Cities4PEDs Brussels Deep Dive, November-December 2022

How can we transform neighbourhoods into (Positive) Energy Districts (PEDs), which produce more energy than they use and generate different kinds of positive effects in the neighbourhood? PEDs are a crucial step in making our cities climate neutral and at the same time improve living qualities and local co-ownership. We are wrapping up Cities4PEDs, a two-year research project coordinated by Architecture Workroom, that is part of Joint Project Initiatives (JPI) Urban Europe.

In the trajectory, the cities of Brussels, Vienna and Stockholm collaborate with experts in research, innovation, and citizen participation. They jointly investigate how cities can adapt and use their planning and implementation instruments in light of ambitious urban (re)developments at the scale of the district.

Over the course of two years, we have visited three aspiring European cities and studied their local cases. After Stockholm and Vienna, the last of this series of local ‘deep dives’ took place in Brussels from 29 November to 2 December 2022.

Together with the international team we discovered the dynamics of the Northern district in Brussels, exemplified by local practices, such as the Zinneke renovation by OUEST architecture and ROTOR, the upcoming Community Land Trust Brussels housing project along the Zenne park, the socio-cultural programme that CityMine(d) is facilitating around the Foyer Laekenois social housing buildings. They are all focusing on the challenge to increase local production and reduce energy loss in this hyper-diversified area. What do these transformations entail for people and their capacity of action at the district level?

The results of two years of Cities4PEDs will be bundled in a guide for Positive Energy Districts, titled "POWERING THE ENERGY TRANSITION AT THE DISTRICT LEVEL, a practical guide for local initiators”. The deep dive helped to fine-tune conclusions and translate experiences into applicable tools. We are currently in the final sprint and are looking forward to the publication of the Guide in March/April 2023.

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