Author: Tjark Gall

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

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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

D2.5: Seamless eMobility system including user interface

The deliverable 2.5, Seamless eMobility system including user interface, was submitted by FourC, Powel, ATB, RAC Norway, Smart M Power, and IOTA Foundation in June 2020. The deliverable was indicated as confidential, however, the authors agreed to make it available publicly. The executive summary of the deliverable is available below and the full deliverable at the end for download:

“This report includes a description of a software solution that acknowledges and empowers electro-Mobility as a Service (eMaaS). It is the outcome of task T2.4, and constitutes the deliverable D2.5.

These days, travellers are being more encouraged and motivated into abandoning car ownership in favour of sustainable mobility services. Hence, the demand for an eMaaS solution that provides travellers with ready-to-hand access to nearby transport options, where they can evaluate, select, and possibly pay a trip.

EU/EEA promotes interoperable Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and issued EU Directive 2010/40/EU to accelerate the provision of multimodal travel information services, and Delegated Regulation 2017/1926 that defines types of multimodal travel information required from transport providers. An eMaaS solution must adhere to the regulations, and interact with existing solutions. Regulations and organisational structure of transport authorities in Norway and Ireland have been investigated, and existing transport and ITS service providers, in Trondheim and Limerick, surveyed. This is to help understand what data to expect, how to design for it, and where to find it, whether static or real-time.

A functional proof-of-concept eMaaS system has been developed. It includes a backend system, named FourC Total Traffic Control (FourC TTC). FourC TTC retrieves, stores, and provides transport data. It collects data from various data providers and makes it available in a normalized and standardized format. The TTC API delivers data as GeoJSON objects (RFC 7946), which allows developers to easily take the data output as a standardized object format and display it on a map. It is based on GraphQL, which allows for dynamic queries and reduces broadband requirements.

A demonstration end-user Android app has also been developed. It connects to the TTC backend and shows the mobility options that are available for the user near a chosen position on the map. Mobility objects on the map are interactive, and can show further information about the chosen object. Each mobility object is graded according to its environmental “friendliness”​. The user can choose the types of mobility modes they would like to see, create location favorites, and “auto-jump”​ to the nearest favourite. As the mobility modes have very different payment schemes, the app will redirect the user to the mobility provider’s own app or webpage to reserve or order each type of mobility option.

Ideally and to conform to the task description, payment would have been done through IOTA distributed ledger technology, with IOTA digital assets. Since a full integration was not possible, instead, as a proof-of-concept, a digital asset payment system was developed, where users can book and pay for a multi-modal journey, offered by different transport providers, seamlessly in one step.

Finally, for integration with task T2.5 (for developing a platform for local trade of energy and flexibility), and since no actual chargers nor electric vehicles (EVs) have been deployed during the course of T2.4, a simulator has been created. It represents a proof-of-concept on how an API for accessing “temporarily available”​ EV batteries as flexibilities for use in Positive Energy Blocks (PEBs) could be achieved. Additionally, the development of the simulator gives some first insights into which data that has to be present in order to exploit EV batteries as temporary power sources. The simulator is used by Powel’s trading platform for the PEBs in Trondheim.”

D7.7: Reporting to the SCIS System (3)

The deliverable 7.7, Reporting to the SCIS System (3), was submitted by Future Analytics Consulting (FAC) in June 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

“This report, ​Deliverable 7.7 – Reporting to the SCIS (3),​ is the third iteration in the series of reports delivered bi-annually through the 5-year cycle of the +CityxChange project. The report records the actions taken, progress made and ongoing work relating to the capturing and reporting of project Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data to the +CityxChange Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting Tool (MERT) and the Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) (connected to Task 7.3 and 7.4). Deliverable 7.7 (D7.7) is the third iteration of this report based on the previous versions submitted in Month 6 (​D7.2 – Reporting to the SCIS (1)1) and Month 12 (​D7.6 – Reporting to the SCIS (2)2) of the project. This report provides an update to prior deliverables and sets out ongoing work that will be attended to in order to have information submitted to the SCIS.

Developed in ​Deliverable 7.1: Approach and Methodology for Monitoring and Evaluation3, ​the +CityxChange KPI Framework forms the basis from which each KPI description, expected (or targeted) impact, and proposed calculation is derived for the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) process. As detailed in previous iterations of this report, the MERT will be the main platform on which all 33 KPIs’ data is captured, stored, processed, and visualised. Since the launch of the prototype MERT in Month 12 of the project, refinement to the platform has included: updates to manual data capturing tables; updates to KPI calculations; addressing User Interface (UI) and visualisation issues across multiple devices; and the development of processes that would allow qualitative data submissions. These refinements have assisted in improving the user interface and functionality of the MERT, to enable more efficient data submission for the KPI/data owners. As the project has progressed, very little KPI data has been submitted to the MERT. By the time of submitting this deliverable, data has been submitted for only 12 of the 33 KPIs, but it is expected that further development of project interventions will lead to more frequent data submissions in the short term. Further developments in the MERT have included the amendment of data capturing fields to suit the data requirements for KPIs which will report to the SCIS Self-Reporting Tool (SRT) as well.

As it stands, only six of the 33 KPIs are expected to report to the SCIS, while recent engagement with KPI owners confirmed that two of the six KPIs’ calculations are acceptable for reporting to the SRT. In collaboration with KPI owners and the SCIS, FAC will prepare the MERT and SRT for subsequent submission of KPI data as soon as it is available from the KPI owners. Ongoing engagement with KPI owners hope to increase the number over the coming months, by addressing potential mismatches between the data granularity and aggregation requirements of the SRT, and the monitoring data that will be available to KPI owners.

After the launch of the MERT, KPI owners have been provided with login credentials to enable data submission, which is expected to increase as the project progresses and as data from different interventions become available. Restrictions of movement and interaction brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have hindered the implementation of project interventions and slowed the accumulation and sharing of data. Although recent interactions have had to shift to an online format, all stakeholders are working together to reach project milestones. WP 7 leads will continue to liaise with KPI/data owners and relevant task leads to source quantitative and qualitative data, and work with the SCIS on the best possible solutions to have data shared and available to all relevant users.”

Webinar | Citizen Participation Playbook – A roadmap to meaningful engagement

On Wednesday, 27 May 2020, presented the Citizen Participation Playbook. The webinar aimed at municipalities and other stakeholders interested in increasing citizen engagement through robust participative processes with special emphasis on smart cities and the energy transition challenge.

Meaningful citizen engagement is a challenge in any city-making process led by public institutions. As part of +Cityxchange, has developed the Citizen Participation Playbook to help local authorities to empower local communities and lead the transformation towards Positive Energy Districts and Cities. This Playbook is more than a mere compilation of physical and online citizen participatory tools presenting a detailed roadmap of four distinctive citizen participatory processes including phases, steps, stakeholders and outcomes.

The webinar presented the Citizen Participation Playbook with current implementation cases in +Cityxchange as well as how to use it in your own municipality citizen engagement activities. You can find the full presentation for download here. Another question from the Q&A is answered in writing below:

Question from Begoña M: “Which is the greatest challenge you had to face in the project so far regarding citizen participation? How did you overcome it? Thanks for the webinar!”
Answer from Javi: “You are welcome, the most obvious one at the moment is COVID-19 and the big uncertainty of how it is going to impact citizen engagement in general and we don’t have previous references to learn from. One of the key aspects of our approach was to design an integrated process combining the best aspects of physical and online tools for better citizen engagement, with social distancing measures online tools get the main protagonism but some of these tools are not great for handling the entire participatory process by themselves as well as the important limitations regarding digital literacy and accessibility from underrepresented groups –which we are experiencing severely in education at the moment. Aside for that, one of the challenges we found at the beginning is a bit of misunderstanding on the scope and ambition on citizen participation from some people in municipalities which think that interaction with citizens is always negative and messy, putting together robust roadmaps in which municipal expert voices are kept while citizens input can enrich the project was our way to try to overcome those initial reactions. Anyway, thanks for joining in!”


D2.2: Toolbox for design of PEB including e-mobility and distributed energy resources

The deliverable 2.2, Toolbox for design of PEB including e-mobility and distributed energy resources, was submitted by Powel, IESRD and Mpower in April 2020. The complete deliverable is confidential, however, the executive summary of the deliverable is available below and in the referenced file:

“This report, deliverable D2.2 of the +CityxChange project Task 2.2, describes a toolbox of three prototypes of software models for design, analyses and grid operation of a local energy system including use of storage and grid balancing. The developed software prototypes in the toolbox are in the context of Positive Energy Blocks (PEB) to be created within the project. It is IES, Powel and Mpower that contribute with three different tools covering several tasks of a distributed energy system.

The three models will be implemented and demonstrated in WP4 and WP5. They are delivered as IT prototypes and will support how to operate a community grid and local energy system with the actual available energy resources including flexible consumption.

The tools are developed to propose the most cost-effective design of an area within the scope to become a PEB. The calculations will make precise consequences for the local grid topology for day ahead operations. Forecasts of generation and load in each connection point are calculated and identify precisely how the local resources will influence the local grid. Energy storage including e-mobility resources with V2G is a part of these evaluations. In the figure, it is presented how the different processes towards a PEB are supported by features realised in the three models which make the Toolbox presented in this report.

Figure 1.1 Toolbox support to the process towards a PEB in operation.

They have features to include energy resources in a PEB and analyse how they will contribute. The functions of the tools address and calculate how local energy resources influence grid balance and operation in a short term perspective. The toolbox includes features for analyses and simulations suitable for city modelling and 3D presentations. For example, the Powel tool has advanced calculations for how the design will influence planning of generation with either surplus or deficit of energy and power. It includes battery optimisation and includes a simplified management of e-mobility with electric vehicles’ batteries.

The main partners involved – IES, Mpower and Powel – are commercial companies. By the development of the actual three tools, the toolbox makes an integrated solution fit for design and operation of local energy systems and market. The following tools are developed as prototypes to be demonstrated in the Lighthouse Cities:

  • Tool A-IES: A “bottom-up” model that starts with calculations on building level and calculates demand curves at building level from a bottom-up approach. The model will predict load curves for a given period of time-based on variations in a range of parameters. The model includes grid calculations for actual areas and groups of buildings. The model is suitable for system design and scenario analyses. User interfaces are dashboards and 3D maps. The model will interact with other project tools in the Task through APIs. To be demonstrated in Limerick. Main contributor: IES.
  • Tool B – Powel: A “top-down” model that designs a local energy system with a variety of energy and power resources – including consumer flexibility. The model calculates how available energy resources will be applied the best way for next day hour by hour forecast based on availability and predictions (weather forecasts, load forecasts etc.) with the scope to schedule the total load within the area in a way that maximise the value of the resources – and calculates how this will influence on possible grid constraints each hour the next day. The model imports energy metered data and weather data. The data is addressed to connection points in the grid topology imported with the CIM model from NIS/GIS model for the actual local grid area. Then it is for the coming day calculated detailed load balance for the actual points every hour for actual grid topology. If grid constraints are met or observed for the coming day, it is addressed by alarms/warnings or as an export to the grid operator’s ADMS/SCADA . This will be demonstrated in LHC Trondheim. Main contributor: Powel.
  • Tool C – Mpower: A community grid optimisation model that is part of the application layer responsible for grid balancing. It is based on a bottom-up approach by collecting real-time data from loads and generation sources from the community grid. The model will feed in data about the availability of energy and flexibility, its source, type and amount. The model will communicate directly with the Mpower enerXchange platform that enables energy and flexibility trading inside the community grid and with a Grid Stabiliser for optimisation and balancing purposes. With other project tools it will interact through APIs mainly as a source of actual measured data and aggregated data for KPI checking. It will be demonstrated in Limerick. Main contributor: Mpower.

The toolbox is made as scalable prototypes ready to be refined for the purposes of the LHCs and possible adaptation for FCs later on. The models in the toolbox include reports presented as dashboards/tables with results of calculations. It also includes topology descriptions of the local grid which is a part of the community grid and/or PEB. The calculated results are easily exported to third parties for further processes and tasks like settlement and invoice. This is supported in other tasks of the project. The eMobility is managed as local energy storage and is included as local energy resources with information represented like time series in the same way as other local resources and/or forecasts.”

D9.8: Report on attendance at events held by other SCC-01 co-ordinators 3

The deliverable 9.8, Report on attendance at events held by other SCC-01 co-ordinators 3, was submitted by NTNU in May 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

+CityxChange actively pursues synergies with other relevant EU platforms and projects, facilitating collaboration and exchanging good practices. Partners will further leverage on their existing commitments in other EU initiatives such as the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP SCC), the EERA Joint Programme on Smart Cities (EERA JPSC), the Urban Europe Research Alliance (UERA) and the Covenant of Mayors (CoM), effectively linking +CityxChange to these EU-wide initiatives. This offers additional possibilities for dissemination and knowledge sharing and exchange.

This report describes the participation and lessons learned by +CityxChange partners in events organised by other SCC01 projects, SET-Plan Action 3.2, EERA Joint Programme Smart Cities, SCIS, EIP SCC, and other European networks during the third six-month period of the project, i.e., M13-18.

The report is Deliverable 9.8 of +CityxChange Task 9.2 “Extra-Project Cooperation with existing LHCs and FCs through clustering events and workshops run by existing SCC01 projects, EIP SCC, SCIS and other EU platforms”, in Work Package 9 “Inter-Project Collaboration and Clustering”. It complements Deliverable D9.7 “Report on Intra-Project Collaboration, Including Study Visits and Peer to Peer Workshops 3”.

SCIS Citizen Engagement Solution Booklet

“Cities around the world are looking for ways to address the true needs of their citizens, with a deep level of engagement and co-agency. At the same time, citizens themselves are eager to have more impact on their living environment. Citizen engagement, a way of actively involving citizens in the city’s decision making processes, can help to address these needs. Citizen engagement exists in many different forms, ranging from merely influencing and informing people, to real participation and actual decision making. The set-up of such an engagement process could be initiated by the city or its citizens, and in its most thorough form is organised by collective effort.”



Year: 2020

Editor: Jelle Jaubin

Co-authors: Dirk Ahlers – NTNU, David Crombie – HKU, Savis Gohari Krangsås – NTNU, Roel Massink – City of Utrecht, Eda Ozdek – White Research, Leen Peeters – Th!nk E, Willem-Jan Renger – HKU, Maria Sangiuliano – Smart Venice, Agata Smok – Th!nk E, Annemie Wyckmans – NTNU,
Han Vandevyvere – VITO, John Zib – CitizenCity, Urban Screen Productions

D9.7: Report on Intra-Project Collaboration including Study Visits and Peer-to-Peer Workshops 3

The deliverable 9.7, Report on Intra-Project Collaboration including Study Visits and Peer-to-Peer Workshops 3, was submitted by NTNU in May 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

This report (Deliverable 9.7) provides an overview of the study visits, peer-to-peer workshops, and other intra-project learning activities performed by the Lighthouse and Follower Cities in +CityxChange, between 1 November 2019 and 30 April 2020 (i.e., Months 13-18 of the +CityxChange project).

These activities form part of Work Package 9 “Inter-Project Collaboration and Clustering”, Task 9.1 “Intra-Project Lighthouse and Follower City Cooperation”. They are designed to address the needs of the participating cities and solution providers in an effective manner, to better align goals and priorities, to promote cross-cultural communication, understanding and collaboration between the partners, and to speed up the learning process and iteration of results across the entire value chain.

As support to deliver better study visits and peer-to-peer workshops, the deliverable also describes ex-ante/ex-post evaluation of cross-cutting issues within clean energy, open innovation, gender, socio-economic science and humanities to increase impact and deliver practical recommendations to partners and beyond.

This report (Deliverable 9.7) is complemented by Deliverable 9.8: “Report on Attendance at Events Held By Other SCC01 Coordinators”.

D3.3: Framework for Innovation Playgrounds

The deliverable 3.3, Framework for Innovation Playgrounds, was submitted by Space Engagers (SE) in March 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

This Report provides a spatial and socio-economic “Framework for Innovation Playgrounds”, including an overview and practical guidance on putting an Innovation Playground in place. An Innovation Playground, as defined in +CityxChange, is a designated area of a city where different physical and virtual places and activities relating to innovation are brought together into a coherent whole to facilitate collaboration, empower citizens, and find new ways of addressing challenges that matter to people. The Framework is made up of three parts: a ​System​, a ​Journey,​ and a ​Localised Innovation Playground​.

The ​System​ is made up of four interrelated elements:

  • Places: the virtual or physical locations where new ideas, for example, related to energy transition, emerge and evolve.
  • Activities: active processes such as events, meetings, mapping, etc. that are connected to​ ​energy transition and innovation in the city.
  • Data: existing or new data relevant to the energy transition​ ​that provides an evidence base for innovation.
  • Enabling Mechanisms: mechanisms that enable stakeholders to put an InnovationPlayground in place.

The Innovation Playground is structured by a coherent Journey​ in four stages:

  • Observation: Gathering data and knowledge at the hyperlocal level to help us all understand the lived experience of citizens.
  • Sense-making: Interpreting, analysing and synthesising available information.
  • Co-design: where experts and others come together to solve shared problems.
  • Prototyping: developing a mock-up of innovation in the online or offline ‘places’ of the Innovation Playground.

The purpose of a L​ocalised Innovation Playground​ is therefore to:

  • Bring different virtual and physical places and activities related to innovation into a coherent structure.
  • Facilitate collaboration.
  • Empower citizens to actively participate in processes of change.
  • Find new​ ​ways of addressing challenges that matter to people.

The desired outcomes of an Innovation Playground are:

  • Engagement of a broad cross-section of citizens and society in innovation.
  • Empowerment of citizens and other stakeholders to feel able to influence their place and change things.
  • Progression towards UN Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations, 2019) and becoming a positive energy city.
  • Outputs of an Innovation Playground will include new ways of doing things; new partnerships, places, tools and activities. The key stakeholders who will use an Innovation Playground include building owners and occupants, citizens / communities, civil society organisations (CSOs), local government, universities / research groups, entrepreneurs and other innovators.