In the framework of EU week of regions and cities, Dijon Metropole together with EDF and Brussels City will host an online workshop – A fair energy transition: developing PEDs in deprived areas.
They will demonstrate their PEDs projects in the Fontaine d’Ouche district in Dijon and in the Northern Districts of Brussels, as partner cities in the framework of H2020 project RESPONSE. The workshop will focus on the social aspect and the integration of territories in the energy transition.
On September 19th 2022, the RESPONSE project hosted the second webinar, RESPONSE – Local Energy Supply Low Carbon & High Share of Renewables. The webinar aims to increase public awareness of RESPONSE and to create new links between organizations and enable learning and knowledge exchange processes, especially between Lighthouse and Fellow cities. The webinar was attended by 25 participants from different organisations.
Partners from all over Europe and Finland travelled to Turku in June 2022 to attend the RESPONSE Turku Ecosystem Meeting. The meeting, the first of its kind was co-hosted by the partners City of Turku, Turku UAS, VTT and Turku Energia. The meeting brought together partners from the two Lighthouse Cities, Turku and Dijon, and from the Fellow Cities, Brussels, Zaragoza, Botoșani, Severdonetsk and Gabrovo.
The first day of the three-day event was dedicated to the project’s local citizen participation activities and knowledge transfer. The city of Turku’s climate plan and the RESPONSE mentors’ actions were presented as well as how citizens, such as students and the Positive Energy District (PED) residents, encourage others to reduce their energy usage and impact on the environment. The knowledge transfer also included a panel discussion in which the topic of joint transformation and collaboration between the city and its citizens was discussed.
On the second day, the guests learned about the various energy solutions implemented in the PED area. The presentation topics ranged from decarbonizing electrical grid network to increased renewable energy solution generation on buildings. For example, bi-facial solar panels are going to be installed on the roof of the brand new Tyyssija building that will contain also several other solutions designed and developed in the RESPONSE project. The electricity produced by the solar panels is used in Tyyssija and in other buildings that will be connected to a microgrid. The leftover energy will be stored in batteries, allowing a more flexible use of surplus energy.
To familiarize themselves with the PED area and its Positive Energy Buildings (PEB), the partners enjoyed a guided PED tour. The PED area, is located in the student housing area called “Student Village”, owned and maintained by partner TYS. During the guided tour, the partners got to know the history of the PED area which dates back to the 60’s and visit the machine room of the Tyyssija building.
On the last day the e-mobility, city information and air quality solutions were presented. An important part of the project is to encourage citizens to choose mobility means that consume less fossil fuels, such as bicycling and electric cars. The fossil fuels also affect the air quality in the cities, the air quality’s effect on people’s health and wellbeing in significant ways. To make the air quality issues more visible and to further support alternative means of transport, an app for choosing the healthiest, greenest and least hilly route is being developed within the project.
The meeting made it possible for the entire Turku Ecosystem, the lead partner, as well as for the Dijon and Fellow city representatives to get a concrete picture of the progress of the RESPONSE activities in the Turku PED.
Text by Heidi Heikkilä (Turku UAS) & Sini Lamoureux (City of Turku)
The city of Brussels hosted the first RESPONSE meetings attended by 35 participants from RESPONSE city administrators and partners on March 7-8, 2022. The programme includes a series of workshops on replication roadmaps and stakeholder engagement, steering committee meetings, and a site visit at the Brussel PED area located in the Northern District.
During the first day, the participants were received at the Brussels city hall. RINA Consulting facilitated the workshop on replication roadmaps where the Fellow Cities (FC) of Gabrovo (Bulgaria), Brussels (Belgium), Botosani (Romania), Zaragosa (Spain) and Ptolemaida (Greece) [online] presented the progress and barriers encountered in developing their replication roadmaps. Common issues are about citizen engagement, institutional complexities, lack of financial resources, inefficient project management, lack of information about the innovative elements, and further aggravated by the COVID 19 pandemic. Lighthouse City (LC) representatives Hadrien Rouchette from Dijon (France) and Olena Zinchuk and Sini Lamoureux from Turku (Finland) were also present to guide the FCs on the roadblocks encountered and offered support in the development process.
After the workshop, the participants had the privilege to have a guided tour inside the city hall presenting the history of the city and how the iconic heritage building transformed to what it is today. Fabian Maingain, the Alderman of Smart City of Brussels, welcomed all the guest in a toast in support of the PED initiatives co-created by the European cities involved in the RESPONSE project. He also sent a message of solidarity from the project partners from the Ukrainian partner city of Severodonetsk who could not join the meeting.
On the second day, the participants attended the RESPONSE steering committee meeting and visited the future PED area of Brussels located in the city’s Northern District.
The participants were enthusiastic to learn about the different PED related initiatives being implemented by private, public and non-governmental organizations. The private-led initiative ZIN building is a multi-functional building currently under construction which will be energy neutral and strongly focused on material circularity. The so-called “Contrat de Quartier” (Neighborhood contract) is a unique city instrument by the Brussels Region that aims at improving the living environment in precarious neighborhoods with a fixed budget and schedule. One of these projects that is currently being implemented in the Northern District was presented by the City of Brussels. It includes the renovation of building stock, redevelopment of green spaces and local activities that promote social cohesion. One of these social cohesion projects was presented in greater detail by City Mine(d), a non-profit organization that is starting to mobilise the residents of a social housing estate in the area around energy communities. Chloé Verlinden from City Mine(d) shared her insights on a bottom-approach to raise awareness on energy questions. The walk ended in a lunch at local kitchen serving vegetarian staples.
The afternoon session was dedicated to a workshop on stakeholder and citizen engagement. The representatives from LC and other partners highlighted their initiatives in engaging the citizen and the whole local ecosystem. Focused group discussions were conducted to co-create solutions on the common barriers on engagement, as well as a reflection of the immediate steps that can be taken as soon as the participants went back home to their respective cities.
The assessment of replication potentialities carried out during the first stage of RESPONSE led to the identification of actions to be developed in the city.
The analysis carried out in the first stage of the project highlighted some actions to be taken in line with the overall objective of RESPONSE. One of the most ambitious projects is the revitalization of a 1960’s-built workers neighborhood and its integration within a Positive Energy District framework. Overall, up to 1,350 households in 130 buildings are to be rehabilitated. The rehabilitation consists of installation of highest possible amount of RES generation (photovoltaic) on building level. Also, social measures such as accessibility improvements including up to 107 elevators will be implemented. The measure is supported by the already valuable experiences gained from the revitalization of 17 buildings. The architectural style of the neighborhood is based on blocks with a patio and 3 or 4 portals each one, hence, the implementation is done at a block level. The project will be presented at the end of 2021 and is planned to be executed by 2022.
Text – Breogan Sanchez Photo (Creative Commons Licence)
An important component of Turku’s Positive Energy Block (PEB) – building “Tyyssija” (Eng. “Haven”) is about to enter a new chapter. Starting from January 2022 it will host its very first tenants. “Tyyssija” is one of the Turku Student Village Foundation’s (TYS) many residential buildings located in Turku’s Positive Energy District (PED). TYS was founded in 1966 by the Student Union of the University of Turku, Since then, the Foundation’s mission has been to build, renovate, rent and maintain apartments for students.
The architecture tendering for “Tyyssija” begun in 2017 and in April 2020 the construction was commenced. Identical to the City of Turku, the Foundation aims to be carbon neutral by 2029. Risto Siilos the CEO of TYS points out that the carbon neutrality objective and the synergies supported by RESPONSE were some of the main incentives for the Foundation to join the project. A significant share of the RESPONSE project solutions in Turku either have or will be implemented in the “Tyyssija” building. One of the solutions visible for tenants is the human thermal sensation control system provided by Egain. It envisions indoor sensors, equal in size to a box of matches, installed in all apartments. The sensors will measure and distribute information about relative temperature and humidity levels, thus supporting optimization of indoor temperatures and predictability of temperature changes. Another example are the bifacial solar panels provided by Solar Finland, planned to be installed in spring 2022 on the roof of “Tyyssija” on a flat roof mounting system. This will enable light reflecting from the roof to reach the backside of the solar panel, allowing an even greater generation of solar powered energy. With gym-, restaurant-, grocery store-and office facilities, “Tyyssija” will serve as the heart of the Student Village. The objective of “Tyyssija” is also to improve the tenants’ everyday life and increase a sense of community and multiculturalism. Concrete measures for supporting these objectives are the saunas and shared spaces in “Tyyssija” available for tenants to book. The “Tyyssija” building containing 186 apartments, has risen from the ground and is soon ready to serve as an energy sustainable home for its new tenants.
In 2013, the city of Severodonetsk joined the Covenant of Mayors. To achieve the goals identified by the Covenant of Mayors, in 2015 the city has developed the Severodonetsk Sustainable Energy Action Plan through 2020 (SEAP). The Severodonetsk SEAP through 2020 have been outlined the main ways to achieve the goals stipulated by the obligations of the Covenant of Mayors. Follow Severodonetsk SEAP, energy-efficient measures have been introduced with the attraction of international assistance funds and the city budget. The city is actively involved in national programs and projects aimed at increasing energy efficiency. Monitoring results has shown reducing of CO2 emissions in 2020 in comparison with 2012 thanks to implementation of energy efficiency measures. Severodonetsk SEAP implementation through 2020 as of 01.01.2021, help to reduce CO2 emissions help to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 27.5% in comparison with 2012. This reducing is exceeding the planned reducing provided by Severodonetsk SEAP (according SEAP planed reducing of CO2 emissions was 21.4%).
The first Consortium Plenary Board meeting of the RESPONSE Project was held on 19th October 2021. During this fruitful one-day virtual event, more than 90 attendees discovered the achievements made during the first year of the project and got informed about the ongoing issues. During the morning session, an overview of the ongoing activities within the two Lighthouse cities Turku and Dijon were presented. Then the Fellow cities Ptolomedia, Gabrovo, Botosani, Severodonesk and Brussels presented the ambitions of their replication activities. During the afternoon session, each Work Package leader gave an update on the tasks and deliverables of each Work Package Finally, the project coordinators introduced some ongoing issues and gave an administrative follow-up of the project. This event was a good occasion for the board members to supervise the project progress and decide upon all relevant technical and administrative issues.
Veronique Carrion (Executive Director – Cuisine Mode d’Emploi(s)” and Nadia Murat-Faustin (Côte-d’Or Territorial Delegate and RESPONSE Project Leader – Enedis) signed a five years partnership on 28th October 2021. This signing took place in Dijon’s priority neighbourhood called “Fontaine d’Ouche”. Children will visit Cuisine Mode d’Emploi(s) during school trips where they’ll have the chance to discover Cuisine Mode d’Emploi(s)’s offers. Nadia Murat-Faustin, Côte-d’Or Territorial Delegate and RESPONSE Project Leader – Enedis, said “As the pilot of the RESPONSE project for Enedis, I confirm that by signing this agreement with the association “Cuisine mode d’emploi(s)”, which is located in the Fontaine d’Ouche district, we are concretely enhancing our involvement in the Empowerment (citizen involvement) aspect of the RESPONSE project. Beyond the ecological and energetic aspect of the RESPONSE project, it is important to make RESPONSE an opportunity for each inhabitant of the district in terms of education, training and employment, and this is the very meaning of our action today. We are part of a long-term partnership with Cuisine mode d’emploi throughout the five years of the project and beyond.”
On Tuesday 9th November the City of Brussels and Up4North invited decision makers and various relevant stakeholders to exchange on the set-up of a district heating and cooling network in the Brussels North District. Such a network is identified as an important solution to pave the way to turn the district in a Positive Energy District. Looking into the feasibility, the seminar participants explored the solutions proposed by the lighthouse cities of Turku and Dijon. In a second part, two smaller groups worked on a detailed map of the district and mapped the specific opportunities linked to the district. To further develop concrete solutions, it is clear that a multilevel and multi complex approach is needed. Therefore the third part of the seminar was dedicated to this topic. Thanks to this fruitful exchange, it became clear there are many opportunities to establish a district heating and cooling network. The district is in full transition with many investments and construction works planned in the coming years. All participants agree that these future works need to be mutualised, the time to act is now. After this first exchange vital relationships have been built. The next step is to set up a pilot group to drive a district heating and cooling network, one of the keys to transform the Brussels North District into a Positive Energy District.
In Brussels Response strives to turn the North District into a sustainable neighbourhood with a rich biodiversity and producing more energy than it consumes. To achieve this the project partners aim to set up a district heating and cold (DHC) network in the North District that would allow participants to mutualize the consumption and the production of energy. The seminar organized on the 9th November had the ambition to be the first step in the process to set up a DHC in the North District. It brought together the various stakeholders to:
Get inspired by the best practices in the city of Turku and Dijon
Exchange on the opportunities in the North District today
Dialogue on the need for a common multilevel and multicompetence approach to tackle the complexity of such an endeavour.
Thanks to this fruitful exchange, it is clear there are many opportunities to establish a district heating cold network. The district is in full transition with many investments and works planned in the coming years. All participants agree that future works need to be mutualised, the time to act is now. After this first exchange vital relationships have been build. The next step is to set up a pilot group to drive a district heating-cold network. One thing is clear, if the Brussels North District wants to be transformed into a Positive Energy District, then a district heat and cold network is key.
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