Day: July 8, 2020

EUSEW 2020 Webinar: Creating a joint vision for Positive Energy Districts

+CityxChange and other H2020 Smart City projects related to the Positive Energy District (PED) concept, were part of the EUSEW webinar ‘Creating a Joint Vision for PEDs’. PEDs (Positive Energy Districts) are an important concept in both the EC’s Smart Cities & Communities (SCC) programmes and the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET plan). In the EC’s SCC Lighthouse programme, which has set PEDs as a formal standard in its recent calls, over 420 Million Euro are invested in 47 Lighthouse Cities and 67 Fellow Cities.

Two main lines of action are currently ongoing in this context: the refinement of the PED definition in order to arrive at a commonly accepted standard for PED implementation and the building of PEDs in on-the-ground projects such as under the EC SCC Lighthouse scheme. Given the current developments, a third factor is brought into the discussion: How can PEDs contribute to increased robustness against shocks and at the same time present specific opportunities for post-COVID recovery (Green Deal)?

Session Agenda:

  • Pitch 1: Definitions and approaches: an overview – Han Vandevyvere, SCIS consortium (Vito)
  • Pitch 2: The PED Framework – a joint PED vision – Christoph Gollner, FFG (Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH)
  • Pitch 3: Challenges of the local context – Rudy Rooth, Atelier Local Coordinator Amsterdam (DNVGL)
  • Pitch 4: Reality check in current EIP SCC Lighthouse Cities – 2 field cases +CityxChange, Powel  and  MAKING-CITY, Oulu (Marit Teigen Myrstad +CityxChange, Samuli Rinne MAKING-CITY)
  • Discussion 1: Elaborating on the PED definition and certification work, feedback to the SET plan
  • Discussion 2: Addressing challenges and barriers to building PEDs on the ground: recommendations, next steps, feedback to the related EU policy and regulatory frameworks
  • Wrap up: Reporting from the discussion groups

During their presentation, Marit Teigen Myrstad (Trondheim Municipality) and Klaus Livik (Powel) provided territorial-grounded insights from our project. They focused on regulations of the energy market and how these barriers could be overcome in order to become PED enablers. Interesting conclusion were drawn from the second discussion round , ‘Addressing challenges and barriers to building PEDs on the ground: recommendations, next steps, feedback to the related EU policy and regulatory frameworks’, where +CityxChange representatives were moderators in. ‘The discussion group addressed among others:

  • The importance of experimenting regulations in current EU projects, the circumstance that the economic incentive is not in place for building owners – who expect a much more simplified regulation which they could understand and make use of – as the most urgent regulatory bottlenecks that need to be overcome to speed up the development of PEDs.
  • The need for PED supporting regulation and policy is clear, but current ongoing regulation work would need more coordination and time. However, it is challenging to address all the policy making processes in an integrated and holistic manner.
  • Some investors don’t see the long-term benefits of investing in PEDs. Therefore, regulation plays a very important role and could help to overcome this. Based on the feedback from the EIP-SCC matchmaking event, quite some investors are interested in making long term investments on infrastructures, PEDs included. In addition, both regulation and new innovative financing mechanisms and procurement are considered important in facilitating the breakthrough of PEDs.’

All in all, the sessions were designed to give an in-depth understanding of what the current challenges to build PEDs are, and brainstorm on possible actions and recommendations on future developments. The main target stakeholders were those involved in PED development, but also representatives from local authorities which could get more insights on their future policy developments.


Read the full recap of the Webinar here. 

Find the recording of the Webinar here.

+CityxChange Projects unveiled to re-imagine Limerick’s Georgian Laneways

Read the original press release on

Five projects led by community leaders have been selected by Limerick City and County Council as part of a programme to re-imagine Limerick’s Georgian Laneways. As part of Limerick City and County Council’s EU project +CityxChange (Positive City Exchange) we are hoping to create a new community to drive innovation and fight climate change by working towards a positive energy city! 

This is a community of individuals, groups, businesses and agencies who are looking at ways to develop smarter cities that are open and accessible for all. 

We are all about the positives working together to solve problems or to create a new vision, all through citizen engagement. 

The overarching aim is to develop a series of demonstration projects on how to become a smart positive energy city for everyone. 

Following a series of workshops, five groups have now been selected to develop their projects based around different themes for Limerick’s Georgian Laneway, seeing how they can be best utilised for the benefit of the city and those who live and work here. 

Welcoming the selection Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Collins said: “It is great to see such interest in revitalising our Georgian Laneways. They can be used for so many things, as highlighted by the range of projects selected. It is so important that we all work together on projects like these and that they are community/ group driven. It gives people ownership. Georgian Limerick is one of our great assets and we need to develop and enhance them in a sympathetic yet innovative way, and the +CityxChange project is helping to do that.” 

Dr Mihai Bilauca, Head of Digital Services and Leader of the +CityxChange project in Limerick City and County Council said: “+CityxChange is about finding innovative solutions to how we meet our energy consumption. Sometimes it isn’t just about new technology but we need to think about how we use energy and work to change our behaviour. Working closely with communities and fostering the resulting innovation is at the heart of this project. Having an open invitation for groups to collaborate and innovate we can co-create a place we can all share and enjoy. Often described as placemaking – we want to work together to define the place we want to live, work and play.” 

“Limerick’s Georgian quarter with its network of laneways creates an ideal opportunity to reimagine this extraordinary city asset into a collection of wonderful spaces. We want to capture the imagination of local community groups to start the transformation of Georgian Laneways and use physical interventions such as new planting, improved streetscape and decoration supported by advanced technologies such as air quality and noise sensors.” 

Claire Flynn from Limerick Mental Health Association said: “We are always looking for projects that bring people together and give us an opportunity to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Bringing people from different communities together to work on a project really helps to foster cultural and community relationships. For the community that lives and works around Jesuit Lane it gives an opportunity to get to know each other, to create a safe and welcoming space close to home and work. For everyone else, it will draw people to walk the laneway, enjoy the art and flora.” 

Ciarán O’Mara from Deepseek AI is involved in the Streetseek project: “Streetseek is a pilot programme by Deepseek AI and the University of Limerick, to measure the heartbeat of Limerick City. Innovative technology has been developed to gather deeper insights into how people engage with public spaces in our city. This is achieved with personal privacy as a priority. We use thermal cameras which are based on temperature readings, in contrast to conventional visual cameras. The goal of Streetseek, is to provide in depth detail into how our city is used, to facilitate smart planning and decision making into the future.” 


The five projects are: 

Business Address Phone Email


Green Museum 2Limerick Mental Health Association Collaborators: Hunt Museum, Women’s Group and Men’s ShedJesuit LaneThis project will bring the Museum to the laneway, with CO2 absorbing plants -as a service to the environment.
StreetSeekDeepSeek AILittle Catherine Street initially with others to be addedThis will focus on drone technology and machine vision; they envisage that their un-intrusive thermal cameras can derive insights about city life and behaviour.
Green Museum 1Hunt Museum Collaborators: Enable Ireland, Urban Designer Harris, LITGriffith Row or Theatre LaneTransforming the laneway with 3D printed examples of Hunt Museum Art pieces (using recycled ink) in a permaculture garden, with CO2 absorbing plants
Wall of BelongingLiveable Limerick Collaborators: Peoples Museum, Limerick Civic Trust, European Expo 2020Mews, Upper Hartstonge StreetTransforming the Mews laneway into an Art Gallery. with an InstaWall similar to that in Paris, a Wings of Europe Mural.
Incredible EdiblesLimerick City Tidy Towns Collaborators: Bedford Row, Limerick Mental HealthDaly’s LaneThis project envisages transforming a Georgian laneway into a hanging garden, where the public can pick and enjoy fruits and vegetables.

All groups will be able to proceed with their pilot projects despite the Covid-19 restrictions and while adhering to the latest public health advice and guidelines. 

They will work collaboratively with the support of Limerick City and County Council and use the services of Citizen Observatory and FabLab to realise their visions for the laneways. 

For more information please check