation and analysis followed by a deep analysis of the city governance model resulting in proposals of the Smart City Planning Group (SCPG) with the city representatives that will guide the city vision creation. In both Lighthouse cities, a selection of local partners, representing the local eco-system, have discussed, designed and started-up the dedicated PED Innovation Atelier (IAs) in order to support the tailoring and implementation of smart urban solutions and interventions in the demonstration projects. Both PED IA have organised a number of workshops with ATELIER partners and external stakeholders, for facilitating the process of tailoring innovative solutions, harvesting knowledge and experience from other cities and projects. Social analyses with regards to citizen engagement have been performed for both Lighthouse Cities. Next to that, initial contact with various local stakeholders has been established (social enterprises, community intermediaries and institutional stakeholders). In order to monitor and evaluate the progress of the PED inventions, a corresponding framework has been set up and discussed.
This framework, including key performance indicators spanning across six domains including energy, environmental, economic, social, mobility and replication KPIs has been documented. The first Monitoring & Evaluation framework, background data, methodologies and the corresponding IT infrastructure are being developed to allow to monitor and assess the project achievements. The work on the impact assessment has been started also covering both direct impacts but also a holistic life cycle perspective. The Dissemination & Communication Plan has been successfully delivered and updated, with corresponding materials to communicate ATELIER. The Exploitation Plan is delivered and explains how the different tasks related to the exploitation will be led and structured. Following this plan, several activities were initiated with the presentation of two IPR webinars and an exploitation workshops for the collection of Background, Project Results and Exploitable Results. ATELIER partners are participating in existing and emerging collaborative platforms on smart cities and PEDs, including the Smart City and Communities Lighthouse Project Group and Smart City Marketplace and other relevant PED-related (research) platforms. We have exchanged information and collaborated with other SCC projects. We have actively disseminated (interim) project results and participated in events organized by SCC networks or others.