19 mei 2017 - Steden volledig laten draaien op schone energie mag dan technisch haalbaar zijn, vanuit een organisatorisch en economisch oogpunt is het erg moeilijk. Het EU-project City-Zen probeert mensen warm te maken voor deze uitdaging. De faculteit Bouwkunde van de TU Delft draagt hieraan bij in de vorm van proefprojecten, serious gaming en Roadshows door Europese steden.
Calculation plays an important role in City-Zen: where does the demand for energy in cities come from and what potential sources of energy are available to meet that demand? If you combine them in a smart way, most questions about sustainability and reducing CO2 emissions can be solved. But everyone needs to play their part. “Realising energy-neutral cities is not a technological problem, but a social and institutional one”, says TU Delft Project leader Andy van den Dobbelsteen (Professor of Climate Design & Sustainability). “The best thing you can do about that is to give examples that show what is possible.”
In his view, inspiring examples include the heating network in the cycling city of Copenhagen, Vancouver’s master plan for improving sustainability and the closed-loop ecological recycling in Stockholm. With twenty practical projects, City-Zen intends to add Amsterdam and Grenoble to that list. For both key cities in the project, a roadmap is being drawn up for the gradual implementation of the energy transition.
City-Zen is a major international project in which the EU has invested € 22 million as part of the Seventh Framework Programme. The ambitions are high: City-Zen innovations are intended to result in a reduction in CO2 emissions of 59,000 tonnes per year and future-proof infrastructure.
In the section of the programme on knowledge dissemination, the Faculty of Architecture and the Built environment is making major progress. Delft is developing energy plans, with an accompanying toolbox, and organising Roadshows in 10 European cities. For this a team from TU Delft and other academic partners spend five days in a city looking to collaborate with local authorities, citizens and market players. Preparations for the Roadshow are done by a SWAT Studio – an MSc3-studio from the Building Technology programme. In the intensive workshops, plans are drawn up for the energy transition of neighbourhoods in each city. “The main challenge is to find a disadvantaged neighbourhood and open doors there”, explains Craig Martin, Leader of the City-Zen Roadshows. “In cities, everything is about people. They need to start doing things differently.”
This can be quite a challenge in a difficult city district like West Belfast, designed to enable a single military vehicle to seal off roads rapidly and primarily intended for taxi transport. The Roadshow there was based in a community centre and developed ideas for a zero-energy city with enthusiastic residents, entrepreneurs and local politicians.
You need to look for bespoke measures for each city. For Amsterdam and Grenoble, these are being linked to a roadmap with an action agenda for the far future. In Grenoble, progress has already been made on a smart heating network and smart grids. The Amsterdam roadmap will follow next year.