In order to have livable and functioning cities, municipalities must improve how they engage with technology, citizens, energy, and planning as smart cities, reached within an open innovation model.
The +CityxChange project is coordinated by NTNU with 32 partners, including 7 cities, large-scale industry, SMEs, NGOs, and academia. Trondheim Kommune (TK) and Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) as Lighthouse Cities together with Alba Iulia (MAI), Písek (MP), Sestao (SB), Smolyan (SMO, and Võru (VORU) as Follower Cities develop feasible and realistic demonstration projects towards Positive Energy Blocks.
These will showcase urban, digital, and energy transitions towards climate-friendly and sustainable urban environments, improved quality of life, and greener ESG-compliant business development.
+CityxChange will create solutions for Positive Energy Blocks leading to Positive Energy Districts and Cities through (i) decision support tools, urban planning support, city strategy development, and transforming urban environments, which enable informed decisions to be made by all stakeholders in the community, (ii) an approach to creating a Positive Energy Block through energy reduction and efficiency measures, local renewable, local storage, flexibility and peer-to-peer energy trading and (iii) top-down community engagement driven by the local authority and bottom-up citizen engagement to change people’s mindsets, and develop, inform, include, educate, and drive behavioral change.
The +CityxChange vision is to co-create the future we want to live in. To achieve this, the following framework is being adopted:
- Prototype the Future – Integrated Planning and Design
- Enable the Future – Creation of a Common Energy Market
- Accelerate the Future – CommunityxChange
This framework incorporates 11 Demonstration Projects which will be carried out in the Lighthouse Cities and replicated in the Follower Cities. The 11 Demonstration Projects have the following objectives:
- Collecting data and providing integrated decision support to the cities (DP01, Model)
- Co-creating a Bold City Vision to plan, implement, replicate and scale-up to positive Energy Districts and Cities (DP02, Vision)
- Co-creating Distributed Positive Energy Blocks through citizen participation (DP03, Engage)
- Enabling innovation through regulation mechanisms (DP04, Regulatory Zone);
- Accelerating change and disruptive solutions through innovation playgrounds (DP05, Playground)
- Creating DPEBs through improved energy performance and integration with the energy system (DP06, DPEB)
- Creating the +CityxChange approach to community grids (DP07, Microgrids)
- Integrating seamless eMobility within the DPEB (DP08, eMaaS)
- Enabling local energy trading within the DPEB (DP09, Local Trading)
- Enabling a fair deal to all consumers through a local flexibility market (DP10, Flexibility Market)
- Enabling public and private stakeholders to invest in their buildings (DP11, Sustainable Investments)
These projects encompass the environmental, spatial, social, technical, digital, economic, governance, regulatory and legal aspects required to deliver Positive Energy Blocks/Districts (PEB/D). They enable scale-up and replication of PEB/Ds within and across cities and across the EU.
Completion of WPs 1/2/3 and handover of frameworks, systems, and prototypes in areas of energy, citizen engagement, innovation, ICT, and planning. Local grid design and operation for PEBs as well as market design for energy end flexibility market going into an operational deployment and testing phase. Deployment of initial smart meters, building controllers, batteries, and EVs as physical infrastructure. The Bold City Vision is applied in all cities and beyond, and integrates +CityxChange ambitions into strategic city plans. Building owners integrated into the PEB and the marketplaces. The Regulatory Mechanisms have been shaped into a new initiative under the European Smart City Marketplace, Action Cluster on Integrated Planning, Policy and Regulations. 5 Citizen Observatories are operational Citizen and Stakeholder Engagement activities are taking place in all Cities, including local innovation labs and joint online Climathon participation.
The detailed operational PEB definition is being aligned with other EU initiatives such as the EERA Joint Programme Smart Cities, SET-Plan Action 3.2 and Driving Urban Transitions Partnership, Smart Cities Marketplace SCC01 TG Replication and SCALE, COST Action PED-EU-NET and IEA EBC Annex 83. Investment and business models and PEB development and replication processes are being restructured as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Framework model for inter-PED trading Progress on PEB feasibility studies and financing by Follower Cities Replication and spin-off projects starting, and under application. Extensive risk and crisis management, moving work online, and handling local restrictions.