Category Archives: Articles

We have a challenge

Since 2013, TRANSFORM cities are working to apply the TRANSFORM approach to become Smart Energy Cities.

TP energy mixThe infographic we made tries to show what Transform goals are, and what the challenges of each Transform City in terms of Energy Usage.

The goal of the TRANSFORM program is to reduce CO2 emissions, increase the sustainable energy productions and raise energy efficiency.

The graph is based on Transform Cities baseline reports prepared in 2013 as part of the Smart Energy Cities, KPI’s definitions, that you can see here.

This baselines from Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Genoa, Hamburg, Lyon and Vienna are from different years and also, the content are very different one from another.

This is the reaason why the Transformation’s  agenda of the cities are different, and also, why there is no magic recipe to develop a low carbon transformation agenda.

The graph sows the energy mix of electricity production of the Transform cities and it tells two stories:

  1. The division of electricity sources.
  2. The sustainable climate status of each of the cities.

The graph shows the baseline of each city and that most of our cities still rely on Coal, Gas and Nuclear for electricity production. We need to speed up production from renewables to reach our goals.

Like you understand our challenge is big, and if you are interested in the whole baseline report feel free to download it.

SMILE Project in Vienna

smile project web image

The research project SMILE aims at developing the prototype for a standardised platform for all means of transport. This open platform integrates offers from various mobility providers. Several mobility partners already take part in the research project. Since November 2014 the App is already running and tested.

Integrated Mobility platform and SMILE app

The research project SMILE aims at developing the prototype for a standardised platform for all means of transport. This open platform integrates offers from various mobility providers. Several mobility partners already take part in the research project. Since November 2014 the App is already running and tested.

The mobility platform provides information, booking, payment and use of a broad range of different means of transport. The perfect tool for the end user to conveniently and easily benefit from all the features and functions of the mobility platform is the SMILE app on the smartphone. By using it, you are SIMPLY MOBILE.

Here is an extract of the official Smile project web: http://smile-einfachmobil.at/einfachmobil_en.html

What is “Integrated Mobility”?

Integrated mobility means that we use and combine several different means of transport for our trips.

Be it underground or train, bike or e-bike, taxi or car: we choose the suitable means of transport for the current situation depending on the purpose of the trip, the requirements and personal preferences; we also combine them accordingly. Experts call this multimodal and intermodal mobility.

Even today, this can still be very complicated due to many different types of information systems, tariffs, tickets and access systems, confusing guidance systems at changing locations and a lack of information in the event of disruption.

The one thing that is missing is one standardised platform for all means of transport,
one universal access key which we carry with us at all times.

That is the way how we will be SIMPLY MOBILE in the future.

Stephan Hartmann
Stephan Hartmann

City of Vienna

stephan.hartmann@extern.wien.gv.at

 

 

 

Amsterdam outlines new sustainability measures

Infographic-Sustainable-Amsterdam

The Amsterdam College of Mayor and Alderpersons has outlined new plans to increase the pace of improving sustainability in the Dutch capital. As part of the new motion, the number of households using locally-generated sustainable electricity needs to have increased by at least 92,000 by 2020.

Concrete plans have been drawn up for energy saving efforts and accelerating the process of connecting existing houses to district heating systems. The construction market will be challenged to build greener properties. Air quality in the city will be improved through continued efforts to encourage the use of electric transport, by stimulating smart distribution processes and extending low emission zones to include more types of vehicles. During the current council term, work will be conducted at 111 schools to make them greener and healthier places to work. These measures are outlined in the Sustainability Agenda (Agenda Duurzaamheid), agreed upon by the College earlier this week.

Amsterdam embraces the notion of a circular economy and is keen to become an attractive location for innovative companies to set up shop: businesses with production processes that only produce useful raw materials instead of waste. In implementing the plans, the College will focus primarily on initiatives and projects that can be quickly rolled out on a larger scale. Alderperson for Sustainability Abdeluheb Choho: “Amsterdam is constantly growing and as such, we need to ensure that the city becomes stronger, healthier and more liveable. We’re looking to take the lead from Amsterdammers, organisations and businesses that are already demonstrating that sustainability has both financial and social benefits.” The College also envisages rapidly improving sustainability within the municipal organisation itself.

Sustainable energy

Nowadays, solar panels and wind turbines represent attractive investments for homeowners and businesses. The College plans to make it easier to install solar panels as part of the drive to ensure that electricity generated by solar panels provides power for another 80,000 households by 2020 (it currently provides electricity to 5,000 households). Wind turbines installed at locations including Amsterdam’s port areas are to provide at least another 12,000 additional households with energy by 2020. In order to ensure that living in Amsterdam remains affordable and in light of depleting gas reserves, the College is keen to accelerate connecting more houses to district heating (the primary focus being on existing homes). The College wants to increase the number of houses and businesses connected to such systems from the current total of 62,000 to 102,000 by 2020. By 2040, the envisaged number of connections is 230,000.

Energy savings

Older houses waste a significant amount of energy. With this in mind, the College plans to invest in a project that will see corporations make improvements to 1,000 older homes in order to eliminate energy bills at these properties. The project is set to provide impetus for similar projects by showing that such investment can be beneficial to residents, property owners and financiers. When it comes to new housing developments, the City of Amsterdam is keen to challenge developers to construct greener buildings than are currently required by law. As such, greater importance will be attached to sustainability during land tenders.

Emission-free traffic

Amsterdam is dedicated to remaining a frontrunner in electric transport and strives to ensure that as much traffic in the city as possible is emission free by 2025. Measures envisaged by the College include increasing the number of electric charging points from 1,000 to 4,000 and developing two new cargo hubs (goods transfer facilities) on the outskirts of the city.

In order to further reduce carbon and nitrogen dioxide emissions, as of 1 January 2017, the current low-emission zones for lorries will be extended to include delivery vans built before 2000. As of 1 January 2018, the zone will also apply to taxis and coaches. Buses operated by the GVB (the company responsible for public transport in Amsterdam) will be emission free by 2026 at the latest. The College also plans to investigate the possibility of low-emission zones for scooters that discharge harmful emissions.

The consideration of carbon is a new aspect of city policy, as the College moves from focusing on the established norms to more closely considering the health of Amsterdammers. Norms are yet to be established for carbon, but it has been proved to be harmful to health.

Leading by example

Alderperson Choho: “Amsterdam has a lot to be proud of. Our city is home to a huge amount of thinkers, doers, technical wizards, inventors, entrepreneurs and ‘everyday’ citizens who commit time and effort to making the city greener. I look forward to collaborating with these people as we work towards a circular economy in Amsterdam.”

The Sustainability Council Committee will be joined by the members of the other Council Committees to address the Sustainability Agenda on 7 January 2015, prior to the council itself addressing the subject on 21 January.

 

For more information, please see www.amsterdam.nl/duurzaam (in Dutch).

 

8 Steps Towards TRANSFORMATION Agenda

8 steps
At the beginning of the project the TRANSFORM team reflected on its definition of a Smart Energy City with a negligible carbon footprint. This definition also forms the vision of achievements by European Cities at the end of a true TRANSFORM process.
“The Smart Energy City is highly energy and resource efficient, and is increasingly powered by renewable energy sources; it relies on integrated and resilient resource systems, as well as insight-driven and innovative approaches to strategic planning. The application of information, communication and technology are commonly a means to meet these objectives. The Smart Energy City, as a core to the concept of the Smart City, provides its users with a liveable, affordable, climate-friendly and engaging environment that supports the needs and interests of its users and is based on a sustainable economy.” (More background information can be found on the TRANSFORM website)

The really tricky question now is how to attain this vision? The answer should be given by a TRANSFORMATION AGENDA which is subject of our project. It can be anticipated that there will be neither a patent remedy for an individual city nor a general solution matching all European cities.

But the “8 Steps towards TRANSFORMATION AGENDA”, which have been compiled, can offer some guidance for the development of tailor-made TRANSFORMATION AGENDAs suiting the unique character of a city and exploiting its specific strengths. The core of the TRANSFORMATION AGENDA is the establishment of a cycle process which ensures continuous and long-term development towards the vision.

This TRANSFORMATION CYCLE introduces recurring course corrections in order to cope with high rates of change in different areas affecting the Smart Energy City and interruptions by short-term cycles of our society (such as elections). This cycle facilitates a regular adaptation of the TRANSFORMATION AGENDA concept to incorporate innovation and tap complex circumstances step by step.

1 – Setting of targets
The 8 steps begin with a clear definition of targets by each city and an agreement to strive towards these targets by the main political stakeholders. These targets should include short-, medium and long-term components to provide first cornerstones all along the path towards the vision.

2 – Determination of status quo
If the best measures to advance on the TRANSFORMATION track shall be acquired it is necessary to analyse and evaluate the actual state of the city with respect to targets and vision in a second step. The TRANSFORM team works on several elements to perform the determination of status-quo. Information regarding some of these elements such as the Baseline Analysis, Status-Quo-Reports (by Grand Lyon and by Genoa) or the KPI list are already available online. Key stakeholders related to TRANSFORM intentions should be identified and invited to participate in the future process of exploration.

3 – Find focus points to improve development path towards TRANSFORM vision
Distinguishing between differing themes is essential because the TRANSFORMATION AGENDA should focus on the deciding challenges which can really improve the development regarding the city’s targets. Themes, which will make a difference, are likely to comprise tough tasks and tough calls, but are more rewarding when successful. Anyway, TRANSFORMATION AGENDA should not be occasion for postponements but for tackle. As part of the third step the TRANSFORM team applies so called Intake Workshops as a forum for experts to join and examine current initiating challenges with various analysis methods.

4 – Calibration of concept along Guiding Questions
Once the preceding steps are completed some strategic threads should already be available for step 4. The TRANSFORM team has developed a set of Guiding Questions which can then help to balance these threads, to prioritize their elements and to bring them together in a first raw concept.

5 – Adjustment of strategic concept to the city system and increase of impact
A good concept is closely connected with its target system, the city. If many different modes of intervention in the city development can be employed in a concept higher levels of impact are achievable. Step 5 wants to draw attention to the city as a complex adaptive system and to encourage the creators of the concept to search for links and possibilities to intervene sensibly in the system.

6 – Action Plan and Implementation Plan
Actions and measures are the means to transform the superior strategy into reality. Implementation plans concentrate tangible measures spatially and temporally aligned to the short- and medium-term targets. In step 6 these measures are deduced, evaluated and compiled. A great help for the evaluation and decision on the right actions can be the specifically for this purpose developed Decision Support Environment (DSE, read more in detail about the DSE online) provided by TRANSFORM.

7 – Design of procedures for monitoring, evaluation and adaptation
A long planning interval in the range of several decades is the basis to fulfil profound transitions towards goals and the vision of a Smart Energy City. A TRANSFORMATION AGENDA has to overcome the possible obstacle of unclear development in the city with regard to targets and must exploit its long planning interval to tackle far-reaching shifts towards the vision of a Smart Energy City. Thus, a serious monitoring in the cities is needed to determine clearly the progress and the deviation from defined targets in order to evaluate the development path. A strategy which defines reactions on deviations closes the loop to the city. The setup of adequate monitoring procedures and the assignment of responsibilities is subject of step 7.

8 – Composition of the TRANSFORMATION Agenda
Assembly of the results originating from the previous 7 steps leads to the TRANSFORMATION AGENDA in the final step 8. Its strategy focuses on the long-term perspective while its measures direct to the short- and mid-term development of the city. Furthermore the integration of accompanying research, experts and consultants can enhance the agenda’s level of quality. With respect to innovation and creative change management space for niches and experiments should be considered in the strategy. Frontrunners and change agents should be encouraged. Diversity is to be preferred over “one best way”.

TRANSFORM is trying to address and tackle challenges of which the real successes or consequences will maybe only be visible  in a few decades time. If the adventure of TRANSFORM is to be  successful a lot of commitment by people who are willing to take up responsibility is required to deliver the necessary impetus and continuous effort.

Do not hesitate, start with the first steps today.

 Jan Riepe
Hamburg Energie GmbH

Low-Carbon Mobility ReportLow-carbon mobility report

Early in the Transform project it became clear that the path towards low-carbon mobility is challenging one for all cities. To get an overview of the challenges, potential solutions and get insight into the best practices this study was initiated in March 2014. In the months that followed a survey was sent out and interviews were conducted with the Transform cities and international organizations (CIVITAS, Eurocities, Energycities, EPOMM, ICLEI). The results of this study were presented during the Eurocities mobility event in Venice on the 3rd of October. View the report here.

VIENNA 2050: Ensuring Quality of Life through Innovation – Adopting the Smart City Wien Framework

smartcitywienA historic step forward for Vienna. The Smart City Wien Framework Strategy provides solutions for current global challenges and will define policy in the coming decades. Vienna has been “smart” for generations and, as a result, is already one of the world’s most liveable cities. We want to keep it that way. We must now focus on managing current challenges such as climate change and the continuing push to the cities. What makes the Viennese Smart City approach special is social inclusion of all parts of society. Smart City can’t leave anyone behind.

The “Smart City Wien Framework Strategy” is a long-term umbrella strategy to 2050 that will establish a conducive, long-term and structural framework that will exist alongside other established documents, plans and programs. It was adopted by the Vienna City Council on 25 June 2014. Beyond its vision, the framework is intended to facilitate goals and goal hierarchies, specific strategic approaches, project evaluation criteria for the Smart City Wien, as well as coordinated policy action. This will be implemented with specific, time-phased goals that will be subject to ongoing monitoring and review.

Page17Three fields of action have been defined: Resources – Quality of Life – Innovation. These lead us to the key objective for 2050 of the Smart City Wien: “The best quality of life for all inhabitants of Vienna, while minimizing the consumption of resources. This will be realized through comprehensive innovation.”

Only real innovation in the energy, transportation, health-care, construction and communication sectors can further improve the already high quality of life. Vienna is intent on becoming an international leader in this regard. Our city is in an excellent position to achieve this goal, already offering model solutions in many areas. One need only think of the Vienna mountain spring pipeline opened in 1873 or the “Gemeindebauten” of the 1920′s.

Overview of Selected Objectives:

Reduction of CO2 emissions from currently 3.1 tonnes per capita to 1 tonne per capita (- 80% CO2 from 1990 to 2050). By 2050: 50% of Vienna’s gross energy consumption will originate from renewable sources. Primary energy input should drop from 3,000 to 2,000 watt per capita. Decrease of motorized individual traffic from currently 28% to 15% by 2030. By 2050 all vehicles within the municipal boundaries run without conventional propulsion technologies. Another objective is the reduction of energy consumption of existing buildings for space heating, cooling and water heating by 1% per capita and year. By 2030 the Innovation triangle Vienna–Brno–Bratislava is one of the most future-oriented cross-border innovation regions in Europe. The share of technology-intensive products in the export volume will have increased from currently 60% to 80% by 2050. In 2050, Vienna is one of the five biggest European research and innovation hubs. All people in Vienna should enjoy good neighbourly and safe life conditions irrespective of their background, physical and psychological condition, sexual orientation and gender identity. Safeguarding of medical care at the highest level. The share of green spaces will remain at over 50%.

Download the strategy document here: Smart City Wien

Wagramer Straße, Arbeiterstrandbadstraße (22. Bezirk)

©City of Vienna, MA18

Stephan Hartmann
Stephan Hartmann,
Junior Project Manager
City of Vienna

PlanAmsterdam Cycling policy and design

PlanAmsterdam plaatje voorkant

In Amsterdam, most people travel by bike, and for good reason. In larger towns – with more than 10,000 inhabitants – a cyclist will on average reach his destination 10 percent faster than a car driver, according to statistics from the Nederlandse Fietsersbond (Dutch Cycling Federation). Plus it’s calmer, cheaper, you don’t have any delays or traffic jams to contend with and you get to really take in the city.

Since 1994 the professional magazine PlanAmsterdam has been describing spatial themes and developments in Amsterdam and the metropolitan region. The issues of the magazine are created as a collaboration between several governmental institutions. Each year eight numbers are published.

The last published number describes the policies and designs regarding cycling in Amsterdam, which is the number one transport in the Netherlands. A way to achieve less CO2 emission is by making cities more bicycle friendly. Interested in how Amsterdam aims to achieve this? Download the magazine below.

For more information about PlanAmsterdam you can visit the website.

To see the whole plan, click on PlanAmsterdam Cycling policy and design

 

The Netherlands in 21 info-graphics

cover-the-netherlands-in 21-infographics

This month an interesting document was published. In ‘The Netherlands in 21 infographics – Facts and figures on the human environment’ the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency presents facts and figures in a novel way.

The booklet covers three important domains within our environment: food, transport and guess what: energy!

Nice “reading” or better: nice “looking and discovering”.

For the whole document: The Netherlands in 21 infographics