Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, RESPONSE is a 60-month project that addresses the H2020-LC-SC3-2020-EC-ES-SCC call. The RESPONSE consortium is led by European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER, Germany) and supported by Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH, Greece). The consortium has a total of 53 partners.

RESPONSE (Integrated Solutions for Positive Energy and Resilient Cities) has the goal to establish a strategic vision for Smart Cities Energy Transition: Climate-neutral cities by 2050. It aims to turn energy sustainability into an implementable vision by solving the energy tri-lemma (security, equity/affordability, environmental sustainability) at building, block and district levels in smart cities. The project builds upon intelligent integrated and interconnected energy systems coupled with demand-oriented city infrastructures, governance models and services that foster energy sustainability.

In addition to the overall goal, RESPONSE sets 11 Key Objectives that are carefully designed to contribute to Smart Cities Energy Transition: Climate-neutral cities by 2050. The project brings together 8 cities who are active signatories of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) for Climate and Energy Initiative and who share a common vision for accelerating the decarbonisation of their territories; strengthening the capacity of territories to adapt to unavoidable climate change impacts and allowing citizens to access secure, sustainable and affordable energy.

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Lighthouse Cities
During RESPONSE, the two Lighthouse Cities of Turku and Dijon will advance already existing city platforms to further support the operation of smart and resilient cities in the context of climate adaptation and safety risks. The Lighthouse Cities will support services such as smart diagnostics and disaster management or “perturbations” (public events, demonstrations), by sending targeted alerts to their citizens. In parallel the two Lighthouses Cities will share their know-how to other RESPONSE project cities – the Fellow Cities.

Fellow Cities
The Fellow Cities of Brussels, Zaragosa, Botosani, Ptolemaida, Gabrovo and Severodonetsk represent different regions of Europe and different energy systems, climate, building types, financial possibilities and challenges. All Fellow Cities exhibit a long-term commitment to replication activities through their existing policies and strategies.


Kick-off Meeting

The RESPONSE Kick-off Meeting (KoM) was held on 3rd - 4th November 2020. It was implemented virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to extensive participation of the 53 RESPONSE partners, the event gathered distinguished experts - such as Jens Bartholmes, Policy Officer at the European Commission. The cities of Turku and Dijon were further represented by previously developed welcome videos.

The first day of the KoM focused on the cities and their integrated solutions. The second day was dedicated to the project activities planned under the various Work Packages. These included descriptions of the tasks, deliverables and upcoming actions, as well as Q&A sessions. A series of 30-second video clips, collected from partners prior to the meeting, were played to help all get to know each other better.

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Ecosystem converged

The Tyyssija construction site in the Turku PED

The Turku RESPONSE partners gathered in a virtual meeting on May 31st 2021. The meeting was dedicated to providing updates on project activities, and starting the Turku Lighthouse City Demonstration, Monitoring and Replication activities. The meeting began with an administrative update, a briefing on all the Work Packages, along with a review of financial aspects. In the afternoon session, the representatives were split into smaller working groups - to discuss topics such as electricity, buildings and heat. The energy-related ICT infrastructures of the Positive Energy District (PED) and different energy solutions that will be implemented during the project were discussed. The meeting ended with a briefing on the Turku City Information Platform (CIP), eMobility and citizen involvement activities, as well as the status of air quality modelling.

In a project like RESPONSE it is vital to ensure communications  between all types of partners. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for the Turku partners to receive an overview of all on-going RESPONSE activities, and the up-coming steps.

Sini Lamoureux, City of Turku

Energy and Climate Days 2021 Conference


This hybrid event (combining in-person and virtual participants) included over 200 experts and policy makers from Bulgaria and the EU. They discussed key topics such as: accelerated building stock decarbonization, development of sustainable urban ecosystems and innovative financial instruments. Among the key speakers were: Markku Markkula - First Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions; Iskra Mihaylova – MEP and Chair of the Regional Development Commission at the European Parliament; Frederik Boyer – Covenant of Mayors Head of Office; and Ivaylo Alexiev – Executive Director of the Bulgarian Sustainable Energy Development Agency.

The event showcased best practices and innovative ideas and solutions in areas such as the renovation wave, energy poverty and energy cooperatives, and the EU Green Deal. The RESPONSE project was presented during the second Conference day as part of the panel on “Energy management at municipal level”.

Marko Markov, Econoler S.A.


Gazette N°1 de Fontaine D’Ouche

The first edition of the gazette was distributed to neighbourhood residents in early May 2021. It will be distributed 4 times a year during the renovation period and will include a page on the RESPONSE project.

To download the Gazette click here.

Air quality partners met for a site visit in Turku

In June 2021, partner representatives from the city of Turku, the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and the University of Turku gathered for a site visit at the Student Village in Turku’s Positive Energy District (PED). The purpose of the site visit was for the partners involved in air quality activities to become more familiar with the PED air quality characteristics and the overall air quality measures and monitoring in Turku. FMI is responsible for meteorological and dispersion modelling activities in the RESPONSE project. For example, FMI will develop SILAM Air Quality Modelling for the PED and demonstrate the use of a high-resolution operative air quality forecasting system. The University of Turku, through the department of Geography and Geology, will provide high-resolution local climate information with a focus on urban planning.

View from the Aitiopaikka rooftop. The buildings in the front of the picture are subject to retrofitting activities, including nano-coating 4-glazing panel windows, high performance ventilation and IoT thermostats, funded by RESPONSE. The blue building at the back is the Tyyssiija building, also part of Turku’s Posi-tive Energy Block (PEB), in which most of the infrastructure implementation will take place. Photo: Sini Lamoureux

During the site visit, air quality expert Petra Sainisto from the city of Turku introduced the subject of air quality in Turku, explaining that there are days each year with poor air quality in the city. Days in which the air quality level drops are usually in Spring when the streets are dry and with increased levels of dust particles in the air.

Group photo on the Aitiopaikka rooftop. Photo: Sini Lamoureux

The tour around the Student Village started on the Aitiopaikka building rooftop which provided a good overview of the PED area. Aitiopaikka, built in 2018, is a four-story apartment building equipped with 516 solar panels. After seeing the PED from the rooftop, the visit led by environmental expert Hans-Peter Huhtala from the city of Turku continued on the ground. The University of Turku has several air quality measuring sensors in the PED area which are part of the TURCLIM urban weather observation network. The site visit was completed with a stop at the Turku market square air quality measuring station, which monitors the impact from traffic on the city centre air quality.

Air quality sensor attached to a street light pole in the PED.
Back of the picture – Ikituuri building, part of Turku PEB. Photo: Niina Ruuska

Sini Lamoureux, City of Turku

POPSU exhibition

This exhibition presented researcher work in the fields of air quality, urban climate and participatory science. A conference took place on July 7th 2021, gathering several French metropolises (Toulouse, Lille), with the exhibition remaining at the metropolis of Dijon until August 18th 2021. In September 2021 it will be transferred to the MSH (House of Human Sciences) on the university campus, and then in October 2021 to Latitude 21 (House of Architecture and Environment of Dijon Metropole).

RESPONSE’s presentation at Dijon events

Neighbourhood Commission of the Fontaine d'Ouche district
During the Neighbourhood Commission of the Fontaine d’Ouche district in February 2021, Dijon metropolis presented the RESPONSE project as virtual and physical mock-up. This was a good opportunity inform and discuss the innovative solution that will be developed in the district during the RESPONSE project.

Maquette RESPONSE:

Bachelard college

On May 21st 2021, elected officials presented the RESPONSE project to 6th grade students of the BACHELARD middle school in Fontaine d'Ouche. These students will be closely affected by the renovations in the neighbourhood throughout their time at the school. This discussion was divided in two parts: a global presentation of RESPONSE project, followed by an exchange around the solutions installed in the district, all in connection with the school programme.
The Smart City and Data Governance Chair
The RESPONSE project was presented to the Smart City and Data Governance Chair. This is based on collaboration between Dijon Metropole, the companies that make up the ON DIJON Group, namely Bouygues Énergies & Services, Citelum and Suez, and Keolis Dijon Mobilités, EDF, Enedis and the University of Burgundy. Each of the parties will play an active role in the implementation by contributing resources and smart city expertise.

Oanez Codet-Hache; Eric Tourte; Hadrien Rouchette - City of Dijon

UBFC webinar
During this webinar, the UBFC presented its ongoing work on urban climate, and particularly on Urban Heat Pockets, making the link with the perspectives offered by the RESPONSE project. The laboratory aims to make D-2 forecasts of UHIs.

Webinar on “PED Technologies Selection”

RESPONSE participated in the webinar on “PED Technologies Selection”. This was the second MAKING-CITY Knowledge Sharing Webinar, taking place on April 28th 2021. The webinar focused on the MAKING-CITY PED Technology Selection Methodology and how to fulfill city objectives through PED implementation and energy solutions. The webinar addressed the theme of technologies and technology groups that define PEDs and which are being tested in Lighthouse Cities, sharing with three other similar projects, SPARCs, ATELIER and PoCityF.



City by SIMI

8-10 December 2021
Presentation of RESPONSE project at the City by SIMI event:
This is aimed to promote exchanges between territorial decision-makers and real estate actors in order to respond to the social, environmental and economic challenges of the former and to guide the strategies of the latter.

For more information about the event click here.


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement nº 957751. The document represents the view of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility: it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). The European Commission and the Agency do not accept responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.

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