The Community of Interest represented a third layer of cities acting as potential replication targets for the project results. The purpose was to create a wide and high-level community of over 40 cities, which would benefit from networking activities with other municipalities and communities and they would acknowledge the retrofitting methodology implemented in the demonstration sites. The CITyFiED Community of Interest aimed to deliver a smarter, faster route to the future. This community focused on towns, cities and municipalities looking to navigate the complex systems of Smart Cities and find the most efficient route to achieving energy efficient district renovations.
A select group of cities and leading associations were invited to have direct access to innovative, tested and cost-effective methodologies and procedures for planning, deploying and replicating energy efficient district retrofitting actions, district heating solutions and distributed electricity generation. This high-level group was also exposed to a vast array of soft skills – exchanges of experience on partnerships, finance and legal frameworks to enable more confident, cost effective and time sensitive decision-making. Either through peer-2-peer exchange with the 3 demonstration sites and 11 replication cities, a multitude of online learning opportunities, webinars and study tours were provided and designed to facilitate the energy goals of the cities.
In the latest years, CITyFiED consortium partners collectively approached more than 150 cities (34 countries) to secure 44 cities and organizations from19 countries. It is expected that members of the CITyFiED Community would become recognized actors leading European drive for smart cities and energy transition. Considerable opportunities for partnership building, media visibility and promotion to local, national and European stakeholder groups are assured.