The +CityxChange Horizon 2020 project is focused on the clean energy transition of cities, positioning this within a broader UN SDG context. The +CityxChange approach places people at the heart of the transition towards decarbonisation, where community-led open innovation and co-creation activities and processes are linked to city governance structures in order to bring about change.
Decarbonising our society and economy, alongside addressing climate change and biodiversity loss, are societal challenges with accelerating impacts on peoples’ day-to-day lives. Feeling powerless to meaningfully act is individually felt. Providing pathways and infrastructure to empower citizens, to enable individual action and to encourage collective responses to address local and global challenges is vital to realising more sustainable places and ways of life.
The CommunityxChange frameworks developed in +CityxChange describe a mechanism to enable the co-creation of the future we want to live in. The frameworks have been designed to put in place a platform for innovation which places people at its core. The integrated concepts can initiate positive cycles of collaboration, where obstacles and opportunities experienced by people and communities can be acted on in a meaningful way.
The frameworks which are designed for cities can be localised to a range of contexts. Though focussed on the clean energy transition and the creation of Distributed Positive Energy Blocks they can be adapted to suit broader transitions towards the UN SDGs. The frameworks are designed to leverage existing resources, knowledge, networks, skills, infrastructure and to make participation meaningful for people through top-down and bottom-up processes of engagement.
Full details of all frameworks are published on the +CityxChange Knowledge Base and are summarised as follows:
- D3.1: Framework for Bold City Vision, Guidelines, and Incentive Schemes (SDG City Transition Framework) – describes a process to create a city vision and to identify goals which places the clean energy transition within the cities’ overarching planning and management processes, all located within a broader UN SDG sustainable development context. This deliverable, authored by Trondheim Kommune, has been selected for the EU H2020 Innovation Radar Platform as an innovation to watch.
- D3.2: Delivery of the Citizen Participation Playbook – contains best practice guidance for citizen engagement; a catalogue of physical and online engagement tools; and four participatory processes for co-design in the clean energy transition including Co-design of Urban Interventions, Collaborative Legislation, Participatory Budgeting, and Citizen Proposals.
- D3.3: Framework for Innovation Playgrounds – describes a spatial and socio-economic framework where physical and virtual places and innovation activities are assembled into a coherent whole, an Innovation Playground, where Innovation Playground journeys enable collaboration and empower citizens to innovate to address challenges that matter to them.
- D3.4: Framework for DPEB Learning and Education – includes a set of principles and a dynamic portfolio of activities on the +CityxChange website which integrates youth learning programmes at different age levels with active ageing society programmes.
- D3.5: Framework for a Positive Energy Champion Network – describes a campaign to initiate a network of people who can help translate the ideas, plans and innovations associated with the clean energy transition into local knowledge and actions. The Champions are co-innovators who explore, ideate, design and diffuse changes in behaviour to enable the city’s clean energy transition.
- D3.6: Framework for DPEB Innovation Labs – describes a framework for the implementation of dedicated centres for digital innovation within a city, located physically and conceptually within the +CityxChange Innovation Playground and where its operation can become manifest. A DPEB Innovation Lab comprises a programme of activities and events, and a network of virtual and physical locations connected to a citizen observatory system where citizens can make observations on local environments using mobile digital devices. The DPEB Innovation Lab enables new collaborations between government, academia, business, and civil society to meet the innovation agenda of a particular place defined through its Bold City Vision process. Its operation contributes to a positive cycle of collaboration, where citizens’ creativity and knowledge of their place can be channelled to effect change. The DPEB Innovation Lab is a point of intersection of the CommunityxChange frameworks and describes a physical space for innovation and co-creation, connected to a digital space promoting sustainable digitalisation and lowering the threshold to participation.
Placemaking as a concept can, in addition to enhancing the natural and built environment, embrace culture, diversity, inclusion, sustainability, creativity and beautiful ways of life. The CommunityxChange concepts developed through +CityxChange can support the aims of the New European Bauhaus to create sustainable, beautiful and inclusive places through co-creation, place-specific community-led open innovation and the initiation of positive cycles of collaboration.