ChapterPDF Available

Co-Creating Local Energy Transitions Through Smart Cities: Piloting a Prosumer-Oriented Approach

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

A key future challenge is to provide decentralized and sustainable energy (Rifkin 2011). Given that challenge, the theme of Post-Oil City asks how this can be accomplished for cities and regions which evolved using fossil fuels. The Horizon 2020 innovation project Positive City ExChange (+CityxChange) responds to this challenge and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), New Urban Agenda, Paris Agreement, as well as the Sustainable Energy Transition Plan and Green Deal of the European Union. It implements an innovative demonstration-driven approach in the context of smart cities by enabling participatory innovation environments and opening energy markets to decentralize and prosumer-oriented models. It focuses on strong integration within the public sector and co-creation across stakeholders and citizens. Positive City ExChange is one of 17 ongoing or completed European Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse projects to develop and implement solutions for: 1). secure, affordable and clean energy; 2). smart electro-mobility; and, 3) smart tools and services in over 100 cities. The +CityxChange consortium unites the two lighthouse cities Trondheim (Norway) and Limerick (Republic of Ireland) with the five follower cities Alba Iulia (Romania), Písek (Czech Republic), Sestao (Spain), Smolyan (Bulgaria), and Võru (Estonia) to achieve sustainable urban ecosystems that establish 100% renewable energy city-regions by 2050 as part of the European energy transition. The project enables the co-creation of the 'future we want to live in'. It develops frameworks and supporting tools to enable a common energy market supported by a connected community and integrated with cities' urban planning, as well as new policy intervention, market (de)regulation and business models that deliver positive energy communities and integrate e-Mobility as a Service (eMaaS). This article discusses how the +CityxChange project creates an enabling environment for the societal and technical innovations that are required to transition towards positive energy blocks, districts and cities, for, with and by citizens. Eighteen months into the project, the portfolio includes, amongst others , instruments for novel policy intervention, community engagements, market (de-)regulation and business models that enable scaling-up and replicating Positive Energy Blocks and Districts across cities in and outside the European Union. The solutions include data and technology-centered projects as well as urban planning and citizen-focused elements, such as co-creating city visions and accelerating change and disruptive solutions through open innovation playgrounds and participatory governance. The article focuses on the implementation, achieved results, learnings, replicability and impact on the urban planning sector-providing a practical course of action for the Post-Oil City.
Content may be subject to copyright.
CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES
112 113
REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM
Co-Creating Local Energy Transitions Through Smart Cities:
Piloting a Prosumer-Oriented Approach
Tjark Gall, Giulia Carbonari, Annemie Wyckmans, Dirk Ahlers
Aerial photo of award-
winning positive-energy
complex ‘Gardens
International’ in Limerick
Co-Creating Local Energy Transitions Through Smart Cities: Piloting a Prosumer-Orient-
ed Approach
Tjark Gall, Giulia Carbonari, Annemie Wyckmans, Dirk Ahlers
A key future challenge is to provide decentralized and sustainable energy
(Rifkin 2011). Given that challenge, the theme of Post-Oil City asks how this
can be accomplished for cities and regions which evolved using fossil fuels.
The Horizon 2020 innovation project Positive City ExChange (+CityxChange)
responds to this challenge and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
New Urban Agenda, Paris Agreement, as well as the Sustainable Energy
Transition Plan and Green Deal of the European Union. It implements an in-
novative demonstration-driven approach in the context of smart cities by en-
abling participatory innovation environments and opening energy markets to
decentralize and prosumer-oriented models. It focuses on strong integration
within the public sector and co-creation across stakeholders and citizens.
Positive City ExChange is one of 17 ongoing or completed European Smart
Cities and Communities Lighthouse projects to develop and implement solu-
tions for: 1). secure, aordable and clean energy; 2). smart electro-mobility;
and, 3) smart tools and services in over 100 cities. The +CityxChange con-
sortium unites the two lighthouse cities Trondheim (Norway) and Limerick
(Republic of Ireland) with the ve follower cities Alba Iulia (Romania), Písek
(Czech Republic), Sestao (Spain), Smolyan (Bulgaria), and Võru (Estonia) to
achieve sustainable urban ecosystems that establish 100% renewable energy
city-regions by 2050 as part of the European energy transition. The project en-
ables the co-creation of the ‘future we want to live in‘. It develops frameworks
and supporting tools to enable a common energy market supported by a con-
nected community and integrated with cities’ urban planning, as well as new
policy intervention, market (de)regulation and business models that deliver
positive energy communities and integrate e-Mobility as a Service (eMaaS).
This article discusses how the +CityxChange project creates an enabling
environment for the societal and technical innovations that are required to
transition towards positive energy blocks, districts and cities, for, with and by
citizens. Eighteen months into the project, the portfolio includes, amongst oth-
ers, instruments for novel policy intervention, community engagements, mar-
ket (de-)regulation and business models that enable scaling-up and replicating
Positive Energy Blocks and Districts across cities in and outside the European
Union. The solutions include data and technology-centered projects as well as
urban planning and citizen-focused elements, such as co-creating city visions
and accelerating change and disruptive solutions through open innovation
playgrounds and participatory governance.
The article focuses on the implementation, achieved results, learnings,
replicability and impact on the urban planning sector – providing a practical
course of action for the Post-Oil City.
BACKGROUND
To reach the goals of the European Energy Transition, massive decarboniza-
tion and energy production alternatives need to be rolled out. Such ambitions
are part of major ‘top-down’ European climate and energy strategies, such as
the European Green Deal, many national strategies, and also ambitious munic-
ipal plans, such as C40 initiatives, Covenant of Mayors, individual Sustainable
Energy Action Plans and many more. These energy transitions need to take
place within the broad and ambitious framework of the UN Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs).
The question is how do we get there? What are promising approaches for
such complex challenges? Who are the relevant stakeholders and what are the
structures, and barriers related to implementation, piloting, and scaling? How
can cities and citizens adapt and rise to the challenge?
CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES
114 115
REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM
Experiences of the other European Smart Cities and Communities projects
have shown that discipline-specic approaches are not capable of handling
complex urban and societal challenges. However, common barriers and solu-
tions exist and are being identied (Vandevyvere 2018, Borsboom-van Beurden
2019). Cross-disciplinary and sectoral co-creation is a better way to develop
transition pathways for cities and communities to becoming energy positive.
However, such high-impact approaches are challenging to implement.
As one complementary ‘bottom-up’ approach, the European Horizon 2020
Research and Innovation program has, for six years, been running the funding
scheme of ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ Lighthouse projects for large scale
demonstrations. Currently there are 17 projects in this scheme.1 It focuses on
topics of energy systems integration and urban energy transition with a city
perspective and fosters innovation and replication.
+CityxChange is part of this project family. It started in November 2018
with a project duration of ve years, including three years of development
and deployment of demonstrations, and two years monitoring and replica-
tion to verify the validity and applicability of results. The project follows a very
Figure 1: Lighthouse,
Follower and Partner
countries and cities of
+CityxChange
Figure 2: Approach for
scaling from Positive
Energy Blocks to
Cities, based on 11
demonstrations
local approach for each city and a cross-cutting approach between the cities
for learning and knowledge exchange. The program works with cities as main
partners, supported by local and international solution providers and univer-
sities. These partners collectively plan, implement and monitor physical, digital
and social demonstration projects at the urban block and district level. The
main goal is to develop and deploy Positive Energy Blocks and Districts, and
ultimately Positive Energy Cities.
Eleven demonstration projects are arranged around this goal covering en-
vironmental, spatial, social, technical, economic, and regulatory aspects.The
main aspects of the project are people, technology, and environment needed
to develop Positive Energy Blocks and Districts and to foster replication.
How to handle the complexity of the challenge
In +CityxChange, we set out to develop a multi-disciplinary, multi-actor, and
multi-country approach of co-creation and open innovation (Curley and
Salmelin 2018). Already during the proposal stage, we built a consortium of
32 partners with experience and competency in co-creation and open ur-
ban innovation, as key drivers towards being able to develop Positive Energy
Districts and Cities.
Our approach was to achieve local energy transitions by viewing and exam-
ining various municipalities, as well as research, industry, and citizens aspects,
using a quadruple helix innovation approach (Carayannis and Campbell 2009).
This ensures that cities’ and citizens' needs are front and center, that solutions
can be integrated across city domains, and research and industry can support
the transition.
One key element to support this integration was setting up innovation
testbeds in the city. These living labs (ENOLL 2020) facilitate experimental re-
search in a real-world setting. The experiments are planned, implemented and
monitored by a cooperation of public and private sector partners, academia,
citizens and other stakeholders. The outcomes can be new or improved ser-
vices, data, technologies or processes. Shared value can be created when the
stakeholders – professional ones as well as citizens – organize themselves into
open innovation ecosystems (Curley and Salmelin 2018). In the +CityxChange
project, such ecosystems, called ‘Innovation Playgrounds‘ (Mee and Crowe
2020), facilitate the development of new solutions and processes through
physical, digital, and social support.
Mee and Crowe (2020) explain the dierence between an Innovation
Playground and an Innovation Lab. The former is a dedicated area in the city
which provides a testbed and experimental environment open for citizens and
stakeholders to pilot innovations in de-regulated conditions. The latter is the
physical manifestation, comparably to urban labs or fab labs/makerspace,
which provides a space to hold workshops, inform, engage, share, test, collab-
orate and co-create. The Innovation Labs provide an exchange point between
stakeholders and give citizens a space to learn, ask, and experiment them-
selves. Furthermore, they serve as a physical and conceptual environment of
the Citizen Observatory, which enables the distributed collection of scienti-
cally veriable data by citizens to contribute to transparent local decision mak-
ing and policy development.
To create the enabling open innovation environment, our project focuses
on three crucial dimensions. The rst is the social dimension – the people or
next-generation citizens who must be a part of co-creating and visioning and
who must participate actively for the transition to succeed. Secondly, the tech-
nological dimension is essential, for example, encompassing a novel e-Mobil-
CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES
116 117
REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM
ity as a service scheme or a local peer-to-peer approach for energy trading.
The nal key ingredient is establishing an environment of innovation through
policies, regulations, as well as business models. While many more elements
could be listed, these three should be the starting point, and everything else
should be built upon as well as aligned with these as much as possible.
Smart city initiatives must emphasize co-creation and open innovation
through active citizen engagement and participation to be successful in the
long term (García and Mora 2020). In the past, and even today, many smart
city approaches primarily focused on new technologies and view people only
as users. However, active 'next-generation smart citizens' are critical to en-
sure the alignment of technological innovation with society's interests, to scale
the work outside the projects, and instigate behavioral change. Therefore,
strengthening the collaboration between the public and private sector, our
primary focus is on citizen involvement. However, genuine participation that
does not only 'tick the boxes' is challenging, resulting in the creation of an inte-
grated system of dierent frameworks and concepts which are jointly working
towards a citizen-led process.
How do we get people interested in and contributing to the project? We
follow two specic approaches. First, Local Energy Champions are identied,
trained and supported by the municipalities and project partners to distribute
Figure 3: Project
demonstration area and
sites in Limerick, Ireland
Figure 5: Bold City Vision
Framework for 2050
Figure 4: Innovation
Playground journey
knowledge, advocate for change, activate residents – acting both as 'voice' for
the project and representative of the community. Second, Next Generation
Smart Citizens are guided to enable and ensure long-term, sustainable soci-
etal transformation, for example, through campaigns at schools and educa-
tional facilities and gamication of concepts and technologies.
Establishing the places and enabling stakeholders is essential, but even-
tually, the generated knowledge must be injected into the work of public
and private stakeholders. Additional to the ongoing exchange in the Citizen
Observatories, Innovation Labs and Playgrounds, the broader public is in-
volved through concrete activities such as Climathons as well as Citizen
Engagement Weeks. These activities link the project work with ongoing ac-
tivities in the city and guarantee broad support of society while embedding
it into ongoing project work. The results and learnings of these activities
are continuously fed into the cities’ Bold City Visions for 2050. They create a
shared vision and strategy, aligned with other local, national and European
Union policies, as well as global goals such as the SDGs or New Urban Agenda
(Tanum et al. 2019). This mainstreaming ensures that all departments are
working jointly towards a politically backed goal as well as providing an over-
arching vision document which guides other plans and policies beyond the
project duration.
CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES
118 119
REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM
FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
The developed concepts are being translated and localized into actions within
all seven project cities. We give a brief overview of the implemented actions so
far in the two Lighthouse Cities.
Trondheim selected four physical spaces throughout the city to serve as
Innovation Playgrounds for citizen engagement. The rst one was set up at
the municipal administrative oces. Here, public outreach and co-creation are
co-located with a shared project oce for the project and a number of other
related city initiatives called Innovasjonstorget, including the University-City co-
operation and the United Nations Centre of Excellence on SDG City Transition
in Trondheim.
Figure 6: Project
demonstration area
and sites in Trondheim,
Norway
In Limerick a previously existing Fab Lab has been repurposed as an
Innovation Lab which hosts regular events between the citizens, public and
private sector. The University of Limerick operates the lab and currently plans
the relocation and enlargement of the space together with other stakeholders
of Limerick. This allows even more and diverse activities to take place while
becoming a prominent public front of the positive energy movement.
At this Limerick innovation lab, a learning framework for Positive Energy
Champions and Next-Generation Smart Citizen is in development and cur-
rently being tested. The learning framework consists of a 20 weeks period
with a range of events, including the city engagement weeks, training, work-
shops, Climathons, and more. The latter is initiated by collaborating with
schoolteachers from Smolyan and the University of Limerick, collaboratively
setting up a learning environment in times of online education due to the
COVID-19 pandemic.
The framework for the Bold City Vision 2050 resulted in a variety of vision-
ing workshops as well as a scaling eect in Norway with other cities taking over
the approach. Additionally, the generated knowledge is exchanged with the
newly established United Nations Centre for Excellence in Trondheim which
works towards the localized assessment of the Sustainable Development Goal
achievement as well as the U4SCC2 indicators (Tanum et al. 2019).
Mainstreaming the project activities into ongoing work of the municipal ad-
ministrations and anchoring it within the community is crucial to ensure the
project's success, as well as to scale from Positive Energy Blocks to Cities over
time and after the completion of the project.
Figure 7: Ocial opening
of the Powerhouse
in Trondheim, a plus
energy building and
an anchor building in
the project, owned by
Entra, an associated
partner, and designed by
Snøhetta
Figure 8: Storytelling
workshop in Innovation
Lab Limerick
Figure 9: Climathon 2019
in Trondheim, Norway
Figure 10: Gamication.
City Energy Game,
Limerick’s 2019
CityEngage Week
CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES
120 121
REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM
Innovative Technology in Positive Energy Blocks and Districts
The technical core of the +CityxChange concept for Positive Energy Blocks and
Districts revolves around developing and upgrading paths and toolboxes for
dierent aspects that can be adapted to dierent cities. It contains systems
for local trading of energy, the integration of local storage, the integration of
electric vehicles and their use, integrating energy and mobility needs and mar-
kets, sustainable investments into refurbishments and new buildings, tools
for modeling, urban planning, and operations, an underlying ICT layer that in-
tegrated city systems and open data portals, and a pathway of how to include
these aspects.
Spatially, a Positive Energy Block consists of at least three buildings, with
a combination of old and new buildings in close proximity (with a minimum
viable size) where concepts can be demonstrated. While it is possible to reach
a Positive Energy Blocks with only new state-of-the-art buildings, such a de-
velopment would not demonstrate how to integrate existing building stock
to actually reach the energy goals within short timelines. Buildings of a zero
or plus energy standard can serve as anchor buildings, enabling a Positive
Energy Block together with their neighbors. As part of the urban concept,
Positive Energy Blocks can be scaled up by plugging additional buildings, en-
ergy assets, and other measures into the system, allowing a growth path with
increased local energy production and reduction measures, to grow towards
a Positive Energy District.
To reach a net zero or positive block or district, not all buildings need to
contribute equally. For example, for some older buildings full upgrades are
not feasible, and the concept includes balancing between dierent types of
buildings with dierent demand proles, for example business and residen-
tial, coupled with short-term storage.
To bring the demand side down, building upgrades and refurbishments are
needed along with changed energy behavior. On the other side, local genera-
tion in the form of photovoltaics, heat pumps, wind or water turbines raise the
local supply and allow customers to move into prosumer roles. In addition, lo-
cal storage in the form of electrical batteries is included, while the district heat-
ing system in small areas can be its own buer, and some advanced buildings
already have their own storage tanks to disconnect from the grid on demand.
A key component to connect energy and mobility needs is the inclusion of
electromobility as a service, connected to the Positive Energy Blocks. This is
a twofold contribution. The rst aspect is an integration of people’s mobility
needs of electric car sharing, public transport, city bikes, etc. The second as-
pect is to use the energy from the residential or the work areas of the Positive
Energy Blocks to charge the electric vehicles needed for this scheme. To make
electric vehicles rst class assets in the energy system, we pilot vehicle-to-grid
technology. Instead of only optimizing the charging of electric vehicles, this en-
ables the batteries of the electric vehicles to be used as storage for the Positive
Energy Blocks. Despite rising electric vehicle use and shared car ownership
there is a lot of downtime on these cars. Vehicle-to-grid technology utilizes car
batteries, when the car is not being driven, to reduce overall needed stationary
battery capacity.
All this is tied together with a local grid control system that integrates these
assets as a local or community grid or as part of a larger grid. The grid control
system actively manages these resources, enables peer-to-peer trading be-
tween buildings in a prosumer-enabled system, facilitates a exible market
for local grid operators, and aims to enable local data verication and market
settlements through next-generation zero-fee blockchain systems.
In the current project phase, rst smart meters and control systems are de-
ployed and vehicle-to-grid chargers and batteries are being nalized. Various
Positive Energy Block modeling and operating tools and decision support tools
are in nal development or testing stages. Market and exibility models are
developed and are being adapted for local implementation. Building owners
are well integrated into the Positive Energy Blocks and investment models and
replication are well underway.
Electricity supply network
of Positive Energy Blocks
Figure 11: Transformation from traditional
distribution network operators (DNOs)
to active system management
CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES
122 123
REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM
Regulatory Frameworks and Investment Models
The development of Positive Energy Blocks or Districts needs to happen within
the local/national regulatory boundaries. At the level of the European Union,
the Electricity Regulation and Electricity Directive set the basis for exible
and connected markets whilst the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) direc-
tive (2010/40/EU) regulates the deployment of intelligent transport systems.
However, the denition of the requirements related to these directives is del-
egated to the single nations, making the international scenario fragmented.
Smart cities innovations challenge the status quo and therefore require
changes to existing regulations and nancing models to support demonstra-
tion activities and piloting. To avoid regulations as bottleneck for the develop-
ment, collaboration with regulators is therefore crucial. Single dispensations
or dedicated permissions can be requested for specic requirements. This
can make it possible to foster innovation and conduct live experiments in a
controlled environment (European Commission 2018) through the Regulatory
Sandbox framework (also called Regulatory Innovation Zones).
The purpose of a Regulatory Sandbox is twofold: to enable prototyping,
testing and piloting of new technologies and approaches and to develop new
guidelines and increase regulatory clarity in collaboration with the regulators.
The heterogeneous approach of each country does not allow the develop-
ment of a turnkey solution. Disaggregated energy markets and industries limit
the development of approaches easily replicable cross-country. Alignment be-
tween regulation and technology would lead to the development of new busi-
ness models. Investments are required for the development of Positive Energy
Blocks and sourcing nancial resources is critical to the success functioning
and implementation of a sustainable business model. Alongside national and
local funding sources, innovative business models can include new funds and
players that will work alongside traditional ones like crowdfunding and green
bonds, small and medium-sized enterprises, technologies providers, energy
service companies.
The +CityxChange approach is to develop an integrated investment model
which can be adapted to dierent socio-economic contexts for the identica-
tion of a bespoke mix of nancial products. In the models developed for the
lighthouse cities the public authorities maintain a central role in the invest-
ment model supported by public private partnership and private investors,
including building residents and commercial activities within the pilot sites.
Figure 12: The +CityxChange
regulatory sandbox approach
LESSONS LEARNED
Although replication is one of the aims of the European Commission Horizon
2020 Smart City program and it is encouraged within the projects, achieving
it has been compared to the quest for the Holy Grail (Vandevyvere 2018). The
combination of parties, interests, technologies, business models, legal con-
text, social aspects, etc. requires a ne balance of dierent elements that can
be hard to achieve.
In +CityxChange the lessons learned by the lighthouse cities in the rst im-
plementation phase are used to start the replication process in the follower
cities. These lessons and the experiences in follower cities in turn are used to
facilitate replication across at least 20 European cities. Since every environ-
ment and city is dierent, we do not oer a cookbook, but rather guidance
documents and processes that support adaptation.
A replicable starting point is the creation of the Bold City Vision, combining
existing city planning and management processes with goals, key opportuni-
ties and actions for becoming a smarter and more sustainable city. A clear vi-
sion, aligned with the existing conditions and developed in collaboration with
stakeholders and not simply imposed, has proved to be the rst step towards
successful implementation for the lighthouse cities. Moreover, stakehold-
er engagement should not be considered a check-box exercise but instead
should continue as their support is a discriminating factor for successful im-
plementation of the solutions/innovations.
To enable and achieve change there has to be commitment from all levels.
To promote success in the communities, the activation of citizens through, for
example, Positive Energy Champions3 is critical. It is also important to have a
point of contact for the project who liaises with all the parties involved and
promotes the change message linked with the implementation.
The adoption of open innovation as a guiding principle (Wyckmans et al.
2019) enabled: balanced individual concrete budgeting; risk management and
investments with social innovation; shared value creation and the long-term,
high-impact mission of contributing to positive energy cities; and, ultimate-
ly a climate-neutral Europe (European Commission 2020). After 18 months,
this principle has also proven valuable to make room for the sometimes ser-
endipitous (Mazzucato 2013) contributions of citizens, alternative processes,
new technologies or opportunities for cooperation within a detailed, 5-year
Description of Action.
To identify and document new learnings, dedicated learning sessions are
organized between partners, to discuss and compare experiences from var-
ious cities, and then feed them back into the project for improved activities.
While not originally planned for, the project is now developing metrics that
are able to monitor the impact of these learning eects within the project and
with others.
+CityxChange has a wide, targeted range of interactions with other projects
and networks, both within Europe and beyond. In addition to dedicated coop-
eration with the other 16 Smart City Lighthouse projects, +CityxChange engag-
es in cooperation with the members of the European Innovation Partnership
(EIP SCC 2020) on Smart Cities and Communities to promote learning and
replication, with the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan Action 3.2
(European Commission 2018a) Smart Cities and Communities in order to con-
tribute to the creation of 100 Positive Energy Districts by 2025, and with the re-
search organizations of the Joint Programme on Smart Cities of the European
Energy Research Alliance (EERA JPSC 2020), to create a strategic research agen-
da able to support the development of positive energy cities and communities.
CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES
124 125
REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM
THE WAY FORWARD
Positive-energy cities that generate more energy than they consume, with net
zero greenhouse gas emissions and a surplus production of renewable en-
ergy, can become the batteries of a climate-neutral society. However, this is
not simply a technological question. Ensuring that such cities are, rst and
foremost, sustainable, resilient, safe and inclusive, as well as positive-ener-
gy, requires robust open innovation ecosystems of small, medium and large
companies, public sector, academia, citizens, the arts, cultural and creative in-
dustries, media, non-for-prot foundations, and many more. For these stake-
holders to cooperate, requires a solid framework – a safe space – in which they
can come together, discuss, test, fail, try again and eventually nd good solu-
tions for their local environment. As such, the +CityxChange project aims to
be the bridge that helps experts and citizens to come together and innovate.
We hope to join forces with similar projects across the world, to be able to
expand the cooperation to other countries and regions and learn how the pro-
ject’s experiences mayhelp transform existing urban environments in China,
India, or Africa, into positive-energy cities and communities. We also look for-
ward to what we can learn from them.
Acknowledgements
This work has been performed within the +CityxChange4 (Positive City
ExChange) project under the Smart Cities and Communities topic that has re-
ceived funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innova-
tion programme under Grant Agreement No. 824260. We thank all our project
partners and colleagues, and especially the contributors to the Deliverables
mentioned here.
Endnotes
1 For more information, see https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportun
ties/topic-details/lc-sc3-scc-1-2018-2019-2020 and https://smartcities-infosystem.eu/scc-lighthouse-projects.
2 United for Smart Cities and Communities (U4SCC) is an initiative by ITU and UNECE and supported by several
UN agencies. It is a global platform to strengthen the use of ICT in the transition towards smart sustainable
cities. https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/ssc/united/
3 individual participants who will incorporate the positive energy concepts into their daily life and promote it
by encouraging and helping fellow citizens to do the same.
4 The full consortium and more information on the project are available at https://cityxchange.eu/team
References
+CityxChange project, H2020, (www.cityxchange.eu)
Ahlers, D., Driscoll, P., Wibe, H., Wyckmans, A., 2019, Co-Creation of Positive Energy Blocks. IOP Conference Series:
Earth and Environment Science. vol 352.
Ahlers, D., Wienhofen, L.W.M., Petersen, S.A., Anvaari, M., 2019, A Smart City Ecosystem Enabling Open
Innovation. In: Lüke KH., Eichler G., Erfurth C., Fahrnberger G. (eds) Innovations for Community Services. I4CS
2019. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1041. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Bertelsen, S., Livik, K. and Myrstad, M., 2019. D2.1 Report on Enabling Regulatory Mechanism to Trial Innovation
in Cities, +CityxChange. [online] Available at: https://cityxchange.eu/knowledge-base/report-on-enabling-regula-
tory-mechanism-to-trial-innovation-in-cities/ [27 April 2020]
Borsboom-van Beurden. J., Kallaos, J., Gindroz, B., Costa, S., and Riegler, J., 2019. Smart City Guidance Package.
A Roadmap for Integrated Planning and Implementation of Smart City projects. [online] European Innovation
Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities, Action Cluster Integrated Planning/Policy and Regulation.
Brussels: EIP-SCC. Available at: https://eu-smartcities.eu/news/smart-city-guidance-package [12 April 2020]
Carayannis, E.G., Campbell, D.F.J., 2009. “Mode 3” and “Quadruple Helix”: Toward a 21st Century Fractal
Innovation Ecosystem. International Journal of Technology Management. 46 (3/4): 201
Cimini, V., Giglio, F. and Carbonari, G., 2019. D2.4 Report on bankability of the demonstrated innovations,
+CityxChange. [online] Available at: https://cityxchange.eu/knowledge-base/report-on-bankability-of-the-demon-
strated-innovations/ [27 April 2020].
Curley, M., Salmelin, B., 2018. Open Innovation 2.0. The New Mode of Digital Innovation for Prosperity
and Sustainability. Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management. Cham, Switzerland: Springer
International Publishing.
EERA JPSC, 2020. The EERA Joint Programme on Smart Cities. [online] Available at: https://www.eera-sc.eu/ [12
April 2020]
Figure 13: Project representatives during project meeting in 2019
CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES CO-CREATING LOCAL ENERGY TRANSITIONS THROUGH SMART CITIES
126 127
REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM REVIEW OF WORLD PLANNING PRACTICE, VOLUME 16: POST-OIL URBANISM
European Commission, 2019. The European Green Deal. [online] European Commission COM (2019) 640 nal.
Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/les/european-green-deal-communication_en.pdf [12 April 2020]
European Commission. (2018a). FinTech: Commission takes action for a more competitive and innovative
nancial market (press release). Replace highlighted portion with- Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-re-
lease_IP-18-1403_en.htm [27 April 2020]
European Commission 2018b. SET-Plan Action 3.2. Implementation Plan related to Positive Energy Districts (PED).
[online] Implementation Plan of Strategic Energy Technology Plan Action 3.2 on Smart Cities and Communities.
Available at: https://setis.ec.europa.eu/actions-towards-implementing-integrated-set-plan/implementation-plans
[12 April 2020]
EIP SCC, 2020. The European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities. [online] Available at:
https://eu-smartcities.eu/page/about [12 April 2020]
ENOLL, 2020. The European Network of Living Labs. What are Living Labs. [online] Available at: https://enoll.org/
about-us/ [1 May 2020].
García, J. B. and Mora, M. S., 2020. D3.2 Delivery of the citizen participation playbook, +CityxChange. [online]
Available at: https://cityxchange.eu/knowledge-base/delivery-of-the-citizen-participation-playbook/ [27 April 2020]
Hackett, S. B., Kvaal, B., Runnerstrøm, M. F., Grøttum, H. H., Økstad, N., Livik, K., Danielsen, S., Wright, S., van
Vuuren, L. M., Stewart, D., Antolic, M., Backe, S., Kara, G., del Granado, P. C., Fossum, M. E. N., Lauvland, M.,
Frøyen, H. E., Helde, J., Skoglund, T. R., Eljueidi, M., 2019. D2.3 Report on the Flexibility Market, +CityxChange.
[online] Available at: https://cityxchange.eu/knowledge-base/report-on-the-exibility-market/ [27 April 2020]
Mazzucato, M., 2013. The Entrepreneurial State. Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths. 3rd Edition 2018. UK:
Penguin Random House.
Mee, A. and Crowe, P., 2020. D3.3 Framework for Innovation Playgrounds, +CityxChange. [online] Available at:
https://cityxchange.eu/knowledge-base/d3-3-framework-for-innovation-playgrounds/ [27 April 2020]
Petersen S.A., Pourzolfaghar Z., Alloush I., Ahlers D., Krogstie J., Helfert M. (2019) Value-Added Services,
Virtual Enterprises and Data Spaces Inspired Enterprise Architecture for Smart Cities. In: Camarinha-Matos
L., Afsarmanesh H., Antonelli D. (eds) Collaborative Networks and Digital Transformation. PRO-VE 2019. IFIP
Advances in Information and Communication Technology, vol 568. Springer, Cham
Rifkin, J., 2011, Third Industrial Revolution. How lateral Power is transforming Energy, the Economy, and the
World. New York City, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse Projects, H2020, (https://www.smartcities-infosystem.eu/scc-light-
house-projects [27 April 2020])
Tanum, Ø., Mjøen, K., Berthelsen, B. O., Reeves, K. and Næss, K., 2019. D3.1 Framework for Bold City Vision,
Guidelines, and Incentive Schemes (SDG City Transition Framework), +CityxChange. [online] Available at: https://
cityxchange.eu/knowledge-base/framework-for-bold-city-vision-guidelines-and-incentive-schemes/ [27 April 2020]
Vandevyvere, H., 2018. Why may replication (not) be happening? Recommendations on EU R&I and Regulatory
policies. [online] EU Smart Cities Information System D32.3A. Available at: https://www.smartcities-infosystem.
eu/sites/www.smartcities-infosystem.eu/les/scis_library/scis_-_why_replication_may_not_be_happening.pdf [12
April 2020]
Wyckmans, A., Vandevyvere, H., Gohari, S., Nielsen, B., Driscoll, P., Ahlers, D., 2019. D9.1 Framework for intra-pro-
ject collaboration, +CityxChange. [online] Available at: https://cityxchange.eu/knowledge-base/framework-for-in-
tra-project-collaboration/ [12 April 2020]
... This setup also interprets and translates the aspect of 'local or regional' energy production, as put forward in the JPI UE framework definition, into precise operating conditions. The differentiation into 4 subtypes was subsequently picked up in the PED definitions of, for example, SCC Lighthouse Projects such as +CityxChange [17] (including the authors of the present article) [16,39,48] or SPARCs [49] and other projects such as syn.ikia [50]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses early developments of the Positive Energy District (PED) concept, both in terms of its definition and of its implementation in real world demonstrators. Based on the specific challenges for creating an operational definition for the European +CityxChange project, the feasibility of creating a PED was practically explored by identifying 4 possible subtypes that respond to varying constraints regarding the energy balance of the PED. This article provides the context and describes these 4 ambitions levels: PEDautonomous, PEDdynamic, PEDvirtual, and PrePED; and the 3 boundary modes: geographical, functional, and virtual. The work thus expands on the first general PED definitions as they were put forward in the SET-plan and by the European Commission, while allowing a better response to the specific boundary conditions of PEDs’ physical context. As such, it provides an operational, city-focused, bottom-up PED definition. The present study analyses how these efforts connect to current work being performed on the development of a European PED Framework Definition. In the latter, new elements such as context factors are introduced in order to account for the varying boundary conditions that PEDs must address, and in particular the difficulties of realising PEDs in existing and densely built-up urban areas. Hereby it can be argued that the approach with 4 subtypes is a bottom-up method of addressing the same challenges as a context factor based approach operating in a top-down manner, this time starting from the regional or national renewable energy potentials. Both approaches indeed strive towards an optimum setup of PEDs both within their geographical boundaries and in their interactions with the surrounding energy infrastructures and cities. These efforts are instrumental in helping to prevent that a PED is being regarded as a goal in se, functionally disconnected from its surroundings. There are strong arguments in favour of handling PEDs as building blocks for the broader realisation of carbon neutral cities and regions, thus contributing to the systemic change that is needed to futureproof the built environment as a whole. Without applying this integrating perspective, PEDs risk creating a sub-optimal lock-in within their sites and thus remain one-off experiments, lacking connection to the wider urban sustainability strategies that are needed to properly address today’s energy and climate emergencies. This holds even more when considering the quality-related requirements that come with sustainable urban design and governance. Therefore, this study further explores how PEDs can fully support such a deep urban sustainability transition, and what could consequently be the next steps towards successful and upscaled PED deployment.
Article
Full-text available
It is commonly assumed by the projects demonstrating concepts for positive energy districts in cities across Europe that citizens want and need to be involved in the development of these concepts as an essential condition for positive energy districts to be deployed successfully and to achieve the expected societal goals. Six different research and innovation projects are investigating the different forms of energy citizenship in positive energy districts and their impacts. They aim to apply a transdisciplinary approach to collaborative research and to impact assessment. The interim results are described, and preliminary conclusions on impact are drawn. The projects each used different approaches to engaging citizens, while differentiating between different groups. Progress is monitored but only fragmentary evidence on the impact has been gathered. Transdisciplinary approaches are being developed but are still immature.
Article
Full-text available
A main challenge in building carbon-neutral built environments is the ability to scale and replicate solutions. We examine how to develop low-carbon neighbourhoods and districts, while aiming at climate-friendly and sustainable livable urban environments. We take a view that not only scales up individual building solutions, but embraces the added complexities arising from the scale change and utilizes them for a novel approach. It includes a strong focus on co-creation and open innovation to develop sustainable solutions. In this contribution, we present the approach of the +CityxChange project in implementing Positive Energy Blocks (PEB) through a European H2020 project from the topic of Smart Cities and Communities. A PEB comprises several connected buildings that have a averaged yearly positive energy balance between them. This definition excludes embodied emissions, but allows to focus on the infrastructure and systems between buildings as part of the built environment, and ways to implement and incorporate them within existing cities. The +CityxChange approach relies on co-creating Europe-wide deployment of Positive Energy Districts, with Integrated Planning and Design, Creation of a Common Energy Market, and CommunityxChange with all stakeholders of the city. Please find the full paper here: https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/352/1/012060
Article
Full-text available
'Mode 3' allows and emphasises the co-existence and co-evolution of different knowledge and innovation paradigms: the competitiveness and superiority of a knowledge system is highly determined by its adaptive capacity to combine and integrate different knowledge and innovation modes via co-evolution, co-specialisation and co-opetition knowledge stock and flow dynamics. The 'Quadruple Helix' emphasises the importance of also integrating the perspective of the media-based and culture-based public. What results is an emerging fractal knowledge and innovation ecosystem, well-configured for the knowledge economy and society.
Chapter
As a part of their digital transformation, municipalities across Europe have taken initiatives to support Open Data platforms and provide services leveraging on data. This challenges the traditional business driven IT strategy promoted by several Enterprise Architecture methodologies, which are designed to operate within a single enterprise that has a complete overview of its data and ICT systems. We envisage scenarios where public and private collaborative networks provide value added services to its citizens by leveraging on data. In this paper, we propose an Enterprise Architecture Framework for Cities to support them maneuvre smartly within their data space to create value added services through a variety of collaborative networks or Virtual Enterprises that bridge organisational boundaries. The novel elements of this Enterprise Architecture Framework are a DataxChange, the Value-Added Services and Virtual Enterprise layers. This work has been conducted within the EU H2020 Smart City project +CityxChange.
Book
This book presents the emerging paradigm and methodology, Open Innovation 2.0 (OI2), which aims to help drive significant structural changes and benefits through digital innovation to society and industry. It highlights how new services and markets can be co-created in open ecosystems and how this leads to a transformation from win-lose to win-win situations for all stakeholders. Organized around a number of core patterns of OI2, such as shared purpose, partnering and platforms, this book leverages more than five years of research by the EU Open Innovation Strategy Policy group. Popularized in the early 2000s, open innovation is a systematic process by which ideas can pass among organizations and travel on different exploitation vectors for value creation. With the simultaneous arrival of multiple digital disruptive technologies and rapid evolution of the discipline of innovation, it became apparent that an entirely new approach to innovation was needed that incorporated technological, societal and policy dimensions. Unlike other innovation methodologies, OI2 is an innovation paradigm and methodology with a purpose: to seek and deliver innovations that move us collectively on to a trajectory towards sustainable intelligent living. OI2 is a paradigm advocating for disruptions, seeking the unexpected and providing support for rapid scale-up of successes. As a method, it provides a safety net for both innovations and innovators, inspiring innovators to have the confidence and courage to innovate. Featuring case studies from domains such as energy, telecommunications, transportation, and finance and from companies including Intel, Lego, Alcatel Lucent and Alstom, this book is useful to industry executives, policy makers, academics, and students of innovation and innovation management.
A Smart City Ecosystem Enabling Open Innovation
  • D Ahlers
  • L W M Wienhofen
  • S A Petersen
  • M Anvaari
Ahlers, D., Wienhofen, L.W.M., Petersen, S.A., Anvaari, M., 2019, A Smart City Ecosystem Enabling Open Innovation. In: Lüke KH., Eichler G., Erfurth C., Fahrnberger G. (eds) Innovations for Community Services. I4CS 2019. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1041. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
D2.1 Report on Enabling Regulatory Mechanism to Trial Innovation in Cities, +CityxChange
  • S Bertelsen
  • K Livik
  • M Myrstad
Bertelsen, S., Livik, K. and Myrstad, M., 2019. D2.1 Report on Enabling Regulatory Mechanism to Trial Innovation in Cities, +CityxChange. [online] Available at: https://cityxchange.eu/knowledge-base/report-on-enabling-regulatory-mechanism-to-trial-innovation-in-cities/ [27 April 2020]
Smart City Guidance Package. A Roadmap for Integrated Planning and Implementation of Smart City projects
  • J Borsboom-Van Beurden
  • J Kallaos
  • B Gindroz
  • S Costa
  • J Riegler
Borsboom-van Beurden. J., Kallaos, J., Gindroz, B., Costa, S., and Riegler, J., 2019. Smart City Guidance Package. A Roadmap for Integrated Planning and Implementation of Smart City projects. [online] European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities, Action Cluster Integrated Planning/Policy and Regulation. Brussels: EIP-SCC. Available at: https://eu-smartcities.eu/news/smart-city-guidance-package [12 April 2020]
The EERA Joint Programme on Smart Cities
  • Eera Jpsc
EERA JPSC, 2020. The EERA Joint Programme on Smart Cities. [online] Available at: https://www.eera-sc.eu/ [12 April 2020]
FinTech: Commission takes action for a more competitive and innovative financial market (press release)
European Commission. (2018a). FinTech: Commission takes action for a more competitive and innovative financial market (press release). Replace highlighted portion with-Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-re-lease_IP-18-1403_en.htm [27 April 2020]