News published on: 08-04-2016

Paris is involved in a European project « Urban Learning », for an integrative energy planning of urban areas: collective learning for improved governance.

Initiated in 2015 and for 30 months, the project aims to generalize and institutionalize integrated energy planning in urban development. The objective of this project is to mainstream and institutionalise integrated urban energy planning within city administrations. The focus is put on the governance process related to the (re-)development of concrete urban sites.


Project partners involved in "Urban learning" are cities of Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam / Zaanstad, Warsaw and Zagreb, with a common problem: dealing with urban population growth while reducing energy consumption and emissions greenhouse gases.


In cities around 60-70% of final energy consumption is used for buildings and mobility. Today considerable reductions of (fossil) energy consumption are possible in these sectors due to technological innovations as well as due to changes in paradigms such as the compact city/city of short distances. Ambitious resource-efficient urban developments such as climate-neutral districts or 2.000 Watt quarters are already piloted in a number of cities and first experiences exist. It becomes apparent that the more ambitious developments are, the more important is the design and planning process and the earlier actors from the supply (utilities, grid operators) and the demand side (city, developers, citizens) have to be integrated into the process in order to realise significant energy reductions at lowest costs. The call for more integrated planning is also supported by recent technological changes: nearly zero-energy buildings need much less energy, will even produce energy, which will set new requirements but also open new possibilities for energy supply (decentralised options, on-site RES, lowexergy district heating & cooling, smart grids, etc.).

Many of the participating cities are frontrunners in their transformation towards sustainable, smart cities. They have been or are involved in research projects on various aspects related to urban (energy) planning, have already gathered practical experience with pilot projects and apply a set of instruments and tools. Consequently, there exist already bits and pieces towards integrated urban energy planning, but not yet a coherent process across the whole city administration. Moreover, while current research projects often identify administrative processes and workflows as barrier, the removal of this barrier has not yet been effectively addressed in the relevant projects.

URBAN LEARNING should act as an "external stimulus" to overcome these barriers and address these issues collectively with key external stakeholders.


As results the project aims to

  • involve at least 500 key stakeholders for significantly increasing the dialogue and common understanding among key stakeholders (city administration, utility, developers) on integrated urban energy planning in the context of new societal and technological challenges;
  • enhance the capacity of administrations of leading European cities to plan urban (re-)

development areas in an integrated manner – impacting directly on (re-)development areas for around about 2-3(?) millions of inhabitants in the next 10 years;

  • condense 10 best practices and insights from experiences in participating cities;
  • upgrade 8-10 governance processes and elaborate plans for their implementation;
  • spread knowledge and models for replication to at least 100-150 other large cities,

To ensure monitoring and dissemination of outputs, project team has design a special website available at http://www.urbanlearning.eu/


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