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A smarter way to delivering large-scale change: the CITyFiED Methodology for Sustainable Urban Renovation at district level

Sustainable urban renovation is complex, particularly with respect to the decision making process, where a number of key stakeholders and several aspects need to be considered simultaneously. Evaluating and selecting alternative scenarios or measures to be implemented can be a substantial use of time and resources for cities. 

Despite a vast amount of knowledge and tangible experiences generated in recent years, a way to take all of these elements and perspectives into account and prioritize them for action is not yet systematic. There is an identified need for holistic methodologies, developing guidelines, procedures, tools and key performance indicators to cover the large scale and complexity of these sustainable renovations.

“There is a need of methodologies for Sustainable Urban Renovation able to cover the complexity of cities and facilitate the decision making process” 

The CITyFiED Methodology provides a clear route to conduct these issues, helping to enable a more confident, mass-market deployment and replicability of district-scale energy efficient retrofitting. It is a procedure composed of seven phases and a decision making process that aims to understand the urban area  to deliver tailored Sustainable Urban Renovation strategies with a focus on energy efficiency.

The Phases of CITyFiED Methodology

The methodology is a complete and systematic process designed as a consultancy tool for Sustainable City Planning, addressing specific environmental, technical and economic aspects, as well as integrating public participation. It improves on current practice by incorporating all these key elements for success in one process.  Conceived as a practical methodological guide, objectives and necessary steps are detailed, ranging from initial diagnosis to final evaluation. Different scales are combined depending on the application phase, focusing interventions at district level but starting from the city analysis and always considering the impact on the total urban area.

“The CITyFiED Methodology is an integrated approach divided into seven phases, ranging from initial diagnosis to final evaluation. It includes the CITyFiED indicators tool and the cooperation of an External Consultancy Group to support decision-making process.”

Two key innovative aspects stand out, designed to provide quantitative criteria that can support decision-making process within the methodology; the CITyFiED indicators tool and the introduction of the External Consultancy Group (ECG). In the case of indicators, three levels of indexes are proposed which diagnose the city and district (City Level Indicators L1); evaluate possible and planned interventions (Project Level Indicators L2); and to assess the final results (Impact Assessment Indicators L3). Accompanying this, the multidisciplinary consultancy group is in close cooperation with the local authorities during the diagnosis stages and facilitating selection of the most effective strategies to implement. Finally the CITyFiED methodology helps achieve additional efficiency though “joined up thinking” with an integrated approach to collect and assess results, validating connected activities.

 City Strategic Areas and Application Areas

The methodology is being built by a multi-disciplinary team of experts and been subject to a ‘real world’ road test in three cities across Europe. Leading this is Spanish partner ACCIONA Construcción, strongly supported by technical research center’s CARTIF and TECNALIA. Demonstration sites in Lund (Sweden), Laguna de Duero (Spain) and Soma (Turkey) are collaborating closely in testing and validating each step, as well as the input of CITyFiED’s network of over 50 additional cities. Cooperation and input from the demo sites was extremely important to develop the level 1 City Indicators. Indicators definitions were reviewed in terms of functionality, comprehensibility and availability of data, which was useful to make several refinements. Secondly, the values were calculated to double check previous features and define reference values. CITyFiED’s ‘Community of Interest’ and cluster cities have since been invited to test and give feedback in interactive workshops. Results and recommendations obtained from these activities are used to further optimize the methodology - make it easy to deploy and adapt to the particularities of each city and maximize its replication potential in Europe.

“The methodology is flexible and adaptable to be tailored to any European city and reach a high replication potential.”

The CITyFiED methodology will continue to be tested and fine-tuned with the demonstration sites and cities directly connected to the project for the immediate future. The next major milestones for this will be a study tour and workshop in Ludwigshafen, Germany in November 2017 where the diagnosis tool, indicators and analytics will be studied in more detail. CITyFiED will begin holding some public facing workshops, conferences at demonstration sites and inform cities how best to exploit and replicate this approach from mid-2018.

If you are a city or researcher interested to know more about the CITyFiED Methodology, please consult, follow our social media feeds on twitter and LinkedIn or contact us directly Cities, municipalities and regional energy agencies wanting to have first hand experience can still join the CITyFiED Community of Interest