Demo Project 5: Playground

Accelerate the future: Accelerate change and disruptive solutions through innovation playgrounds.

Vision (DP05) in a nutshell

DP05 has implemented ‘innovation playgrounds’ which are used as crowdsourcing projects that activate local stakeholder knowledge and resources and contribute to city transformation. Ideas and solutions generated by local communities and stakeholders have been tested in real life through experimentation in the identified demonstration areas. The innovation playgrounds facilitate local initiatives through open activities such as festivals, city engagement weeks, support for hackathons, and youth energy-related programmes. DP05 also deploys emerging renewable energy sources (RES) so that innovators can connect and test disruptive technologies in the distributed positive energy blocks (DPEBs).  

Problem addressed & specific objective

Successful development and roll-out of Positive Energy Blocks/Districts (PEB/Ds) requires open innovation, combining knowledge and experience of a wide range of different actors. In many instances, communication failures occur between stakeholders, due to the complexity of the projects and the fact that stakeholders who do not have a direct financial stake may be overlooked or discounted. As a result, different types of stakeholders do not have the same opportunity to be heard, to participate and to take ownership of positive energy blocks, districts and cities. This approach becomes particularly problematic when – as in the case of PEB/D – a holistic approach to stakeholder engagement and value generation is required, since aspects of spatial, social, environmental and urban value, other than finance, can play an important role in regulating and incentivising upgrades to the buildings, energy and mobility systems infrastructure.

Shared value creation for communities, individual citizens, and public and private sector stakeholders, requires integration between the design of the built environment, individuals’ quality of life, the community’s social structure, and business development. Urban development needs to be linked more closely to the development of financial sustainability as a consequence of social improvements, and deliver new economic models to counter the growing social and economic inequality to ensure a sustainable business. 

Related +CityxChange solutions

Innovation playground:

An ‘innovation playground’ 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. Here, citizens and local businesses can test their own ideas to inspire a movement towards positive energy districts at scale across the city, and help co-create the future they want to live in. 

Positive Energy Champions Framework :

The Positive Energy Champions Framework contains guidance on how to initiate a Positive Energy Champion Network. A Positive Energy Champion Network will comprise a network of local influencers who can help translate the ideas, plans and innovations associated with +CityxChange implementation and the clean energy transition into local knowledge and actions.

Recommendations for cities: 

  • Implement a collaborative culture with citizens and other local stakeholders, combining relevant digital platform(s) with physical engagements.
  • Upskill Local Communities to maximize impact of +CxC Outputs
  • Use a co creation model to allot cost appropriately and effectively for retrofitting projects.