Urbanisation & Smart Cities

More than half of the approximately seven billion people on our planet now live in cities and the trend towards urbanisation is gathering pace at an enormous rate. This has been leading to a drastic increase in urban energy consumption and CO2 emissions. If we are to reduce the negative impacts on the environment and secure the energy supply under these increasingly challenging conditions in the long term, it will not be sufficient to improve individual components of the urban energy system.

  

Integrated planning approach

Urban energy systems must be understood in all their complexity to be able to design them in an efficient and environmentally compatible way. With its extensive systems and components know-how and its dedicated interdisciplinary approach, AIT has established itself as a pace-setter in the national and international arena, providing scientific support in sustainable urban energy planning.

  

New impetus for China

As the Austrian pioneer in this field, the AIT Energy Department was commissioned to develop a Low Carbon City Action Plan for the Chinese city of Nanchang in May 2011. This city of five million in the southeast of China will serve as an example to demonstrate how an intelligent integrated energy concept can bring about significant reductions in CO2 emissions despite strong economic growth.

 

Pilot city Nanchang as a "living lab"

The Department carried out a detailed analysis of the urban energy system of Nanchang to identify potential CO2 savings. The experts worked in close cooperation with local planning teams to develop targeted measures for enhancing energy efficiency, for example through the redevelopment of selected urban districts. Other key components of the concept included the integration of renewable energy sources such as wind and photovoltaics and adaptation of the supply networks. The results of these analyses and investigations provided the basis for the development of a Low Carbon City Action Plan. Some 60 individual measures were combined into defined actions with clear objectives to be implemented by 2020, starting with China’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2015). The Action Plan was presented at the “2nd World Low-Carbon and Eco-Economy Congress” in Nanchang in November 2011, where it received very positive feedback.