The Eurbanlab assessment tool for Urban Innovations can be used by innovators and developers to assess the impact and possibilities for successful implementation. For investors in sustainability innovations, the tool provides confidence and trust in innovative urban concepts (i.e. products, technologies, systems).
Eurbanlab – A consortium of European organisations in the private and public sector…
Between 2012 and 2015, the consortium has developed a range of products and services to initiate and accelerate the propagation and application of successful urban innovations. The aim of Eurbanlab is to connect solution providers of climate innovations with end-users, and enable them to share, learn and transfer concepts and technologies in order to accelerate the transition to low-carbon climate resilient cities. A low-carbon city is an urban environment that has a minimal output of greenhouse gasses (GHGs), but specifically refers to carbon dioxide emissions (CO2). Climate resiliency refers to cities that are adapted to cope with the potential consequences of climate changes, such as increased changes of flooding, temperature rise and related effects on human health.
Today, over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and is responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions…
Given the effects of climate change and other environmental challenges for cities, the need for change is high. It is estimated that cities account for at least 70% of global carbon emissions. Buildings and transport are the largest contributors of emissions, causing as much as 40% and 30% respectively. Existing buildings tend to be inefficient in the energy usage. Knocking these buildings down to make way for new ones is expensive and means losing certain cultural and social value. Retrofitting of complete building stocks and an implementation of energy efficiency measures in new buildings is necessary.
Similarly, transport and mobility systems in cities need to be (re)designed, in that innovative efficiency solutions are integrated. Hence, in order to overcome the impacts of climate change there is a need for a systemic approach to urban planning which encompasses all urban sustainability dimensions. A lot of innovations are aiming at technical solutions to improve energy efficiency, use sustainable energy, support people and processes with software, etc.. Although important, this is not enough to achieve goals of energy efficiency, sustainable energy and reduction of CO2-emissions. Systemic innovation is needed to implement the right combination of (technical, procedural, regulatory) solutions on a large scale.
The challenge is to accelerate innovation cycles in cities and overcome a general reluctance to invest in innovative and systemic projects. The process and context play an important role in the success of systemic innovations. Eurbanlab is a means to accelerate urban innovation, with a special emphasis on the process and context in order to be able to spread urban innovations from one place to the other.
Innovative solutions to reduce construction costs
Former army barracks have been redeveloped into sustainable homes in the so-called ‘baugruppen’ concept (reducing the costs of construction between 20-40%).
Participatory and Integrated development process
Residents were organised in a legal entity called ‘Forum Vauban’ and have been involved at the very start of the development process. By involving both residents and experts such as architects and sustainability consultants, an holistic approach for the neighbourhood was developed.
Progressive mobility concepts increase sustainability
An efficient eco mobility concept led to a reduced number of private cars (40‐50%), effective public transport, a convenient car sharing system, and an overall high quality of life.
Innovations at the building level reduce energy consumption
Most homes in Vauban use less than 65kWh/m2/year (reducing the energy consumption by 50% when compared to contemporary developments).
Renewable Energy Sources
Over 90% of the total energy consumption in Vauban is produced by renewable energy sources (CHP-plant, solar energy etc.).
Economic benefit for residents
Vauban residents save about 2000 euro’s per year on their energy costs, reducing the additional construction costs to reach high standards of sustainability to mere 6 years.
Across Europe, cities are working to become more sustainable, resilient and vibrant, but the process is (too) slow…
Citizens are seeking places that support a higher quality of life whilst also lowering the costs of living and reducing their environmental impact. Improvements are being achieved through innovations in services, planning, governance, and financing. However, progress in many of our cities is falling short, with costs rising, slow improvements to buildings and urban infrastructure, and carbon emissions that continue to rise.
A need for acceleration, mutual learning and insight into successful innovations in urban sustainability…
To overcome this, innovation cycles need to be shortened, investment in sustainable development increased, and collaboration extended.
Eurbanlab has been specifically designed to accelerate innovation by assessing, improving and promoting sustainable urban development, and by enabling a community of innovators across Europe.
The following services are at the core of the Eurbanlab initiative:
What can Eurbalab mean for you?
- You can evaluate, measure and improve the impact of your urban development plans and projects;
- Adjust your projects were needed to shorten return on investment cycles;
- Gain exposure for your innovations across Europe;
- You can discover and implement innovations faster;
- Meet a community of organizations with experience and know-how to help you implement change faster;
- You can contribute to improving the resilience of cities by sharing your innovations with the community.
Eurbanlab was co-funded by the European Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC). This is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) with a mission to create sustainable growth by addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. As Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership Climate-KIC integrates education, entrepreneurship and innovation. By bringing together communities it helps transform knowledge and ideas into economically viable products or services that help to mitigate climate change.
For more information about Climate-KIC and related projects: Climate-KIC website