City Check-up Assessment

As a starting point for using the Cities4ZERO methodology, the SmartEnCity team developed the City Check-up Assessment tool. By filling in the questionnaire, cities can “test” themselves and see where their city is in the urban transformation process. The questionnaire covers various strategic questions related to the integrated energy planning concept, indicating where the city fits in regarding the Cities4ZERO methodological framework and what the city can do as the next steps to continue or start their transformation process. Taking ca. 10 minutes to complete, the Check-up Assessment is an easy way to start your city journey within the Cities4ZERO framework towards a smart zero carbon future.

Based on the citie's responses received during the testing phase of the assessment, some of the findings among cities include:

  • Almost 86% of the respondents have a coordination group in place for dealing with energy and decarbonization topics. These groups mostly include local authorities, technicians and politicians, they are mostly constant, not temporary, mostly fully financed by the municipality and they tend to focus on topics like the built environment, energy supply, mobility and citizen engagement.
  • More than 95% of the respondents have already completed the city analysis and diagnosis phase regarding energy and decarbonization topics. The respective data mostly came from reports, but also indicators/KPIs. The sectors that were most likely included in this phase were energy, mobility and the built environment. The most popular methods were SWOT and brainstorming.
  • Ca. 43% of the respondents already have a long-term vision for energy and decarbonization in place, whereas another 43% are currently developing one. Ca. 67% used a participatory process for that, involving stakeholders like politicians, public administration technicians, industrial partners, experts/researchers, citizens and NGOs.
  • Ca. 52% of the respondents already have an action plan in place for energy and decarbonization topics with another ca. 43% currently developing one. Only ca. 29% have resources allocated for the respective actions, though, with ca. 47% saying resources are allocated partly and ca. 24% saying that no resources have been allocated yet.
  • In developing their energy plans and/or actions, 75% of the respondents say they got inspiration from the SmartEnCity Network resources, 70% from the SmartEnCity website materials and 60% from the SmartEnCity project workshops. 

How to use & tips: 

  • Filling in the City Check-up Assessment questionnaire is a great way to understand the Cities4ZERO process better in the context of your own city. Be sure to check out the Cities4ZERO tool and process afterwards, though – this way, you will know exactly where your city falls in this framework, giving you an idea about the steps you have already completed and the actions to plan next!
  • When filling in the questionnaire, be honest and self-critical. Do not just try to get a “good grade” – in order for the tool and the Cities4ZERO methodology to really work for you, try to find honest answers when contrasting your city’s situation to some of those uncomfortable questions.
  • “A really useful tool. It was very interesting to fill it in as it makes you analyse and think of the procedures that are in place in your municipality. These questions are very good guidelines, indeed.” (representative of the City of Rakvere (Estonia), a member of the Estonian SmartEnCity Network).


We do not advise you to fill in the questionnaire without having a comprehensive knowledge of all the areas, teams and strategies of your municipality. If this is the case, we suggest that you just team up – involve other key people that complement each other’s expertise and tackle the questionnaire together to get the processes going!

Links to more information: 

Find the full questionnaire here - City Check-up Assessment