ASCEND – Accelerate positive Clean Energy Districts

ASCEND (Accelerate positive Clean Energy Districts) is built to accelerate positive, clean energy districts (PCED) for cities’ transition toward climate neutrality and social justice across Europe. Two large-scale demonstrations in the lighthouse Cities Lyon and Munich using existing technologies and knowledge will prove the deployment and cost-effectiveness of solution packages. Thereby addressing energy-efficient buildings integrating local renewable energy systems, decarbonized mobility and freight logistics as well as digital infrastructures in a real-world environment, and finally, the feasibility of inclusive, affordable PCED. Co-creation along the governance chain will promote citizen-centric, frugal, just solutions and services. Evaluating the interventions in the demonstrators will refine scalable solutions packages to be transferred to the eight partnering Multiplier Cities, aiming at creating a replication wave and accelerating the deployment of PCED across Europe.

Munich demonstrator Harthof is typical of Munich’s many residential districts. In cooperation with local partners from science and economy, more than 20 solutions are tested to design, build and operate a PCED and to transform Harthof into a clean, healthy, carbon and energy positive district. The Junior research group Cleanvelope supports the City of Munich in various tasks to shape and empower large scale and citizen-centric exploitation of solar potentials, to make buildings provide energy flexibility to a smart heat grid as well as to introduce serial retrofitting processes, and, moreover, to evaluate the impacts of the interventions in terms of energy. This includes the development of strategies, instruments and indicators to assess important project goals like a positive energy balance, but also long-term tools for Munich to monitor and support the city’s ambition of transforming another 100 structurally similar districts by 2035.