In occasion of the 6th Ibero-American Congress of Smart Cities (ICSC) 2023, NEUTRALPATH had the opportunity to present a paper entitled “Definition of an evaluation framework to assess the performance and impacts of Positive and Clean Energy Districts (PCEDs) in cities”.
Dresden and Zaragoza are working in the framework of the NEUTRALPATH project to deliver two PCEDs and demonstrate how these elements can contribute to the urban transformation as pivotal strategies into their decarbonisation roadmap. Along with Zaragoza and Dresden, Ghent, Vantaa and Istanbul are collaborating to share knowledge and capacities generated by the NEUTRALPATH project. All these five cities will do so through the implementation of a Climate Neutral Lab (CN-Lab) conceived as an innovation and stakeholders’ hub in the city to foster and facilitate participation and co-creation.
The paper presented during the conferences introduces a significant evaluation framework designed to measure the effect of actions and analyse the cities emissions in the pursuit of climate neutrality. Four levels are included in the framework:
- PCED positive energy balance assessment: Evaluating the positive energy balance of district buildings.
- PCED performance evaluation of district and solutions: Assessing the performance of district solutions.
- PCED emissions evaluation: Evaluating emissions related to PCED implementation.
- City emissions evaluation: Assessing city emissions towards climate neutrality.
The paper outlines a detailed methodology for PCED performance evaluation, including the identification of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in six categories: energy, ICT, mobility, environment, social, and economy.
The evaluation framework is significantly in line with the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories (GPC), which provides a standardized method for calculating, disclosing, and controlling greenhouse gas emissions at the local or community level. PCEDs and cities using the GPC are required to establish a boundary for the GHG inventory, highlighting a thorough and uniform method of assessing PCED performance.
This theoretical framework will be put to the test in our lighthouse cities of Dresden and Zaragoza, as they implement their own PCEDs, providing valuable insights into the practical applications of the NEUTRALPATH evaluation framework.
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