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)
Photos by Christina Piirainen (City of Turku)