Many cities across the world have the ambition of becoming carbon neutral, but exact figures of progress toward that goal are limited. Regarding Europe’s not overly ambitious 2020 carbon emission targets, many countries still have a long way to go (see Fig. 1), with cities as the prime objects for improvement. It is fair to say that the energy transition is lagging behind, for which several reasons can be given.
One assumption, based on experience with projects with various European cities, is that cities—their administrations and other stakeholders—generally have insufficient understanding of how to gain and maintain control over the complex process of the energy transition with its multiple actors and diverse objectives and responsibilities.
Another suggested reason is the lack of appropriate approaches, strategies, and methods to guide the energy transition in formulating clear targets and intermediate steps of mainly technical and spatial interventions. These, however are currently under development, and are being tested in cities across the continent—such as in Gothenburg, London, Rotterdam, Cologne, and Genova within the EU project Celsius (www.celsiuscity.eu), and in Amsterdam and Grenoble, for the EU project City-zen (www.cityzen-smartcity.eu)—with promising results so far.
The main research question underlying this chapter is: How can cities be supported in their energy transition toward carbon neutrality?
We will describe the development of approaches, strategies, and methods for the urban energy transition, their background and theoretical basis, and present urban case studies where they were applied. Finally, an outlook will be given for methodological developments in the near future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Energy Transition
Subtitle of host publicationRenewable Strategies for Cities and Regions
EditorsPeter Droege
Place of PublicationThe Netherlands
PublisherElsevier
Pages635-660
Edition2nd
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-102074-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Urban Studies, Energy communities, methods

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