Author: Johnathan Subendran

First New European Bauhaus prizes launched Highlighting inspiring examples that are beautiful, sustainable and inclusive

Applications are now open for the first New European Bauhaus prizes across 10 categories – from ‘products and lifestyle’, to ‘reinvented places to meet and share’ – all themed around the core pillars of the initiative: sustainability, quality of experience, and inclusion.

Following the launch of the initiative’s co-design phase in January, the ‘New European Bauhaus prizes’ will celebrate excellent examples to help inspire the project launched by President Ursula von der Leyen last year.

As the President said: “With the New European Bauhaus we want to make the European Green Deal tangible and ‘palpable’. We want to add a cultural dimension to the economic and technological transformation.” 

For each of the 10 categories there will also be a specific ‘New European Bauhaus Rising Stars’ strand, open to under-30s. The idea is to support and encourage the younger generation to continue developing new ideas and exciting concepts.

The creation of the prizes was announced by Commissioners Ferreira and Gabriel during last week’s New European Bauhaus Conference.

The application period is open until 31 May 2021. Both EU and non-EU nationals can apply, as long as their concepts, ideas and projects are actually developed or physically located in the EU.

An evaluation committee will first assess the eligibility of all entries. There will then be an online public vote, open to all New European Bauhaus newsletter subscribers. A jury made up of New European Bauhaus official partner organisations will then assess the three projects with the most votes under each category and strand, before the prizes are awarded. Winners will receive cash prizes as well as support to spread the message about their project.

Sign up for the newsletter (link below) so you do not miss the opportunity to see the entries and decide on your favourites! Do not hesitate to share the link with your colleagues, networks and friends so that we ensure the widest possible participation.

Check out the New European Bauhaus prizes web page (link below) for more information on the different categories.

Beautiful | Sustainable | Together

The New European Bauhaus Conference brought together leading thinkers and practitioners from around the world to share their visions and have a conversation on the way forward for the New European Bauhaus. Over 5,800 people from more than 85 countries registered for the virtual event.

The conference was opened by President von der Leyen, European Parliament President David Sassoli, and the Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa on behalf of the Council Presidency.

Other speakers included politician and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg, grassroots activist and founder of Slum Dwellers International Sheela Patel, climate scientist John Schellnhuber, architect Shigeru Ban, and other members of the high-level roundtable of experts for the initiative. They discussed issues like how to make the New European Bauhaus a driver for hope and change, and how the project can act as a bridge between art and technology in a global world.

·         New European Bauhaus 2021 prizes

·         Sign up for the New European Bauhaus newsletter

·         New European Bauhaus Conference

D9.13: Report on attendance at events held by other SCC-01 co-ordinators 5

The deliverable D9.13: Report on attendance at events held by other SCC-01 co-ordinators 5 was submitted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, with contributions from LCCC, TK, MAI, MP, SB, SMO, VORU, and R2M in May 2021. The executive summary of the deliverable is available below and the full deliverable at the end for download:

“+CityxChange actively pursues synergies with other relevant EU platforms and projects, facilitating collaboration and exchanging good practices.

This series of reports describes the participation and lessons learned by +CityxChange partners in events organised by other SCC01 projects, the Board of Coordinators and SCALE Secretariat, SET-Plan Action 3.2, the Smart Cities Marketplace (SCM), EERA Joint Programme Smart Cities, and other European networks during the fifth six-month period of the project M25-M30.

This report is Deliverable 9.13 of the +CityxChange Task 9.2 on Extra-Project Cooperation through other SCC01 projects and EU platforms, in Work Package 9 “Inter-Project Collaboration and Clustering”. Some general content is repeated from the previous D9.10, especially on longer running collaborations and background information. This report complements Deliverable D9.12 “Report on Intra-Project Collaboration Including Study Visits and Peer to Peer Workshops 5”.”

D9.12: Report on Intra-Project Collaboration Including Study Visits and Peer-to-Peer Workshops 5

The deliverable D9.12: Report on Intra-Project Collaboration Including Study Visits and Peer-to-Peer Workshops 5 was submitted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, with contributions from LCCC, TK, MAI, MP, SB, SMO, and VORU in May 2021. The executive summary of the deliverable is available below and the full deliverable at the end for download:

“This report provides an overview of the study visits, peer-to-peer workshops, and other intra-project learning activities performed by the Lighthouse and Follower Cities and the other partners in +CityxChange, between 1 November 2020 and 30 April 2021 (M25-30).

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 (D9.12) is complemented by D9.13: Report on attendance at events held by other SCC-01 co-ordinators 5. Some general content is repeated from the previous D9.9: Report on Intra-Project Collaboration, including study visits and peer-to-peer workshops 4.”

D4.4: Limerick DPEB Implementation Guide 1

The deliverable D4.4: Limerick DPEB Implementation Guide 1 was submitted by MPOWER, with contributions from LCCC, IESRD, ESB, ESBN, SE, and GKIN in May 2021. The executive summary of the deliverable is available below and the full deliverable at the end for download:

“This report details the first draft of the implementation of the Limerick Distributed Positive Energy Block in the form of the guide that summarizes the results and insights of the work on implementation of the DPEB in Limerick after 2 years of the +CityxChange project. The final version (Report D4.11) will be produced at the end of DPEB implementation in Limerick and will be used as a reference for replication.

The Guide will be used as a reference for an update of the implementation plan. It will also be used to some extent to assess the progress of the execution of the plan so far. In addition, the report will be a useful source of information on how to adapt and find solutions to achieve the project goals in a changing environment and situation on the ground.

Preparation for implementation includes the development of an energy profile of the selected block of buildings with an assessment of the potential for energy efficiency improvements. Measures can be divided into Operational with no or very little cost, Shallow retrofit interventions that do not require large financial investments, such as the improvement of air tightness with simple measures like sealing, weather-stripping, and door sweeps, and Deep renovation with big initial cost that produces higher savings.

The integration of Renewable Energy Sources in the form of photovoltaic power plants on the roofs of buildings achieves increased energy independence and reduces overall individual energy costs. All these measures defined by the Energy Efficiency Plan are aimed at improving the energy efficiency of buildings and ultimately reduce the energy demand of a PEB.

It is then necessary to provide an additional independent source of electricity in order to fully cover local needs and reduce dependence on the supply of energy from the external network. This source is the hydrokinetic turbine that will be placed in the River Shannon and connected to the Community Grid System. LCCC is investigating the use of council owned land in flood risk zones as potential sites for PV to be operated by a Renewable Energy Community.

To achieve the required annual positive balance at the energy block level for the Positive Energy Block, other elements are needed. One of those is the establishment of the Community Grid System infrastructure based on advanced ICT solutions, which will enable two-way exchange of energy and information between buildings within the Energy Block.

A very important part of the implementation is the engagement of the key stakeholders, Citizens, Building Owners and Prosumers. The success of the project relies on that in many ways.”

D7.8: Data Collection and Management Guideline Report

The deliverable D7.8: Data Collection and Management Guideline Report was submitted by Future Analytics Consulting, with contributions from NTNU, LCCC, TK, MAI, MP, SB, SMO, VORU, IESRD, POW, EAP, UL, R2M, and ISOCARP in May 2021. The executive summary of the deliverable is available below and the full deliverable at the end for download:

“Task 7.4 sets out the requirement to create practical recommendations and guideline reports which detail, analyse and interpret the aggregated data collected during the M&E process, and deliver technical recommendations related to the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), energy, community, mobility, environmental and regulatory interventions implemented in the project. Deliverable 7.5 provided initial guidelines for these processes to which future iterations of the report would be structured. The guidelines provided in D7.5 were refined in this document to develop a framework for the evaluation of project activities and interventions, and set out a way to report on the feedback and provide actionable guidelines and recommendations.

The implementation of project interventions and initiatives generates data that is captured by project partners. Through the KPI framework developed for the project, partners are able to capture specifically defined quantitative KPI-related data that would suit the requirements in the calculation of the KPI. The consistent capturing and sharing of data to the Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting Tool (MERT) enables accurate capturing and processing of quantitative KPI data which, alongside broader quantitative, qualitative and experiential data collected throughout the overall project work, is used in the analysis and derivation of insights.

Mainly, partners will be using the manual data upload process through the individual interface of each KPI in the MERT. This might cause additional workload for partners until the automated process has been enabled. A limited number of partners currently share data through the automated process using Application Programming Interface (API) connections between partner and MERT servers. The way data is shared is not only dependent on the type of data available, but also on when the data is available. Uncertainty relating to the sharing and availability of data is being worked on.

A first level of insights derived from project data is based on the analysis of the KPI monitoring data, compared to the baseline situation and the expected and targeted impact for the indicator. The comparison of these points makes it possible to assess and track the indicators’ performance over time to identify trends, track growth, and highlight significant changes, from which quantitative insights can be formulated. The insights drawn from the data are then used to formulate recommendations on M&E topics such as data monitoring, data modelling, evaluation of the expected impact, performance of the indicator, and technical points regarding the implementation of a particular indicator.

To get a better understanding of the overall impact of project activities or interventions it is important to have partners’ feedback and input that describe the quantitative data and other impacts or results achieved. Feedback will be sourced from partners through various processes, including feedback forms, interviews, learning sessions, informal discussions, and the review of relevant project documentation. The monitoring data will be used together with the additional information provided by the project partners and the intervention results documented in formal project deliverables, to derive insight and inform recommendations. As data capturing and management using online ICT systems and tools such as the +CityxChange MERT and Smart Cities Marketplace (SCM) (formerly known as the Smart Cities Information System (SCIS)) Self Reporting Tool (SRT) will continue throughout and beyond the project lifecycle, it is important to consider the best possible way of integration and interoperability between these systems. Seamless interoperability (as documented in Deliverable 1.31: Report and catalogue on the ICT data integration and interoperability) will ensure efficient use of the available systems. In support of this ideal, the MERT will be reviewed periodically to determine whether all functionalities are still fit for purpose. In addition, other tools such as the +CxC Decision Support Tool (DST) and the SRT will be reviewed alongside the MERT to determine the level of possible interoperability and ease of use for the systems.

The ongoing sharing and analysis of data, engagement with partners, and use of data management and modelling tools will result in suggestions for improvement in efficiency of execution and processes being generated. The extraction of insights and development of recommendations are therefore not only based on quantitative data, but also the coherent insight and additional validating information informed by it.

Ongoing collaboration between Work Packages 7, 8, 9 and other partners will refine a framework for the accumulation of quantitative and qualitative data and information. The framework will set out the process for the identification of project activities to be evaluated, and demonstrate the evaluation procedures (feedback forms, workshops, interviews, informal interactive group discussions, review of relevant project documentation) that can be applied in the evaluation process. The application of the framework will ensure a collaborative methodology to analyse and interpret the evaluation of project activities to enable the extraction of useful insights and recommendations to inform future decision-making in the project. This framework development is described in this report.”

Javier Burón: CROSSROADS EUROPE Dialogue | Virtual strategies for citizen participation

April 14, 2021

CROSSROADS EUROPE Dialogue: Virtual strategies for citizen participation

Crossroads Europe aims at fostering cross-cutting dialogue about the EU, the challenges facing it and its future through a series of offline events dedicated to main forms of organized civil society and policy makers. Javier Burón (Collaborative) was invited to present + CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook together with Andrés Pereira de Lucena Decidim’s coordinator. The session was followed by a dialogue of the two participants about digital citizen participation under the context of participatory democracy in the European Union.

Andy Bäcker: Sestao as an Example of Concrete Actions in Circular Economy

Andy Bäcker presented Sestao’s urban regeneration project through the European + CityxChange program to create smart cities. With this, the European Union has proposed that by 2025 there will be 100 districts that produce more energy than they consume. In the program, the Basque city is the only Spanish representative.

In Sestao they have proposed that already in 2023 a series of buildings in the city produce more energy than they consume. And, for this, they have launched a project called Red de Calor . With this project, this series of buildings will be heated with two biomass boilers and a third auxiliary gas boiler. Some of them, those already connected, have gone from a very poor energy rating to a maximum.

The intention of the Biscayan municipality is to increase the number of buildings connected to this heat network and with other renewable sources, such as photovoltaic panels, take advantage of the residual heat from the AcelorMittal steel plant, or thermal solar panels with which the heat of the summer to take advantage of it during the cold months.

Other options contemplated in Sestao are the creation of solar gardens to take advantage of the electricity they produce to power the buildings that are entering the project. In addition, the use of vegetation allows the decontamination of the soil.

Within the European project, other objectives are pursued, apart from energy efficiency, such as involving citizens, sensorization or monitoring of water, energy or air quality consumption, sustainable mobility, or the installation of chargers. electric vehicles.

Finally, in Sestao , commitments have been signed such as: carbon neutrality by 2050, strategies to make the city more sustainable, the Covenant of Mayors to reduce CO 2 by 2030, or the Urban Agenda, now in the process of being drawn up, and the creation of energy communities for self-consumption.

D5.3: Campus Microgrid Model Prototype

The deliverable 5.3: Campus Microgrid Model Prototype was submitted by NTNU, ABB, POW & TE with contributions from NTNU and TK in April 2021. The executive summary of the deliverable is available below and the full deliverable at the end for download:

+CityxChange (Positive City Exchange) is a research and innovation smart city project, where cities experiment to integrate smart positive energy solutions. Through the use of digital services (e.g., smart automation), the quality of life for and together with the citizens shall be improved, more energy produced than consumed (e.g., Positive Energy Blocks), and experiences with cities across Europe exchanged to learn faster together. In this regard, Positive Energy Blocks are a cornerstone on integrating renewables, introducing smart coordination of energy assets (e.g., energy storage, solar PV and EVs) among buildings, and promote a consumer-centric energy transition in smart cities.

As part of the +CityxChange project, this report details the work carried out to optimise, automatize, smart control, and exploit the energy flexibility potentials of buildings within a microgrid. Through enabling smart operations and real-time control of the buildings’ energy management systems, the objective is to contribute to the realisation of local energy markets and Positive Energy Block (PEB). A well-functioning PEB will require smart automatization and ensure that on-site local energy production is efficiently used by activating flexibility assets or mechanisms (e.g., demand response, storage, load shedding or shifting, etc.) to balance renewable production (e.g., solar PV) or potentially react to signals (e.g., prices) of an ‘intra-PEB’ market between the participating buildings and the wider microgrid. This report, deliverable D5.3 of the +CityxChange project, details the work related to implementing smart flexibility in buildings in the context of a microgrid by applying it to a real-life case (NTNU campus microgrid). Increasing the energy flexibility in the microgrid brings more synergy between production and consumption, and therefore, contributes to move NTNU towards a PEB. The development of this demonstrator and related work activities were as follows:

1. Estimating flexibility potentials from two energy assets in buildings. We provide a framework along with its theoretical foundation on how to estimate the flexibility potentials and the benefits of smart control to: reduce energy demand, make energy supply-demand operations more efficient, and enable the possibility to react to external signals (e.g., electricity prices from a common energy market). Some of these frameworks will also be used to detect flexibility in D5.6 and D5.11.

2. Requirements and methods to enable smart control of assets. We were deploying this demonstrator in a real-life setting needed coordination among multiple software platforms. Here we combined new software (model created by NTNU in the programming language Python), the deployment of ABB OPTIMAX (Virtual Machine), and the buildings’ existing ICT management system.

3. Demonstrating smart control of energy assets into the NTNU campus microgrid. By developing an automated optimisation model connected to live data sources and regional energy market along with forecasting features (i.e. a rolling horizon approach for scheduling), we demonstrate the operations of two buildings in the NTNU campus, more specifically, smart control one heat panel in a ventilation system and one heat tank in a waterborne system.

4. Replicability and scalability to other energy assets, applications and services. Based on the campus’s Electrical Vehicles, an analysis of their flexibility value and smart charging potentials is outlined.

5. Based on the campus microgrid analysis, this report provides a predictive assessment of how the inter-PEB market can work in Trondheim between multiple PEBs. This presents various scenarios and results in the design of the common energy market.

6. As part of the solutions and demonstrator potentials done in this deliverable, a summary of methods to deploy this on follower cities or interested stakeholders is summarised (the optimisation models as software are made available as open source).

Six innovative ‘Energy Positive’ projects to start in Limerick City this summer

Businesses, Community Groups and Students among those funded by the +CityxChange project.

Six innovative ‘energy positive’ projects are to begin in Limerick City this summer following an open call for novel energy ideas in the heart of Limerick’s Georgian Neighbourhood.

The +CityxChange (Positive City Exchange) project is working to develop areas of “positive energy” in Limerick City which produce more energy than they consume.

Limerick City and County Council is a lead partner on the +CityxChange along with the city of Trondheim in Norway and is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

Take Control of Your Energy was the open innovation call stream to fund projects that test ideas to reduce the amount of energy used in the city, and increase the energy generated from innovative sources. The teams will demonstrate different possibilities for changing the way we use energy in the city.

One of the funded projects, Greening the Smart Grid, a collaboration between the Urban Coop, Community Power and Clean Tech Energy will be using a solar powered microgrid to extend the growing season on local allotments.

Bill Kelly of the project team said: “We are really excited to raise awareness in Limerick of the tools we all have at our disposal to enable everyone to join in the decarbonisation of society.”

St Michael’s Rowing Club (SMRC) is another group which received funding to progress the installation of PV Panels and batteries on the roof of the club. They want to experiment with using solar power to charge their launches and training events on the river.

Andrew O’Connell of SMRC said: “We’re looking forward to installing the new PV Panels and making a move away from petrol usage to clean energy in our club. St. Michael’s excels at responding to the big challenges, and this is going to be really positive for the club and the city.”

Clean Air Enthusiast Alan Bell has been funded to develop air quality monitors to attach to vehicles and bicycles in the City Centre, to build up a detailed picture of the air quality in the city throughout the day.

Alan said: “We want to help Limerick people to understand more about the way air quality in the city is affected by things like transport and home heating, giving them the power to make informed decisions for the future.”

As part of the Open Innovation Call, +CityxChange leaders from Limerick City and County Council, University of Limerick, Colaborativa, Smart MPower, and Space Engagers will be working with the project teams to develop their ideas for implementation over the summer.

Project TitleSynopsis
Greening the Smart GridTo energise the citizenry of Limerick City to become actively involved in the energy transition and food production in the Georgian district and its environs – short projects and hands-on growing food in an EMS-enabled microgrid.
PowerGenerationPowerGeneration is a public participatory ‘Maker’ workshop which aims to foster public engagement and empowered community climate actions related to energy production and consumption. The workshop demonstrates and facilitates participatory small-scale 12V power generation to ‘make power’ together.
Georgian Heat ExchangeTo recover waste heat from the café/ restaurant on the ground floor for use in the café and the apartments above.
Solar CarportTo install a solar charged carport to generate clean, renewable energy. This energy can then be used to charge electric vehicles parked inside while any excess generation can be used elsewhere on site.
Mapping the Air Quality MicroclimateTo map localised air quality levels in and around the Georgian Quarter. We would like to provide visibility of how air quality varies in areas of high chimney density and weather conditions to encourage people to make different, healthier, fuel choices.
Petrol to PV: Decarbonising the Shannon RiverTo install PV Panels and battery storage on the roof of the rowing club. The energy gathered will be used by the club directly and for charging lithium ion batteries. The stored energy will then be used in training launches and events on the River Shannon, decarbonising an important Limerick amenity and reducing petrol use.

Students from Colegio Kueto visit the District Heating of Txabarri

6th grade students from Colegio Kueto visit the District Heating of Txabarri

On March 22, a score of students from the sixth grade year of the Kueto public school in Sestao visited the facilities of the District Heating, or neighborhood heating promoted by Sestao Berri in the lower area of Sestao, within the framework of the European energy rehabilitation project EU-GUGLE . This community infrastructure distributes heating and sanitary hot water to four hundred homes in the neighborhood

The schoolchildren, belonging to two classes of that Primary school year, received an initial explanation about this infrastructure outside the facilities, where the neighborhood heating boiler room is located, on the ground floor of the Plaza de Vicente Díez. After the presentation, the schoolchildren took turns entering the interior, where experts from the Tecman company, the design engineering responsible for the development of the District Heating, explained in detail the operation of the facility to the schoolchildren. The students were able to see up close and understand the operation of the biomass and gas boilers, the biomass silo, the discharge area, the management computer system and other elements that make up this neighborhood heating. The schoolchildren were very interested in the visit, which was reflected in numerous questions on his part. Tecman has made a video in which he explains how this infrastructure works.