The Positive City Exchange (+CityxChange) project explores the development of a structured approach to decarbonising cities. In order to move away from using fossil fuels like oil and gas to meet our energy needs, +CityxChange is demonstrating a concept known as Positive Energy Blocks in Limerick (Ireland), Trondheim (Norway); and in the municipalities of Alba Iulia (Romania); Pisek (Czech Republic); Võru (Estonia); Smolyan (Bulgaria): and Sestao (Spain).
Positive Energy Blocks and Positive Energy Districts
A Positive Energy Block (PEB) is a group of at least three buildings of different uses where people collaborate around how they use energy, so that over the course of a year the Positive Energy Block can generate more energy from local renewable sources than it consumes. Positive Energy Blocks can be assembled to become a Positive Energy District, and a series of Positive Energy Districts can be joined together to create a Positive Energy City.
The Positive Energy Block idea embraces the fundamental change in our relationship with energy necessary to transition to a clean energy system and explores new roles for citizens in the move away from reliance on fossil fuels for energy. Active energy users or prosumers can both generate and use local renewable energy, and people in energy communities can work together to implement energy conservation measures, or to develop low-carbon transport, building retrofit or local renewable energy projects.
Creating a Positive Energy Block requires collaboration. For this reason +CityxChange worked to involve building owners, building occupiers, organisations and others in the clean energy transition of their city. It developed a series of concepts called CommunityxChange to support meaningful collaboration between citizens, city authorities, business and research.
+CityxChange implementation in Limerick focused on the Georgian Neighbourhood in Limerick city centre and people in Limerick engaged with the project through the Citizen Innovation Lab’s digital tools, and co-creation processes like Open Innovation Calls and the Positive Energy Champion Campaign.
Open Innovation Calls
+CityxChange Open Innovation Calls are an invitation to the public to participate in the work of the +CityxChange project in Limerick. They are an opportunity to test out new ideas, prototypes, and services, with support from +CityxChange project partners. Ideas funded through an Open Innovation Call micro-grant are tested in real life settings for a set period of time. Citizens, makers, creatives, startups, businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and other stakeholders can take part. +CityxChange Open Innovation Calls address “Re-imagining Limerick’s Laneways”; “ Take Control of Your Energy” and “Social Innovation and Energy Collaboration”.
Search our stories page for Open Innovation Calls to see how people in Limerick have used this process so far.
Positive Energy Champion Campaign
Positive Energy Champions are people who can help translate the ideas, plans and innovations associated with creating Positive Energy Blocks and Positive Energy Districts into local knowledge and actions. In 2021, the +CityxChange team in Limerick ran a Positive Energy Champion Campaign and twenty people in Limerick volunteered to take part.
“Limerick’s First Positive Energy Champions!”
“Positive Energy Champion Campaign Themes, 2021.”
To learn about Limerick’s Positive Energy Champions, search our stories page for Positive Energy Champion.
Digital Tools For Collaboration
+CityxChange developed new tools for collaboration, like the Limerick Energy Model and the Community Mapping Tool which can be used by people in Limerick to help the city decarbonise.
Through +CityxChange, Limerick and Trondheim in Norway, have become Smart City and Communities Lighthouse Cities leading the way in the integration of smart, positive energy solutions in their cities. +CityxChange is funded as a H2020 Innovation Action through the Horizon Europe programme.