Our project to pave the way for nearly zero energy cities is now at its mid-point.
Since the project’s inception two years ago, we have sought to maximise outreach to a wide range of stakeholders. As part of our endeavours in this respect, we have set up the MySmartCityDistrict (MSCD) with six other projects. Together they represent some 22 districts across Europe, allowing us to leverage our efforts more effectively, while providing our consortium the opportunity to learn from these other projects as we progress towards our own goals.
Just recently, during the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), we saw a concrete example of this cooperation when some demo sites from MSCD member projects decided to open their doors and show citizens, schoolchildren, policy makers and building professionals what these projects are all about. The aim was, as always, to obtain buy-in and promote replication of energy efficiency in the built environment. More details about this operation, dubbed OpenHouse@EUSEW2015, are featured in this issue.
In the same vein, we are currently developing mini websites for R2CITIES in the languages of the project demo sites. These are designed to provide an interface between the local demo teams, tenants and local stakeholders. This content localisation is a key element in outreach. It will allow our project to be better understood, and accepted, by local stakeholders including end-users. The issue of user acceptance is paramount in demonstration projects such as R2CITIES, especially when users are called upon to participate financially in the retrofitting works.
With best wishes
Rubén Garcia Pajares - R2CITIES Coordinator