Integrated Energy Plans and Replication Roadmaps

Having successfully carried out their foresight workshops as part of the wider Cities4ZERO framework, the five SmartEnCity partner cities worked towards completing their Integrated Energy Plans and replication roadmaps. The main aim of these plans is to support the future replication of the project activities and learnings on a wider scale, addressing specific areas of the city government and investments.

The five partner cities were involved in the development process of the Cities4ZERO methodology, following its strategic stage to develop their integrated energy planning processes. In practical terms, the final reports as the main outputs of those processes have adopted different formats depending on the strategic interests of the city (e.g. Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan 2030 for Tartu; Integrated Energy Transition Action Plan 2030 for Vitoria-Gasteiz, Climate Neutrality Roadmap 2025 for Sonderborg). However, regardless of the final format that was adopted, the five cities all followed the Cities4ZERO methodology, showing its capability to guide cities in their path towards decarbonisation while departing from different contexts and transitioning levels.

Each partner city, either Lighthouse or Follower, thus went through the following activities, depending on the scale of the needed and desired replication:

  • Analysing and evaluating the local conditions as well as potential obstacles to replication.
  • Defining the requirements needed to ensure proper replication and adjusting their organisation and strategies accordingly.
  • Presenting an inventory of deployable solutions to be focused on the rest of the city.
  • Delivering a replication roadmap, i.e. designing specific solutions in each city, including the objectives and areas targeted, local regulations and planning documents, engagement of citizens and stakeholders.
  • Adding an agenda and milestones as well as a proper financial plan to ensure the replication of the solutions.
  • Using participative methods in developing the roadmaps. Information was exchanged and the replication process planned in common decision-maker workshops, including the SmartEnCity Network.
  • Setting up monitoring instruments for the replication roadmaps and supporting the management of further replication.

How to use & tips

  • The fact that all the five SmartEnCity partners successfully completed their Integrated Energy Plans and replication roadmaps goes to prove that however much influenced by local factors and the environment, the technical, legal and social barriers and opportunities, cities can still follow the same methodology and arrive at somewhat different, but still comparable results. That’s the key to benefitting from the Cities4ZERO methodology – you have to make it your own!
  • Several of the SmartEnCity partner cities successfully combined the Cities4ZERO framework with the methodology proposed by the Covenant of Mayorsand updated their IEPs into Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs). Here’s another tip then – when planning your own smart city journey, you can mix and match methodologies to arrive at the best framework for your city to plan its next steps!
  • Be ambitious! Create a short, but well-defined process with concrete milestones.
  • Engaging local companies is very important. As they are one of the largest consumers and emitters, reducing CO2 emissions and adopting environmentally friendly solutions together is crucial. 
  • Citizens should also be engaged from the very beginning of the planning phase. Their engagement and commitment to the process is extremely important and more effort is needed to ensure it, e.g. through more innovative and playful approaches, online events, use of social media etc.
  • Want more context and guidance for drawing up Integrated Energy Plans and replication roadmaps? We advise you to start from the Cities4ZERO framework to get things going! For using participative methods in your planning processes, be sure to check out the Foresight methodology. For setting up monitoring instruments, refer to Monitoring and Evaluation.

Links to more information

Read Sonderborg’s plan here – Roadmap2025 – 50 steps towards a carbon neutral Sonderborg 
Read Tartu’s plan here – Energy and Climate Action Plan of Tartu City (Tartu Energy 2030) 
Read the Vitoria-Gasteiz baseline report here – Vitoria-Gasteiz diagnosis and baseline 
Read the Tartu baseline report here – Tartu diagnosis and baseline 
Read the Sonderborg baseline report here – Sonderborg diagnosis and baseline 
Read the scientific publication here - Towards an Integrated Approach to Urban Decarbonisation in Practice: The Case of Vitoria-Gasteiz 
Read the scientific publication here - ENER-BI: Integrating Energy and Spatial Data for Cities’ Decarbonisation Planning 
Read the scientific publication here – Smart Zero Carbon City: Key Factors Towards Smart Urban Decarbonization 
Read the scientific publication here – Retrofitting Soviet-Era Apartment Buildings with ‘Smart City’ Features: The H2020 SmartEnCity Project in Tartu, Estonia