Sustainable urban planning: best practices from nine pilot cities showcased in Madrid

Nine cities, one voice: sustainable urban planning is the key to achieve the European Union’s climate targets. On 11 December 2018, two days after the launch of the 24th Conference of the Parties in Katowitze, Poland, the cities of Aachen (Germany), Bratislava (Slovakia), Gaziantep (Turkey), Gothenburg (Sweden), Milan (Italy), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Sestao (Spain), Tampere (Finland) and Vienna (Austria), partners of the EU-GUGLE sustainable building renovation project, gathered in Madrid to showcase their achievements and voice their support to an ambitious European programme for energy efficient retrofitting. At this occasion, over 65 representatives from municipalities, architects, researchers as well as energy players gathered in the Spanish capital to discuss innovative solutions to make the cities of tomorrow greener and smarter.

With over 180.000 square meters of living space renovated across Europe, the EU-GUGLE Smart City Initiative is a role model for other cities interested in resilient urban planning. The conference organised by Greenovate! Europe in cooperation with project Coordinator CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) and aimed to discuss the solutions related to sustainable building refurbishment and resilient urban planning across Europe, while showcasing best practices from the EU-GUGLE pilot cities as well as lessons learnt throughout the implementation of the project. After introductory speeches of the European Commission and the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Transport related to European and national policies to support sustainable urban development, José María Ezquiaga, President of Madrid Architect’s Association (COAM) shared an inspiring vision of how to combine growing urbanisation with the need to develop more sustainable and resilient cities. A set of technical, industrial and social solutions were then presented and discussed by a panel of experts including representatives from the RISE Research Institutes, Jenny Lööf, and Fundación Tecnalia Patricia Molina, as well as Angelo Giordano and Alessandra Cassisi, specialists in financing instruments from the Officinae Verdi group, and Magdalena Rozanska, industry professional from Acciona.

The afternoon session was the opportunity for three cities of the EU-GUGLE Smart City Initiative, Vienna, Tampere and Aachen, as well as the city of Valladolid, to present their achievements in terms of energy efficient building renovation. Best practices presented included both innovative technological solutions, such as the development of a district heating network using sewage water in Aachen or the installation of multifunctional solar façades in Vienna, as well as social engagement strategies to engage tenants in energy efficient renovation projects and foster their replication in other districts. As a conclusion, Florencio Manteca, Director of the Energy in Buildings Department at CENER and coordinator of the EU-GUGLE project, detailed lessons learnt from the project, insisting on the need for standardisation of cost-efficient refurbishment solutions, training and engagement of all actors across the value chain and strong cooperation at city and European level.

In the next three months, EU-GUGLE partner cities will be laying the last stones towards the achievement of their sustainable renovation plans while spreading the word for the replication of best practices in sustainable urban renovation.

If you are interested in the outcomes of the project and the topics discussed during the conference, a recording of the event is available at this link and the presentations of the speakers can be downloaded here.

The presentations below were held during the EU-GUGLE final event. Watch the presentations one by one in the right field or download them by using the links below.

The #EUGUGLE project is still running until March 2019, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

EU-GUGLE – Final Conference, Welcome speech

Florencio Manteca

Cities at the heart of the energy transition: the EU vision

01 – Feilim O’Connor 

Sustainable urban development in Spain’s policies

02 – Francisco Javier Martín Ramiro

New challenges and objectives for strategic urban planning

03 – José María Ezquiaga


Integrated urban regeneration for sustainable energy

04 – Patricia Molina

Financing instruments and innovative business models to boost urban regeneration

05 – A. Giordano & A. Cassisi

Keeping citizens in the picture: participatory approaches to urban planning

06 – Jenny Lööf

Panel discussion: Sustainable urban planning versus reality.

Moderator: Emilio Miguel Mitre, Architect-Director of International Affairs, GBC España

Is the industry ready for smart cities?

07 – Magdalena Rozanska

CASE STUDY | Renewal of the built environment and climate actions as a city’s strategic project

08 – Pauli Välimäki

CASE STUDY | Energy efficient refurbishment of social housing and historic buildings in Aachen

09 – Rosa Hemmers

CASE STUDY | Torrelago’s district renovation in Laguna del Duero (Valladolid)

10 – Andres Macia

CASE STUDY | Austrian experiences in Graz, Innsbruck and Vienna

11 – Stefan Sattler & Michael Heidenreich

Lessons learnt from EU funded smart cities projects

12 – Florencio Manteca

Guillaume Corradino,
Tel: +32 2 400 10 08,