#4 Newsletter

Re-shaping our events and activities as a response to the COVID-19 crisis

Learning sessions among project partners and cities

Due to the challenges posed by COVID-19, our Learning Workshop which was initially planned to be an in-person meeting in Písek had to be converted into short online sessions. The learning sessions covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from investment pipelines to developments and pathways of implementing Positive Energy Blocks (PEBs) in each city. The Investments workshop was intended to investigate and mitigate the impacts on investment strategy in +CityxChange of the COVID-19 crisis and consequent economic fallout. This was the first of a series of online investment workshops, to be followed up by city-dedicated workshops. During the Pathways to PEBs learning sessions, each city gave a short overview of the possible PEB areas in the city, their technical conditions, and future challenges. Moreover, two successful webinars have been held. 
1) Bold City Vision Webinar. On Friday, 24 April 2020, representatives of Asker Municipality in Norway presented how they are implementing the Bold City Vision Framework developed as part of the EU-funded innovation project +CityxChange.
2) Citizen Participation Playbook - A road to meaningful engagementOn 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.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to have full access to our webinars
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to have full access to our webinars
News from the project and our cities
Citizen Engagement Solution Booklet

In cooperation with the EU Smart Cities and Information System (SCIS) and the IRIS project, +CityxChange co-authored the ‘Citizen Engagement Solution Booklet’. It provides a summary of the management framework, primarily written for cities. It seeks to reduce the effort, speed up the process, strengthen quality and confidence in outputs, align across disciplines, and generally prepare a city to engage the market to acquire a solution. 

Download the booklet
From nearly-Zero to Plus Energy Buildings
Plus Energy Buildings are already achievable but there is a need for an attractive business model ensuring the reliability of the calculated performances, high indoor environmental quality, cost-effectiveness of the proposed solutions and reduced extra-over costs in comparison to a standard building available on the market. In this regard, the European Commission is supporting new solutions that aim to increase the viability of PEB, as demonstrated by the following EU research projects on the topic.
Learn more about +CxC strategies
Innovation Atelier Bilbao held its first workshop with Lighthouse and Follower cities
Our Follower city, Sestao, exchanged experiences and best practices with other H2020 Lighthouse and Follower cities in Spain. The workshop, led by the Energy Cluster, had an outstanding panel of representatives from REPLICATE (Fomento de San Sebastián, Tecnalia), SMARTENCITY (Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council, VISESA, Tecnalia), STARDUST (Pamplona City Council, CENER), +CityxChange (Sestao Berri) and ATELIER (Bilbao City Council) who, accompanied by a large number of attendees, presented the smart city vision of their respective cities. 
Learn more about the event
Celebrating solidarity across EU Cities with #CityFromMyWindow
Since March, lockdowns have been reinforced by numerous states in Europe. The SCC01 projects launched a social media campaign in April called #CityFromMyWindow to promote solidarity among citizens. More than 50 cities were involved in this initiative. In the process, 511 mentions of the hashtag were gathered, with an audience of more than 87,000 Twitter users.
Other influential social media accounts like
 EU_ENVEUClimateAction and SmartCityexpo joined the SCC01 community in this solidarity wave.
Learn more about the initiative
What's new in our Knowledge Base
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D2.2 Toolbox for the design of PEB including e-mobility and distributed energy sources
This report D2.2 of the 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 are part of the toolbox which shall guide the creation of Positive Energy Blocks (PEB). IES, Powel and Mpower contributed with three different tools covering several tasks of a distributed energy system.
D3.3 Framework for Innovation Playground
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 related 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​.
‘’Co-creating Positive Energy Districts, with Integrated Planning and Design, a Common Energy Market & CommunityxChange’’
Project partner news
NTNU: PhD position on Social Innovation and Sustainability

The research will build on the work that has already been carried out in the project +CityxChange, in close cooperation with the other Norwegian municipalities in the Sustainability Pledge. The fellow is expected to contribute to designing, testing, comparing and analysing a wide range of collaboration and participation methods from +CityxChange in Trondheim. 
Click here for more information
IOTA Workshop: Data Driven Energy Services. How to engage Consumers?
IOTA presented their solutions and references of +CityxChange in the workshop organised by the European Commission, namely DG CONNECT and DG ENER,  on Data-Driven Energy Services – how to engage consumers. The workshop aimed at showcasing the experiences of H2020 projects and their approach to the GDPR requirements; understanding how to engage consumers in the new energy solutions, hearing the views of the Energy Communities on the possibilities opened by the Clean Energy Package, and the role played by IT companies compared to the energy companies in providing these services. 
Learn more about the event
IES supporting the creation of Positive Energy Block in Limerick's Georgian Innovation District 
The IES team began their analysis with the creation of an intelligent Community Information Model (iCIM) covering the whole Georgian Innovation District. Using the iCD tool, they were able to create the model very quickly by importing data from a shapefile by Limerick City & County Council to enrich existing data from Open Street Maps, together with other available socio-economic data. This provided an initial top-level understanding of CO2 production and energy consumption/distribution at a district level.
Learn more about the process
Mission Innovation (MI) Champions: Annemie Wyckmans
Our project coordinator, Annemie Wyckmans, was awarded as the Mission Innovation Champion for Norway at the MI Champions Awards Ceremony. During the webinar “Promoting clean energy innovation in a post-COVID world” on 12 June, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, recognised an individual from each participating MI member country and one representing the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) as an MI Champion.
Learn more about the event
Virtual Planning Participation: Hype or New Normal?
ISOCARP Institute, NTNU and, will cooperate on the online debate hosted by ISOCARP
 on behalf of +CityxChange as well as authors of the SCIS Solutions Booklet and Citizen Participation Playbook. 
Tuesday, 14 July 2020
12:00 – 1:30 PM UTC (2:00 – 3:30 PM CEST)

Click here for more information on the registration procedure and the event itself.

Struggling with the lockdown? #SmartCitiesHelp
How can the brightest ideas from EU cities be collected and made easily available to citizens? The answer is #SmartCitiesHelp, the dedicated social media campaign launched by the cluster of the 17 H2020 European Smart Cities projects.

Join our challenge! #CityFromMyWindow
This initiative has been launched in cooperation with the cluster of H2020 Smart Cities projects. We invite citizens to be part of our challenge. Take a picture – or many if you want – of your city from the windows of your own house and share it on social media together with by the hashtag #CityFromMyWindow

SmartEnCity Academy: records of lesson 3, now available
3rd Lesson, ''Where are we now? City analysis and diagnosis'' was taking place on the 4th of June with a presentation of the Covenant of Mayors from Alis Daniela Torres, Climate Action and Smart Cities - Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Expert as well as an introduction of SmartEnCity's Energy Balance Tool and practical insights of Lighthouse City Sonderborg and Follower City Asenovgrad. Missed the this third lesson? No worries, find recordings here.

REMOURBAN finishes with Best Practices e-book
The REMOURBAN Best Practices e-Book is focused on the Urban Regeneration Model (URM) which can be considered the most important result of the project. The e-Book is conceived as a methodological guide for replication in other cities. Download the REMOURBAN Best Practices e-Book about the Urban Regeneration Model 

MakingCity Event Calendar
MakingCity has implemented a new tool on their website. An online calendar to help you identifying and attending all the key events on #urban #energy #efficiency scheduled for the upcoming weeks and months. Check it out!

ATELIER - Cities4Zero Bold City Vision Methodology
''Cities4ZERO: Overcoming Carbon Lock-in in Municipalities through Smart Urban Transformation Processes''. This paper delves into how strategic processes can help to integrate diverse disciplines and stakeholders when facing urban decarbonization and presents Cities4ZERO, a step-by-step methodology for local authorities, able to guide them through the process of developing the most appropriate plans and projects for an effective urban transition; all from an integrated, participatory and cross-cutting planning approach. Read the publication.

MatchUp Press Release ''Can we deliver a Green Deal?'' 
An online panel session and debate featuring city leaders and experts from Milan, Utrecht, Skopje, Antalya and London will examine the most effective initiatives to achieve climate neutrality and a green recovery. Hosted as part of European Sustainable Energy Week 2020 – 10 June 2020. Learn more.

IRIS Smart City: Publication ''An Investigation on the Feasibility of Near-Zero and Positive Energy Communities''
Near Zero Energy and Positive Energy communities are expected to play a significant part in EU’s strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Within this context, the work presented in this IRIS open-access paper aims to investigate the feasibility of (a) a new-built positive energy neighbourhood; and (b) the retrofit of an existing neighbourhood to near zero energy performance in the city of Alexandroupolis, Greece. Read the publication. 
Stay updated
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And if you are not subscribed to our newsletter yet, do so by clicking here.
Check out the latest +CityxChange outcomes in our 'Knowledge base' on our website. Among other deliverables, you can find the 'Citizen Participation Playbook', 'Framework for Bold City Vision, Guidelines, and Incentive Schemes', and the 'Report on the Flexibility Market'. Read more.
Coordination team:
Annemie Wyckmans - Project coordinator
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Dirk Ahlers - Project manager
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Lighthouse City representatives:
Mihai Bilauca - Lighthouse City Coordinator, 
Head of Digital Strategy and EU Programmes, Limerick City and County Council

Silja Rønningsen - Lighthouse City Coordinator,
Trondheim Kommune
Find out more
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 824260.