From a technical point of view, in Torrelago district existing technologies were integrated and implemented, so that the most important lesson was the need to work in a truly cooperative approach.
Since the very beginning, CITyFiED representatives carried out a number of workshops with the residents about the actions deployed for the district’s regeneration. Participants have had the opportunity to address various technological and non-technological solutions designed to cut energy consumption and improve comfort, as well as the effects these could have on residents. During the workshops, partners were able to capture the needs of residents, and look into how to deliver the appropriate technical solutions, together with the most suitable business models, for them while remaining true to the broader aims of the Smart Cities and Communities Initiative.
Financial & Economic
The most important lesson learnt regarding financial and economic issues is that the contribution of the EC grant has been an essential part of the funding, without which the project would not have been feasible in the same conditions, due to the high investment costs that such a number of dwellings entail in the case of Laguna de Duero.
On the other hand, CITyFiED demonstration site in Laguna de Duero shows the economic and social benefits as well, with 50 unemployed local residents received technical training and were hired to work on the renovation of the building facades. More than 400 resumes reached CITyFiED partner 3IA, the company responsible for placing the new Torrelago building facades, when 50 new positions were advertised. Previously unemployed residents have been prioritised in the recruitment and the new hires will receive an extensive training programme, lasting around 2 weeks, to ensure a high-quality delivery of tasks on the facades and to prepare a talent base for future implementations in the project.
Regulatory & Administrative
The involvement of the Municipality has been essential not only for the communication campaigns with the residents but also easing the administrative and legal processes.
Regarding environmental issues, several studies have been carried out along the project, concluding that the most efficient the technologies are, the least impact on energy consumption and the environment will be produced. For that reason, if any future retrofitting project is limited by the initial investment, as it was the case of Laguna de demo Duero demonstration site, the technologies should be selected not only in terms of energy savings and CO2emissions, but also through a life cycle cost analysis.
One of the most important lessons learned while defining Laguna de Duero business case was the social acceptance, because it is one of the biggest district renovation projects in Europe in terms of conditioned area, investment volume and residents involved. On account of the information campaigns that were organized, it was possible to transform one of the main barriers at the beginning of the Project into a success factor.
Moreover, there was an initial opposition of a minor group of people that wanted to stop the project, but finally the project could continue and finish in record time with the acceptance of the majority of the neighbours. The results that were achieved provoked a very favourable evolution in the opinion of those owners who were more reluctant and sceptic at the beginning.
In a truly cooperative approach, CITyFiED representatives carried out a workshop with the residents about the visualisation side of the district’s renovation. Participants had the opportunity to address various technological and non-technological solutions designed to reduce the energy consumption, and the effects that these could have on residents. The approach seeks to take account the perspectives of users and places residents at the heart of the decision-making process. For long-term success in green energy, projects like CITyFiED need residents to fully commit to the planned retrofitting and development. Such an approach raises awareness of energy challenges and increases the opportunity of replicability through citizen engagement.
These are some of the lessons learnt during the project related to Laguna de Duero demonstration site.
More information about lessons learnt are reported in D5.9 in the Best Practice Book. This guide reports the results of the project and could be used as guidance for future developments and initiatives. The Best Practice Book collects technical, social, financial and legal aspects that have been faced during the project. The guide highlights strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in order to give to the involved stakeholders in future projects a wide vision of the barriers and suggestions on how the CITyFiED project has overcome them.