Developing pathways to green smart and healthy cities

Work package number: WP6
Lead beneficiary: 7 - ADDMA
Start month: 18
End month: 42

• To develop and assess visions of smart green and healthy cities
• To develop a transition pathway to implement the vision for the next 50 and more years

In this WP we develop a vision for future truly green and healthy cities and then explore how fast, to what extent, and how European cities can be transformed into such a visionary future.


Task 6.1 Developing visions for smart green and healthy cities

ICARUS strives to develop visions of smart, green and healthy cities. We will employ a Foresight approach – combining two participatory workshops, literature review and horizon scanning. Horizon scanning will involve consultation with experts, state-of-the-art evidence reviews and web-based horizon scanning to identify new and emerging issues. The notions of future Smart Green and Healthy cities will be explored through document analysis and engagement with stakeholders in participatory workshops, presenting the initial results of the ICARUS project. These two events will be organized in month 18 and 26. The main element of these urban visions will be a combination of the use of digital technologies and green city planning to promote and optimize well-being whilst curbing air pollution and mitigating climate change. To achieve this, the workshops will discuss how, for example, smart energy options may be affected by socioeconomic scenarios. Narrative-based visions of the future will be developed, which can be used in Task 6.2. It is envisaged that various smart energies and smart transport such as self-driving electric cars, weather-related heating and lighting, or zero-energy houses will be used in the visions, which are likely to be coupled to particular socioeconomic/RCP scenarios.


Task 6.2 Assessment of the visions

This task will involve the application of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Based on the description of the visions, with the use of energy models, energy demand and supply (including upstream processes outside the urban boundaries) would be determined. For assessing the transport system, origin –destination matrices would be determined and fed into the ICARUS transport model. A dynamic urban socio-economic model (ComplexCity) will then be used to assess future visions. ComplexCity uses an agent-based modelling (ABM) methodology implemented on the GAMA platform to allow for easy integration of spatial aspects of social geography. To apply this to the visions, certain parameters of the model will need to be adjusted – this re-parameterisation would require consultation with stakeholders and experts. The outputs would be assessed using the methods developed in WP5, which may also require adjustment of modelling methods – for example, adjustment of emission factors to enable assessment of novel technologies. On the valuation side, consideration of the changes in incomes may be needed under different scenarios – adjusting for income elasticity of willingness to pay over time. A joint workshop between Task 6.2 and 6.3 with stakeholders in the participating cities can then be used to communicate the visions and aid in the development of transition pathways. Multi-criteria decision analysis will be used in selected case studies to assess the weights that could be placed on different attributes. Preferred “visions” could then be identified by stakeholders in a deliberative way. A synthesis of the different visions of the cities will be prepared to allow for comparison of the outcomes.


Task 6.3 Developing a transition pathway

Our starting point is the description of the vision(s and the current state of activities and emission factors in the ICARUS participating cities. In this task we shall analyze how the transition from the current state to the vision can be managed. The focus will be on the steps that need to be taken now to start moving towards the vision, i.e. which policies and regulations city authorities (or the national government or the EU as whole) should use now and in the next decade to enable and support the transition. In principle, the following are important:
• Urban planning: this involves changing the role of residential, commerce, recreation, industry, transport areas. Trends like reduction of sales area, as more goods are bought via the internet, or increase in living space per person and more housing meeting the needs of the elderly would be considered.
• Building development: this would include better building insulation, mechanical ventilation, decentralized energy and/or food production, e.g. integration of photovoltaics together with storage devices.
• Transport planning: shift to self-driven interconnected electric cars, modal coupling with public transport and bicycle use.
• Improving energy and resource efficiency: the most important driver towards green cities might be the improvement of energy and resource efficiency. Potential technical improvements will be analyzed, e.g. less energy use for transport technologies, information and entertainment, industrial processes; the development of efficient electricity and heat storage systems, efficient decentralized waste management, recycling and energy recovery systems supporting the cyclical economy. Furthermore we will analyze behavioral changes, e.g. virtual instead of real travel (for leisure and business), less meat consumption or new methods to grow meat more efficiently.
As we are looking at 50 and more years into the future, the generation of a detailed technology driven scenarios is not possible. Instead we develop scenarios making assumptions and explore the improvement, i.e. the reduction of emissions and then the reduction of health and climate impact is made. Thus we can identify areas, where a change is most efficient/important.
For the transition pathway, a number of considerations are important:
1) Research and development: which key technologies have to be further developed, as they are necessary for the visionary concept. Which development goals should be set?
2) Continuous renovation/renewal: what would be the necessary renovation or renewal rate (e.g. for buildings)? What would be technical/environmental requirements to be met for renovations and replacements (e.g. using technical venting systems)?
3) Revolutionary change (e.g. allowing only self-driving cars from a certain date on): what are the problems occurring in the transition phase?
4) Behavioural changes: which behavioural changes would be necessary to support the transition?
5) Energy and resource efficiency: which rate of improving energy and resource efficiency would be useful or necessary to enable the transition?
A semi-quantitative approach will be used combining quantitative with descriptive elements. The analysis would be made for the ICARUS participating cities. Based on the results we will especially examine, which decisions have to be made now (i.e. in the next 5-10 years) to get on the right track for rendering the vision reality.

Deliverable Number Deliverable Title Lead beneficiary Type Dissemination level Due Date (in months)
D6.1 Blending Future and Smart and Healthy Cities 3 – UNIBRIS Report Public 24
D6.2 Report on the visionary scenarios 4 – UNEXE Report Public 27
D6.3 Report on the transition pathway 2 – USTUTT Report Public 42