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Leading Europe’s energy transition and efficiency revolution: Udine, Italy extends its welcome to the CITyFiED network of 50 European cities

The growing importance of cities as drivers of climate change is hard to miss. Today, much of the practical initiatives and momentum to reduce climate emissions lies now with cities, where much of our population, services and economic activity reside. But how can we make the most of a window of opportunity to become climate smart and highly energy efficient? 

A community of local authorities, cities and energy agencies looking to navigate the complex systems of ‘Smart Cities’ has come together as part of the European research initiative, CITyFiED. The result is a developing, wide reaching group focused on tangible approaches and technologies: in building and retrofitting; district heating and cooling; and smart grids.

At the heart of the project, three core ‘demonstration’ cities from different climate regions showcase deployment of the latest technologies reducing energy consumption by 50%, retrofitting over 2,300 dwellings and avoiding over 13,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

Amplifying these achievements and studying their progress closely is a critical ‘City Cluster’ group of 10 cities and one region, who have committed to test and assure the replication potential of the CITyFiED approach – as well as a community of interest comprising 40 additional cities from around Europe.

Udine, Italy is one of CITyFiED’s most engaged cluster cities, making a powerful commitment to energy efficiency and smart infrastructure. The northern Italian town is working with experts from across the project consortium to conduct quantitative and qualitative data analysis of the ‘Aurora’ district, before identifying the most effective measures to deploy.

On 25 February 2016, the Mayor, Mr Furio Honsell, and city of Udine will welcome a delegation of experts in academia, applied research, industry and government from across Europe to share their latest developments and smart city plans. This study tour and accompanying workshop is a vital tool for the group to share technical insight and exchange experiences in partnerships, business models and more.

For Udine in particular, the event represents another step in a dynamic program of actions respectful of its architectural heritage and proudly embracing a climate-smart future. The city is a long time signatory of the Covenant of Mayor’s “20-20-20” commitments and finalized its Sustainable Energy Action Plan in 2009. To support top-line targets in reducing CO2 emissions, tackling mitigation and adapting to climate change, the city has a number of concrete initiatives already making a big impact. Some of the following will feature as part of the CITyFiED study tour this February 2016:

  • the Aurora district (Udine’s CITyFiED demo site):
    A 0,75 square km social housing estate in Udine’s eastern urban area. Built during the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was refurbished in recent years implementing energy saving principles. Today, next generation smart grid measures are being planned to improve energy autonomy and reduce consumption.
  • Udine district heating power station:
    A trigeneration power plant providing energy to the city hospital, university, five schools a sport centre and several residential buildings.
  • “Via Baldasseria” infant school:
    A newly built eco-friendly school equipped with transparent facades, radiant floor panels, geothermal heating with energy recovery system, thermal solar panels and rainwater recycle system. “A” Rated according "CasaClima" energy certification scheme
  • “Via Volpe” mini-hydro plant:
    One of 9 mini-hydro plants along Udine’s urban water streams. It uses a 2,6 m waterfall to produce electricity of 750 – 800 MWh per year. 


Further reading:

CITy Voices: interview with Udine Mayor Furio Honsell
Twitter: Follow events in Udine and all developments from CITyFiED project @cityfied_eu


19 February 2016