Project name IDEALCity - Integrated Disciplines for Environment-Adaptive Living in smart Cities
Objective Objective 2.2
Priority Low carbon cities and regions
Aim Currently about 80% of the global primary energy is being consumed in urban areas, cities are being guilty of emitting more than 70% of the total world’s greenhouse gases and 60% of water consumption. On the other hand, cities are the economic engine of the world, and Europe as well, by being on average responsible for more than 75% of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) their further expansion is an inevitable perspective. Claiming sustainability in urban establishments demands a comprehensive understanding of cities as complex systems and clear identification of the role player subsystems within them.
In this scenario the EU roadmap suggests that, by 2050, the EU should cut its emissions to 80% below 1990 levels through domestic reductions alone, progressing towards a low-carbon society. This can just be achieved if all sectors contribute to the low-carbon transition according to their potential.
But the majority of current trends and design methods adopted simplify analytical approaches and practically deal with the subsystems (sectors) as independent entities; hence neglecting the importance of phenomena resulting from their interconnections in different scales.
This proposal addresses the problem of optimizing the environmental performance of the cities and transforming the built environment into a better performing system. Starting from an already tested multidisciplinary approach that integrates different fields of knowledge (architecture-urbanism, design, Systems Theory, Data Science, Energy Efficiency, Big Data Analytics, Geospatial Information Analysis) we propose to achieve an innovative diagnostic analysis of the actual city energy performance with the final aims to reduce the environmental impacts by the adoption of low-carbon energy strategies.
Very often, the Municipalities’ lack of expertise in integrated and multilevel processes produces policy gaps between local actions and national policy frameworks. Their usual awareness of adopting integrated and not sectorial approaches make the transition towards the low carbon energy systems more difficult.
Our proposal aims to provide public bodies, municipalities and citizens groups with a holistic and multilevel methodology for analysing and then optimizing the energy performance of urban systems, with integrated actions on built environment, infrastructures, green energy, efficient and light mobility, safety and security.
In this respect, our basic idea is to develop a solid relationship among the theoretical indicators of urban design practice and define a quantitative view of the city as a complex adaptive system to the aim of acting in some of the main sectors responsible for Europe's carbon emissions: transport, buildings and construction.
- Collecting and analysing a large amount of data from a plethora of sensors located in an immersive urban scenario and from the citizens themselves, monitoring the overall system response, and also dynamically optimizing the response by actuators.
- Integrating the knowledge/diagnostic methods in the planning-and-design process, both in terms of inclusive and co-design tools (able to engage institutional, private/experts, and citizens in data collection and co-design process) and in terms of integration of the appropriate methods in the existing (and innovative) planning and design procedure and instruments.

- Developing an innovative, holistic planning platform that integrates the large scale urban data with the diverse urban data sources to the aim of analysing and optimizing urban performance.
- Pilot actions supporting the reduction of emissions from houses and office buildings
- Pilot action toward Emission reductions from the buildings sector by strategic measures and policies addressed to improve the energy performance of the city and neighbourhoods as a System (Complex Adaptive System).
- Implementation policy to inform consumers and citizens.
- Fostering the transition to a low-carbon society by innovative solution in pilot study case in CE region linking the proposed holistic planning platform with clean technologies and people engagement.
- Transnational guidelines and recommendations for policy improvement. Beneficiaries are, Municipalities, planning offices, citizens energy groups.
- Local strategies for integrated low-carbon energy planning strategies, applicable in the involved municipalities and replicable in other CE regions;
Cost 2,5 millions
Duration 36 months
Partners involved The project consortium is still in formation and we are currently looking for partners.
Partners already involved:
- Architecture, Built environment and Construction engineering (ABC) Department; Computer Engineering Section of the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering (DEIB) of Politecnico di Milano, (Italy).
- IBM Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC) on Big Data Analytics
- TU Liberec (Czech Republic)
- Data center (Czech Republic)
- Municipalities and cities
- Citizen Energy groups
Partners requested - Others Municipalities and cities
- Citizen Energy groups
Innovation Different spheres of innovation will be developed to assist Municipalities and decision-makers, providing them with a fully-integrated process plus a set of Design Ordering Principles and set of Indicators to optimize the existing urban context into a more sustainable one, through:
- Innovation in Geoinformation and Big Data modelling developed and addressed to solving critical urban/metropolitan emergencies (e.g. transport and energy problems, environmental dynamics and related impacts on carbon emission, human health and wellbeing…)
- Innovation in data collection and management (testing creative and innovative methods to reduce/solve the gap between technological innovation and social behaviour towards a co-production of knowledge (problem setting) and solutions/priorities identification
- Innovation in the process of governance of urban/metropolitan sustainability, integrating the knowledge/diagnostic methods in planning and design process both in terms of inclusive and co-design tools (able to engage institutional, private/experts, citizens in data collection and co-design process) and in terms of integration of methods in the existing (and innovative) planning and design procedure and instruments
Follow up of
Follow up fundings