Analysis and Goal-Setting
Integrated neighborhood energy concepts establish goals and strategies for execution for the energy-efficient city. A coordinated action plan is an important baseline for strengthening the future capabilities of our cities. Through connecting all relevant stakeholders—citizens, residential leasing companies, private owners, renters and energy providers—the weight of various approaches to solutions becomes manageable.
Building Blocks for integrated neighborhood concepts:
- Analysis of existing structures and future potential: who needs how much energy within the neighborhood? What capacities do technical energy infrastructures and networks have? Where lies the potential for energy conservation or increased efficiency?
- Strategic concepts: Which goals can be reached in what time frame? Which concrete measures are already planned?
- Expenses and Financing: What expenses are predicted? How is the financing concept constructed?
- Monitoring successes: How can it be tested whether the envisioned goals are reached? How can it be ensured that quality remains an ongoing factor in the process?
- Plan for Execution: Which strategies should drive the execution drive execution forward in the short, middle, and long-term? How will participation from stakeholders be encouraged and enabled?
- Information, Consultation and Work with the Public: How might relevant partners be called to action? Which measures for informing, consulting, and public works are necessary?
Recommendations for Municipalities
On the basis of the analysis of neighborhood energy concepts as well as the interpretation of surveys and events such as workshops and regional conferences, the first research phase compiled working results together in a short summary. The summary will be embellished upon and further differentiated based on the results from the reference projects. Further suggestions for the establishment of a neighborhood energy concept may be found here, and include selection of the neighborhood, goal-setting, process management, and stakeholder participation.
Selecting the Neighborhood
The selection and demarcation of the neighborhood largely influences the degree of intervention and therefore, the results of establishing a neighborhood energy concept. Previous experiences affirm the importance of selecting manageable neighborhoods. The accessibility of data sources and the readiness of stakeholders to participate can also build important criteria. It is also relevant to consider the larger urban space when choosing neighborhoods for energy renovation. Special focus on existing infrastructures for energy provision or specific, existing urban conditions can also help build selection criteria.
Cleary formulating goals builds one of the most important fundaments in concept development and should be achieved as early as possible in the process. Goals set the foundation for the concept. On the one hand, it is important to set long-term goals based on potential points of interest and to develop the concept along these lines. On the other hand, in today’s society economically viable short and mid-term goals must be formulated and executed.
Process Management is fundamental due to the complexity of requirements involved in neighborhood energy concepts. Process monitoring should be clearly regulated and preferably remain under the control of a single individual. For this a time commitment should be ensured. In addition, available resources of various partners should be incorporated and combined. Resources for data processing are often underestimated and should therefore be accounted for in scheduling. Regarding focusing implementation, the first projects should ideally begin within the phase of concept development. To avoid a break between the concept development period and the execution period, the implementation of renovation management should be organized early on.
Ideally the relevant stakeholders in the implementation process should already be engaged in the application period. It is possible to employ existing municipal-level or neighborhood stakeholder networks. Political support should be ensured from the beginning. Cooperation agreements contribute to ensuring integrated working processes as well as maintaining goals, responsibilities and various forms of group work. For this it is important to establish a central contact person, who will also take on the roll of “caretaker” during the process. The affected citizens should be engaged from the beginning in order to ensure acceptance and increase climate-consciousness in everyday behaviors.
To increase the acceptance of energy-efficient urban renovation and benefit the chances of implementation, it is important to connect the strategies from this plan with various other neighborhood development topics (i.e. Accessibility, generational change, etc.) Existing concepts (i.e. ISEK, Integrated Action Concepts) can serve as a baseline.