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Sustainable Districts and Built Environment
The main challenge in ‘Sustainable Districts and Built Environment’ is to reduce energy use, environmental impact and carbon footprint, entail competitive industries for jobs and growth and at the same time ensure societal and social development and the well-being of citizens. The investment needed to improve energy efficiency, generate low carbon energy, modernize infrastructure and create high quality living environments is enormous. At the same time, cities have limited access to planned financial resources for systemic change, which requires the activation of private capital combined with public investment.
Currently our existing building stock plays a major role in energy consumption (40% of EU final energy demand). This stresses the need for affordable and sustainable retrofit solutions at a large scale. However, since buildings last several decades, it is essential to find energy efficient, low carbon solutions for new buildings and districts as well. The major challenge in this area is the scaling up of (new) solutions and materials.
Recognizing every city has its different surroundings, it is essential to combine requirements:
To give stakeholders (industry, cities, operators...) tools needed to take appropriate systemic or individual decisions and facilitate scaling up solutions by enabling industries to provide solutions that are fit for purpose and at the same time come with reasonable pricing and quality.
- To provide the large scale launching ground needed for new concepts to test and unleash the market and to test and implement new financial products and models.
The starting point of the actions is the building itself and the focus on using, combining and implementing on-the-market and near-to-market solutions. Not on reinventing the wheel, but cleverly combining and fine-tuning what is available to make it applicable at a large scale for existing as well as new buildings and districts. The focus however does not stop at the building – rather it addresses ‘place-making’ with people, in communities within cities.
Outcomes of the AC Meetings 2016
The Sustainable Districts and Built Environment Action Cluster Meeting on 22nd November 2016 was a clear reflection of the recent activities within the group. Over the past months, the AC has been consolidating its work, ramping up its activities – most notably with regard to the Positive Energy Blocks Initiative (which recently held a field visit to the HIKARI PEB in Lyon).
The agenda of the session reflected this increase in activity and the interest in examining Sustainable Districts from various angles. In recent months, the group has moved from being merely “technological” driven towards a more comprehensive, challenge-based approach which focuses (amongst others) on new-build, (deep) renovation while touching upon digital technologies (e.g. BIM), citizen-involvement, the regulatory framework and business/financial models and exploring subjects such as waste, water, nature-based solutions, biodiversity and urban agriculture.
In the coming months, it is expected that the Sustainable Districts and Built Environment Action Cluster will continue to expand its activities. More stakeholders will be engaged, a follow-up visit to HIKARI might be scheduled for spring 2017 and a challenge-based approach might be formalised and further implemented.
Our ongoing initiatives
Get in contact with the Sustainable Districts and Built Environment Action Cluster at email@example.com.
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AC Documents library
28.01.2017 | Comments: 0