Cities are the center of economic and societal development and today over half of the world’s population resides in cities, and up to 80% is projected for 2050. Cities generate more than 80 percent of global GDP, consume 75 % of natural resources and generate 50% of global waste. Resource efficiency is therefore key for cities to contribute to local and global sustainability and offer at the same time high potential for financial savings.
This project focuses on developing and integrating new tools and services to promote urban resource efficiency with minimum environmental impacts while contributing to promote economic development and preserving actual levels of reliability.
Dispersion of agents producing data at urban level leads to mixed results in applying indicators in different environments and sometimes with little gain in urban performance. This project will advance the science of urban systems modeling and data representation supported by urban “big data” collection and processing.
A major broad impact consists on advancing emerging business models for energy and mobility solutions in a rich data and ICT driven context, with increasingly customized alternatives to the citizen, empowering him to an active role in urban design. The use of renewable energy contributes to “net-zero energy” cities enabling new business models associated with the concept of energy supply and demand “aggregation”, which is the process of linking small groups of industrial, commercial, and residential customers into a larger virtual power unit to make them “visible” from the electric system point of view. An effective management of “aggregators” requires advanced models and distributed control systems, with fine time and spatial resolution due to challenges linked to “intermittency” and “variability” of renewables and also the dynamics of energy consumption (consumer behavior) in urban functions such as mobility or housing.