MAKING-CITY is a large-scale demonstration project aiming at the development of new integrated strategies to address the urban energy system transformation towards low carbon cities, with the positive energy district (PED) approach as the core of the urban energy transition pathway. The project will be intensively focused on achieving evidences about the actual potential of the PED concept, as foundation of a high efficient and sustainable route to progress beyond the current urban transformation roadmaps. Although in principle a PED approach seems a solid and ambitious strategy, this should be complemented with long term urban planning to ensure upscaling and fostering higher impacts. Currently city energy plans are starting to be designed with a 2030 horizon, according to the standard city commitments, as for instance those reflected in the SECAPs and other more specific city plans.
Project will address methodologies to support cities in their long term urban planning towards an adequate energy transition, paving the way of the planning, implementation and up-scaling process. Cities of Groningen (Netherlands) and Oulu (Finland) will act as lighthouses. These cities are currently working intensively in ambitious transformation planning whose approaches fit perfectly with the project objectives. Both have committed to deploy a demonstration of at least one positive energy district. León (Spain), Bassano del Grappa (Italy), Kadiköy (Turkey), Poprad (Slovakia), Vidin (Bulgaria) and Lublin (Poland) will be the follower cities. All of them have assumed a huge commitment to develop a solid execution project of Positive Energy District and foster high level of replication of the solutions demonstrated in Groningen and Oulu.
The goals of MAKING-CITY are established around two main pillars: the Positive Energy District (PED) and the Energy Transition, which is currently a pillar for fighting against climate change. So our main objective is to demonstrate the PED concept and develop new integrated strategies to address the urban energy system transformation towards low carbon cities, with this PED approach as the core of the urban energy transition pathway.
As a large-scale demonstration project, MAKING-CITY will implement in its Lighthouses cities, Groningen in Netherlands and Oulu in Finland, 3 real scale demo PEDs and replicate the PED concept in its Follower cities: León (Spain), Bassano del Grappa (Italy), Kadıköy (Turkey), Trenčín (Slovakia), Vidin (Bulgaria) and Lublin (Poland).
Apart from the PED development in the Lighthouse cities and the PED execution project in the Follower ones, the advanced urban planning will be the focus for all cities involved in the project, which will address the development of an overall transformation process with horizon set up on 2050. In MAKING-CITY, a change at organizational level will be promoted by the creation of a City Planning Office that will be supported with the appropriate tools to address a new and really innovative urban planning approach. After this and a strong training process, the project will address a very innovative and ambitious roadmap to the cities with a long-term horizon, 2050.
Since PED is a relative recent concept, MAKING-CITY has adopted the following definition: “A Positive Energy District is an urban area with clear boundaries, consisting on buildings of different typologies that actively manage the energy flow between them and the larger energy system to reach an annual positive energy balance”. Therefore, one of the most important aspects to be considered is the Annual Energy Balance calculation procedure.
Although in principle a PED approach seems a solid and ambitious strategy, this should be completed with long term urban planning to ensure upscaling and fostering higher impacts. Currently city energy plans are starting to be designed with a 2030 horizon, according to the standard city commitments, as for instance those reflected in SECAPs and other more specific city plans (e.g. SUMPs, Digital Agendas…). The project will face a huge challenge, consisting on developing not only a 2030 approach but a longer term 2050 City Vision that guarantees a seamless city transformation from planning to implementation and further upscaling.
MAKING-CITY will address procedures and methodologies to support cities in their long term urban planning towards an adequate energy transition, paving the way of the planning, implementation and up-scaling process. This procedure will be approached by a 3-layers planning process: long term planning 2050 will be the high level approach, medium term approach (SEAP/SECAPs) towards 2030 and short term (execution plan) with a time horizon of about 5 years.
During the first half of the project specific tasks have been completed within the two main axes of the project (the Positive Energy District and the Energy Transition), leading to establishing the basis for the further developments within the project summarised as follows:
- The methodological framework for the Advanced Long-Term Planning has been defined and the guidelines to organize and implement Sustainable Energy Planning in cities are ready. Studied the city plans in the 8 cities of the project and stablished the methodology for a good city diagnosis and a comprehensive city level evaluation. Strengths and weaknesses of each city have been identified. Energy modelling of all of them is ready for identifying demands and stablish new Long Term energy scenarios of the cities and evaluate the evolution of the energy matrix of the city during the following decades.
- Most of the actions have been implemented in the demo PEDs of the Lighthouse cities. Some have started their monitoring stage, others need to be redefined.
- Robust monitoring and evaluation protocols have been defined to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the project actions compared to the initial situation, initial objectives and expected results.
- Developed the methodology for PED design and for the calculation of the annual energy balance in a PED. Guidelines for the easy implementation of both procedures are ready to allow the replication.
- Areas for implementing the PED methodologies studied and selected in the follower cities.
- Stakeholders involved in PEDs have been mapped and their individual interests and interactions have been analysed in order to provide a framework to be used for the development of business models in the Lighthouse cities and for replication activities in Follower cities and beyond.
- According to the Roadmap developed, the collaboration with Lighthouse framework has been completely stablished and with other entities is being developed. Deploying it into our cities’ countries through the GBCs. The MAKING-CITY Think Tank, Reflect, has been launched to push the debate on PEDs.
- Dissemination material ready according to the D&C plan. Regular newsletter shows the project results. Videos about project challenges ready in the media channels. Mid-term event presenting the firsts results of the project have carried out.