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Vienna conference facilitates mutual learning processes between smart city projects - Planning for energy efficient cities (PLEEC)

Vienna conference facilitates mutual learning processes between smart city projects

Review of meeting

The public meeting “Energy efficiency in cities - monitoring of energy related urban development with special focus on quality of life” on 30 June 2015 in Vienna gathered 50 registered experts and European city representatives to share information on energy efficiency in cities and initiate learning processes.
The event was organized by PLEEC partner Vienna University of Technology in cooperation with KLIEN (Austrian Climate and Energy Fund) and the Austrian Association of Cities.

The meeting was opened by a keynote presentation of Domenica Carriero (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)) presenting the “United Smart Cities” project of UNECE.
Subsequently Rudolf Giffinger (Vienna University of Technology) introduced the projects “PLEEC” and “Smart City Profiles 2.0” indicating at the similar approaches and, as a consequence, possibility of synergies. The project Smart City Profiles 2.0 is a cooperation between the Austrian Association of Cities and the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund aiming at enabling Austrian cities to develop independently individual city profiles.


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In both projects PLEEC and Smart City Profiles 2.0 several key fields of urban development had been established. For the purpose of the meeting in Vienna these different key fields had been integrated.

At the event, all participants were asked to rate the synthesis of key fields along two dimensions:

  • Energy efficiency: “(...) the use of less energy to provide the same service considering aspects of economic, social and ecologic sustainability and the life-cycle of materials” (definition as established within the PLEEC project).
  • and quality of life: “(...) the general well-being of individual and societies living in cities and encompasses social, environmental, economic and cultural dimensions. It is increasingly associated with an inclusive, well-planned, healthy and supportive environment.

The resulting ranking showed a rather diverging picture of importance of urban development key fields in terms of energy efficiency and quality of life.
Mobility and transport as well as buildings and land-use followed by energy supply, resources and demand are the crucial aspects for energy efficiency.
For quality of life, politics, public services and governance is the most influential key field, same as buildings and land-use. The ranking also pointed out the importance of people and private households in this respect.

Poster walk
The poster walk during the coffee break provided the opportunity to learn more about the current status of the planning process towards Action Plans targeted at increasing the energy efficiency of the six European PLEEC cities (PLEEC project partners).

Monitoring the energy situation
The second part of the conference was organized in four working groups dealing with different aspects of monitoring systems. Thereby, the participants discussed the meaning of the monitoring system for urban planning processes regarding energy efficiency and quality of life as well as the aims, scope, functions along several detailed questions provided for each discussion group:

  • Why monitoring? Moderation: Hans Kramar
  • From technology-intensive to knowledge-intensive monitoring? Moderation: Sibylla Zech
  • Comparability of monitoring systems; Moderation: Hartmut Dumke
  • Target groups and usage of monitoring; Moderation: Christof Schremmer

The working groups clearly showed that monitoring systems serve different purposes (evaluation of projects vs. monitoring of overall urban performance indicators, political benchmarking, identification of similar cities, data governance etc.) and consequently target at very different groups calling for adequate communication methods.
The common agreement was that even though monitoring systems can be closed (fixed) or open (flexible) arrangements, the most suitable set contains a number of fixed (and maybe even comparable) indicators supported by a city-specific set of flexible indicators.

The conference was moderated by Gudrun Haindlmaier and Kurt Weninger (Vienna University of Technology, Department of Spatial Development, Infrastructure and Environmental Planning) and was jointly financed by KLIEN (Austrian Climate and Energy Fund), the Austrian Association of Cities and the EU-project PLEEC.

Download the presentations of the event here:

Here you can see all posters of the poster exhibition:


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