For the first time in history, more people live in cities than not, and that number is growing rapidly. Cities are directly responsible for around two-thirds of global final energy use as well as for significant indirect consumption of energy through other goods and materials. They account for around 75% of global CO2 emissions. At the same time, cities are incubators for change and innovation and can lead the global energy transition.
We are seeking funding for the development of a new ground-breaking and open-source software to enable communities and cities to develop energy plans in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. The funder will effectively contribute to sustainable local developments of cities and councils in both the developing and developed world. The Cities 2.0 urban energy model will be open source and will be usable by city councils around the world.
The seed funding for the pilot city of Sydney, Australia, will finance the participatory multi-stakeholder processes needed to fill gaps in data and identify Sydney’s specific energy needs. The aim is to develop the energy modelling process in close accordance with the needs and demands of stakeholders within cities (city councils, utilities, industry, tourism, residents, academia etc.) in various geographic locations.
Sydney was chosen as one of two pilot cities in order to develop the methodological blueprint for the software. In a second step, this will be further tested and refined by using cities around the globe.
Sydney achieved 100% renewable electricity production in July 2020, and set itself a zero emissions target for the middle of this century. The switch to renewable energy is expected to save the city around half a million dollars within the next 10 years. As Sydney is also one of the first Australian cities to set a zero CO2 emissions target by 2050, it is crucial that these efforts are scaled-up and 100% renewable energy across all sectors (electricity, industry, heating & cooling, transport) is achieved as soon as possible. In addition, partners in UTS, responsible for developing the methodology, are based in Sydney. Existing relationships with energy, urban and spatial planners can thus be leveraged to ensure smooth implementation of the project and availability of data in all steps of the methodology development process.
The process of stakeholder engagement will consist of mapping, identifying and actively involving the key actors in Sydney to engage in peer-to-peer dialogues and knowledge co-production to assess the city’s energy needs; sources and energy planning processes will be determined. The results of this multi-stakeholder process will serve as input for the design and development of the software, so that it will be in line with the expectations of local actors, providing a just transition and maximising socio-economic benefits for a greener recovery post COVID-19. The peer-to-peer dialogues will be accompanied throughout the project and energy model development process by a state-of-the-art advocacy strategy, making sure that citizens widely support the urban energy transition while building the needed capacities among future users of the cities 2.0 energy model.
The approach of combining scientific energy modelling with qualitative discussions and political advocacy will ensure that cities can remain frontrunners in the energy transition, and are provided with the tools needed to achieve a transition towards a low or zero carbon future.
If you are interested in supporting this project please use the form to the right to submit an inquiry.