These OpenHouse events were among nearly 700 other “energy days” and side events that took place in June as part the EUSEW2015.

The four MSCD projects opened up nine of their districts through guided tours to refurbished districts, visits inside buildings, exhibitions on concepts and practice, forums, roundtables and online video messages. CITyFiED demo sites in Lund and Laguna de Duero hosted in-situ events and Soma produced a video highlighting its endeavours with our project.

In addition to these local events, CITyFiED was represented at the EUSEW Policy Conference which convened in Brussels from 16 to 18 June. CITyFiED Coordinator Ali Vasallo participated as a speaker at the session entitled “Towards an integrated energy system” where he highlighted how energy systems can be integrated at city level and linked with transport, ICT and the environment.

Also participating in the Policy Conference was Anders Almgren, Mayor of Lund. The session, which brought together some 450 delegates, carried the title “Smart Cities and Covenant of Mayors – How urban initiatives contribute to the EU energy and climate objectives” and focused on concrete and local experiences, and the potential in implementing the energy union when breaking silo thinking. Mr Almgren spoke of Lund’s involvement in three major EU initiatives: Covenant of Mayors, European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities, and the FP7 with the CITyFiED project.

Today My Smart City District brings together 7 projects involving some 22 districts from 12 different countries. As such, the OpenHouse initiative was an ideal opportunity for participating districts to gain the attention they deserve as they venture into the challenging process of moving towards smarter and greener urban environments. The advantage was double; projects can communicate to relevant stakeholders more effectively, and are better positioned to learn from one another.

OpenHouse@EUSEW2015 in Linero district, Lund (Sweden)

This event, opened by the Mayor Anders Almgren, took place during the morning of 15 June and brought together some 80 participants from various sectors: local authorities, academia, building and energy corporations as well as policy makers. The underlying agenda was to look at how foster cooperation between stakeholders and tenants, and how to ensure replicability of cost efficient interventions while adopting a systemic perspective. Specific topics included EU investment in energy efficiency, sustainable heating in Lund, highlights of the Linero demo site works and replicability potential, engagement with tenants around energy efficiency, and cooperation for a sustainable energy system. These topics were delivered to delegates by the various CITyFiED partners based in Lund and together they enabled a detailed overview of the issues and challenges currently being addressed both on a European and local level. At the end of the morning, delegates were guided through the Linero district to take stock of the interventions.

OpenHouse@EUSEW2015in Torrelago district, Laguna de Duero (Spain)

The team in Laguna de Duero organised a series of visits, talks and demonstrations throughout EUSEW. The idea was to reach out to various population groups including citizens and school children, as well as to building and energy professionals. For the first two groups, the main goals were to teach sustainability and energy concepts. Also, school children and students are the first link in a knowledge chain and they can, in some respects, become the teachers in their own homes passing on vital messages about energy sustainability.

Three primary schools participated, and in order to generate an amazing visit for the children, VEOLIA created an energy game consisting of 8 energy and sustainability questions. A letter was hidden behind each answer and in the end, the children had to build a word using up to eight letters.

In addition to school children, students from the University of Valladolid visited the demo site due to their participation in the different work packages. Visits with these students were of a technical nature and focused on building aspects relating to architectural design.

In all, some 289 students and 16 teachers visited the Torrelago demo site in Laguna de Duero during EUSEW2015. 

Several guided visits were dedicated to the owners of the dwellings. Finally some 43 owners visited Torrelago demo-site, although that number could have been much higher. Guided visits were divided in two parts, starting with a look the boiler room explained by VEOLIA and then a visit to the actual the buildings led by 3IA.

For technicians and other professionals, a workshop was held with included technical presentations and a guided visit to the demo site. It was hosted by Laguna Municipality and led by Rubén García from CARTIF. The event brought together some 53 attendees, mainly from the architectural and construction sector, but also including engineering companies, energy institutions and universities.

On the agenda were presentations on ICT and monitoring concepts, thermal insulation of façades, Smart City concepts and EU policy, multisource district heating solutions and integration of renewable energy sources.

To conclude, the week’s events were a success, with all attendees very interested and all three stakeholder groups (students, citizens and technicians) participated well. And school are now interested in repeating the visits.