The CityZEN Project is a European Union Smart Cities Programme that aims to kick-start carbon descent in cities through direct design action. The project consists of a series of week-long participatory ‘Roadshow’ events in 10 cities around Europe that develop a carbon descent roadmap for the city on a neighbourhood scale.
Working closely with local government agencies and stakeholders, the project aims to be inspirational and challenging to the city, whilst developing realistic but achievable change. The short timescale allows the cities involved to engage in a new way and allows them to be more imaginative and free thinking.
The project has included collaborations with TU Delft, The Netherlands; University of Siena, Italy; VITO, Brussels; Think-E, Belgium as well as the cities of Amsterdam, Grenoble, Belfast, Izmir, Dubrovnik and Seville. It has been recognised by the European Union as exemplary in its engagement with citizens.
“Working with Cities across Europe, this project aims to make rapid change to energy use by visualizing a future that is sustainable, and co-designing a series of carbon descent interventions”.
Impact of Research
The project has generated a series of carbon descent strategies that are realistic in terms of technology, but challenging in terms of timescale and community engagement. The project has received a range of awards from both the cities that we have engaged with and the EU itself. Impact is continuing beyond the project, as there is on-going engagement with the cities visited, and new engagements with other cities, such as Nieuw-West Amsterdam where the strategy plan has been consolidated into policy.
CityZEN has been chosen as a Queens Social Charter Project under the theme Sustainability.
Major grants and funding
This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 608702.
EU FP7 Smart Cities CityZEN. €20m 2014-2020.
Recent papers published by the Research group:
From Problems to Potentials - The Urban Energy Transition of Gruž, Dubrovnik
van den Dobblesteen, A., Martin, C. L., Keeffe, G., Pulselli, R. & Vandevyvere, H., 13 Apr 2018, In: Energies. 11, 4, 18 p., 922.
The Societal Impact Methodology - Connecting Citizens, Sustainability, Awareness, Technological Innovations & Co-creative City Visions.
Keeffe, G., Martin, C. L. & van den Dobblesteen, A., 08 Aug 2017, PLEA Proceedings - Design to Thrive. Brotas, L. & Roaf, S. (eds.). Edinburgh: NCEUB, Vol. 2. p. 2791-2798.
Future city visions. The energy transition towards carbon-neutrality: lessons learned from the case of Roeselare, Belgium.
Pulselli, R. M., Broersma, S., Martin, C. L., Keeffe, G., Bastianoni, S., & van den Dobbelsteen, A. (2021). Future city visions. The energy transition towards carbon-neutrality: lessons learned from the case of Roeselare, Belgium. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 137, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2020.110612
The project is a multidisciplinary project that works with academics from the Climate Design Team at TU Delft, the ECO-dynamics Group at the University of Siena, along with practitioners from Think-E and VITO in Belgium, as well as a range of manufacturers of sustainable energy technology.
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 7: Affordable and clearn energy
Goal 9: Industry innovation and infrastructure
Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Goal 13: Climate action
Goal 17: Partnership for the goals