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RESPONSE Activities

Busy Autumn in Turku Positive Energy District (PED)

The RESPONSE project has kept the Turku PED residents busy this Autumn, as three workshops have been arranged to raise awareness and disseminate RESPONSE solutions. Students have had a core role in organizing the events, which has ensured that the events appeal to the Turku PED residents in Student Village, offering a possibility to participate in creating digital tools.

The Environmental workshop

The Environmental workshop was held on the 16th of November featuring energy in everyday life. The objective of the RESPONSE Environmental workshop is to raise the residents’ awareness and interest in energy topics. The participants strolled around the many different stands with activities varying from playing Nintendo Switch and measuring the energy consumption of the console compared to how many calories you spent while playing, a Kahoot quiz on energy consumption, guessing how much energy different appliances consume to solar powered toy cars that demonstrated how solar energy and batteries work. The RESPONSE mentors also participated in the event to discuss with the PED resident.

Although all the stands were interesting to the participants, the stand where you could see how much energy different energy appliances consume seemed to be the most popular one. One could measure the energy consumption of different light bulbs, air conditioners, Christmas lights, massaging pillows, and other appliances. There was a Kahoot quiz on energy consumption, which was a lot of fun for people who took part in it as they had funny moments seeing the correct answers to the questions.

Overall, there were a lot of different conversations and realizations about energy consumption, and the event had a nice variety of people – including young kids who liked to play with solar-powered cars and the Nintendo Switch console. A joyful atmosphere is a good way to describe the event

Students facilitated Avatar workshops in Turku

As a part of the RESPONSE project, digital tools are being created to help the residents understand the technical solutions that have been implemented in the apartments and buildings. This concerns especially the retrofitted 5th block apartments. This was the third workshop Turku University of Applied Sciences organized as a part of a series where digital tools are developed. The workshop’s key focus was twofold: firstly to showcase the technical improvements made to the area due to the RESPONSE project, and secondly to gather feedback by encouraging the residents to share their thoughts and experiences about the project. This was achieved by hosting two workshops in November for the residents of the PED area. These workshops included VR tours of the PED area consisting of 360-degree images captured using both a drone and a mounted camera, discussions, and feedback gathering with the residents, and enjoying food and refreshments.

Exploring virtual reality in Turku's workshops

Text and photos: Helmi Andersson, City of Turku.

RESPONSE Workshop During The EU Week Of Regions and Cities

During the EU Week of Regions and Cities event RESPONSE's partners organised a workshop to discuss the project's contribution to a fair energy transition.

The event took place on October 11th in Brussels.

The session highlighted the experience of Dijon and Turku with citizen engagement and empowerment. With the participation of Georg Houben, establish the link between the European Commission's strategy on these issues and its practical application at the local level, through SCC projects.

Visit the webpage of the event here

RESPONSE presentation on EU Week of Regions and Cities.

Text and photos: Lise BRUSSEAUX, Dijon Métropole.

RESPONSE Lighthouse Cities Activities

On the weekend of 17 November, as part of the Festival of Ecological and Digital Transition, more than 50 students from schools in the Dijon metropolitan area had the opportunity to take part in #HacktoHorizon2023 at ESIREM - Ecole Supérieure d'Ingénieurs Numérique et Matériaux.

Participants and some of the winners from Hack2Horizon 2023.

Two days to develop innovations to achieve the energy transition objectives and the transformation of the smart, low-carbon city of the #RESPONSE project. Congratulations to all the participants!

And a special congratulations to the winners:

• Grand Prize RESPONSE for participants in the Carbon Scale challenge: "Development of a tool to help assess and reduce carbon impact”

• Innovation Prize for participants in the Dijon Métropole challenge: "Application for simulating a positive-energy district (example of the Fontaine d'Ouche district)"

Jury's Favourite Award for participants in the Dièze challenge: " Considering the characteristics of the student population on the Dijon metropolitan campus, how can we encourage them to sort their waste?"

Read the article on the event on the project website.

Text and photos: Lise Brusseaux, Dijon Métropole.


2nd Hackathon in Turku

Participants in the Technical Hackathon hosted by Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS).

Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) hosted a Technical Hackathon aimed at designing a user interface for the energy management system developed under the RESPONSE project.

Commencing in September, participating teams ideated and refined their concepts. Two teams were chosen to develop their ideas further in the hackathon.

The dynamic teams invested their time and expertise in crafting innovative solutions focusing on the user interface for the Energy Management System (EMS) tailored specifically for optimizing energy management at the Tyyssija building within the PED.

On December 12th they presented the Front-end beta versions of their solutions to the jury that consisted of professionals from RESPONSE project partner organizations, TUAS, VTT and the city of Turku. In the culmination of this event, both teams proudly unveiled their Front-end beta versions, providing a glimpse into a future defined by heightened energy efficiency and sustainability. The jury faced an exciting and challenging evaluation process due to the exceptional quality and depth of the proposals. Each team showcased remarkable skills and groundbreaking thinking.


After thorough deliberation, the jury declared the Energy Monitoring Dashboard by Tuomas Rinne, Matias Kumpalainen, and Juhana Kuparinenas the winning entry.

The second prize was awarded to Wattson Energy Management Assistant by Florian Dejonckheere, Joni Rajamäki, and Otto Heldt.

Both teams expressed outstanding performance and dedication. The jury was impressed by the creativity and technical expertise the teams showcased throughout the competition. The winning team will continue developing the user interface further and make it operational during the RESPONSE project. This hackathon was a collaborative effort involving the City of Turku and VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland).

Text and photos: Heikkilä Heidi, Turku AMK


RESPONSE Turku was featured in the Union of the Baltic Cities - network’s newsletter about sustainable cities

An article was published on the Union´s website sharing Turku´s tests on new sustainable energy solutions in the framework of the project. The city of Turku aims to be climate neutral in 2029 and climate positive from then onwards. As part of the transition towards a cleaner energy system, new solutions are being tested in Turku Student Village. The measures are implemented through the RESPONSE project


Access the article here:


Text: Helmi Andersson, City of Turku


Finnish Lighthouse City - Network Gathered In Turku

A meeting for Finnish cities participating in Smart Cities and Communities projects was organized in Turku 9-10 of January. During the meeting, cities exchanged experiences of implementation, discussed replication of Smart City solutions, and explored the concept of Nordic PEDs.

The Finnish Lighthouse City -network gathers lighthouse and fellow cities of Smart City projects, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe funding program. The collaborative network allows cities to exchange experiences and share knowledge, thus improving and enhancing the success of each initiative involved. The group meets a few times a year to discuss ongoing work and relevant topics.

The themes of the January meeting in Turku were replication, monitoring, and communication of project results. In addition, participants discussed the concept of a “Nordic PED”, as many of the participating projects are implementing a PED in their city. Establishing a PED in the Nordics can be a challenge as sunlight decreases drastically during winter. In these conditions, the importance of innovative solutions connected to district heating and cooling, energy storage, and smart energy management systems are highlighted.

Although there are differences between the Smart City projects, the Finnish Lighthouse City -network allows cities operating within the same legislative framework, faced with similar challenges and opportunities, to connect and foster mutual support. In the end, this advances development and strengthens the overall success of all the projects involved.

Participants in the meeting for Finish cities in Smart Cities and Communities projects.

Visiting cities were provided a tour of the PED at Turku Student Village to learn more about the technological solutions implemented and tested in RESPONSE project. The 5th block, which underwent energy efficient retrofitting, is pictured in the background.

Text and photos: Helmi Andersson, City of Turku


RESPONSE Participation In Events

RESPONSE joined the Final Conference of the +CityxChange project "The Future of Positive Energy Districts”, that took place in Trondheim on October 5th, 2023.

Coordinated by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the smart city project involved two Lighthouse Cities, Trondheim (Norway) and Limerick (Ireland), and 5 Follower Cities, Alba Iulia (Romania), Písek (Czech Republic), Sestao (Spain), Smolyan (Bulgaria), and Võru (Estonia), as well as technical partners from around Europe.

Registration for the Final Conference of the +CityxChange.

The long-term goal of +CityxChange was to create sustainable urban ecosystems with zero emissions and achieve 100% renewable energy in city regions by 2050.

During the event, the audience learned about the implementation experiences and lessons learned from the project, through important themes of Positive Energy Districts:

• Enabling a common energy market
• Creating connected communities
• Recommendations for new policy interventions, market regulations, and business models

RESPONSE joined a roundtable devoted to the Collaborations towards climate-neutrality. Know more about the project activities at the websitе and download the “How to PED” the +CityxChange

Cookbook  here.

Also, check the  video from the event.

Text and photos: Helmi Andersson, City of Turku


Career Forum in Fontaine d’Ouche, Dijon 

As part of the 2023 Ecological and Digital Transition Festival, the "Your Future Job" careers forum was in full swing from 13 to 15 November 2023.

Taking the example of RESPONSE as the first chapter of the energy transition in European cities, more than 800 secondary school students and job seekers from Côte-d'Or registered to take part in the many workshops organised in Fontaine d'Ouche.

Immersive, fun experiences were on offer to raise awareness among as many people as possible of the professions that will shape our future. Local schools and businesses provided specific workshops for raising awareness about the upcoming need for skills in Dijon and Europe. According to ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), between now and 2050, over 900,000 jobs will be created in sectors such as construction, transport, industry, and energy, all closely linked to the ecological transition. This is a major challenge that Dijon, one of RESPONSE's Lighthouse cities, is committed to meeting.

Participants on the 2023 Ecological and Digital Transition Festival, the "Your Future Job" careers forum.

Text and photos: Lise Brusseaux, Dijon Métropole.


SET Plan Conference 

On 13 November, as part of the SET Plan Conference 2023, Jean-Patrick Masson (Vice-President of Dijon Métropole) took part in a round table discussion on the empowerment of communities and best practice for citizen involvement in the clean energy transition.

Speakers on the SET Plan Conference 2023.

This was an opportunity to present RESPONSE's challenges and successes in Dijon, in engaging inhabitants of the Fontaine d'Ouche district, where the PEBs are being implemented.

Key messages from the discussion:

-  The 3 pillars of multi-stakeholders engagement are crucial to the local energy transition: involvement of local stakeholders and strong public-private partnerships, citizens involvement, collaboration with European level for inspiration and the exchange of good practice.

-  Activating all means of communication to engage citizens in the transition: regular newsletters, on-site workshops, meetings with elected representatives, the citizen engagement platform for inhabitants to share their ideas and comments on the project, offering inhabitants the opportunity to become ambassadors for the Fontaine d'Ouche to promote the PEBs to other residents.

Text and photos: Lise Brusseaux, Dijon Métropole.


RESPONSE Participation in Smart City Expo World Conference 2023

The RESPONSE project was presented from November 7-9, 2023, in Barcelona at the most significant and influential event for cities and urban innovation worldwide, the Smart City Expo World Congress. Alongside 30 other EU-funded projects dedicated to Smart and Climate Neutral Cities, Lea Kleinenkuhnen from Brussels City and Ritva Salminiitty from Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUA) represented the project's innovations.

RESPONSE Participation in Smart City Expo World Conference 2023.

Lea Kleinenkuhnen participated in the AGORA session: "EDIC on Networked LDTs: Technical Synergies", aimed at understanding the contributions and expectations of the represented projects for the planned European Digital Infrastructure Consortium (EDIC) on Local Digital Twins (LDTs).

Ritva Salminiitty highlighted the project's citizen engagement approach. The presentations were followed by discussions regarding citizen engagement methods.

RESPONSE partners emphasised the importance of citizen participation, noting the differences between digital and face-to-face tools. While digital tools allow for instant feedback and appeal to younger audiences, face-to-face events often yield more dependable results. Learn morehere.

Text: Ritva Salminiitty, Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUA)
Photos: Lea Kleinenkuhnen, Ville de Bruxelles


RESPONSE Participation in Grafting Cities:
Cultivating Our Common Future Energy Cities Annual Forum, Modena 2023

Energy Cities organized its annual conference in the city of Modena, in the framework of the Bio-architecture week, together with the city of Modena, the Energy and Sustainable Development Agency – AESS and Climate Alliance.

Throughout the forum, RESPONSE joined the discussions and was presented at several sessions.

See the event agenda here.


Text: Sociedade Portuguesa da Inovação





5th RESPONSE Webinar on Citizen Engagement

The latest RESPONSE webinar, “Collaborative Citizen Engagement for Smart Urban Development” took place on January 16, 2024. The event showcased successful examples of tools and methods employed in the RESPONSE project, which were presented and discussed. Speakers Ritva Salminiitty, Martina Angeleri, Rauli Lautkankare, Annamari Kiviaho, and Hadrien Rouchette shared insightful ideas regarding the challenges and advancements related to citizen engagement in PEDs. Throughout the event, you can see the webinar recorded on our YouTube channel: here

5th Response Webinar on Citizen Engagement - Available on YouTube.

Text and photos: Sociedade Portuguesa da Inovação


RESPONSE 3rd Consortium Plenary Board (CPB) Meeting

The 3rd Consortium Plenary Board (CPB) Meeting of the RESPONSE project was held on the 31st January 2024. The annual meeting took place online and all CPB members participated as well as other members of the consortium. During this important meeting partners discussed the project progress and upcoming challenges in reaching climate neutrality in the 2 Lighthouse and 6 Fellow cities, and important decisions to be made for the final phase of the project implementation.

Text :Sociedade Portuguesa da Inovação


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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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