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Though diverse in their scope and research, similarities in the outcomes have been identified among the projects as they are coming to an end. One common aspect is the projects ambitions to reduce cities’ energy footprints through behavioural changes, both among the citizens and the decision makers. To deal with this issue, the projects have shifted the focus from informing about energy usage on a society level to focus on how to incentivise changes in both individual and collective behaviour. Through, for example phone applications that visualise energy consumption and smart systems installed in private homes, citizens can see their own energy usage patterns and make instant alterations for energy reductions.
Another key aspect has been to make use of existing data in cities. Many cities are not aware of the amount of data they have, or, they don’t know how to make it useful. Hence, several projects within this call has come up with models that build on basic information already available such as platforms that make use of social media or mobility patterns, something that eases implementation but also helps residents feel more involved in their city’s policy making.
Finally, something that has been common throughout many of the projects, is synergy. Policy issues such as climate change, energy use, air quality, construction and transport that are normally handled separately have been linked. This as “silo-like” approaches prevent energy utilities and city planners from identifying opportunities of synergy among the networks. By showing how the interactions between these areas have a positive effect on policy making, stakeholder collaboration can increase and ease decision making processes within cities.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857160.