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Transform (first project)

Seven models for the cities of tomorrow

According to European Commission plans, by 2020 greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 20%, the share of renewable energies increased to 20%, and energy efficiency raised by 20%. As two-thirds of CO2 emissions and energy consumption occurs in cities and urban regions, it is in these areas that urgent measures must be taken. But how can normal cities be converted into so-called „smart cities“, with low energy consumption levels and CO2 emissions as well as higher energy efficiency levels and a better quality of life? What strategies are required and how can these be practically implemented? In order to provide answers to these questions the TRANSFORM project was started in January 2013 as part of the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme to support European cities during this transformation process.


Smart "urban labs"

With an overall budget of around 7.5 million euros and over a period of two and a half years, six major European cities will develop sustainability strategies and transformation agendas for selected city districts. The AIT Energy Department is supplying the necessary modelling know-how. Amsterdam, Genoa, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Lyon are each involved in the project with a single city district, and Vienna with two – the new district of Aspern as well as Liesing-Süd which includes the Atzgersdorf industrial park, currently under redevelopment. Customised energy strategies will be developed for each of these „urban labs“, involving all relevant stakeholders and taking into account their specific legal, administrative, economic and social framework conditions.


Simulation expertise by AIT

AIT has developed a decision support environment for the project based on the interactive Energy Atlas+. This is a simulation tool which uses interactive digital maps to analyse which measures are needed in selected city districts or for individual building types. The impact of these activities is simulated in a spatially explicit model, thus demonstrating the effects of particular measures on the so-called „key performance indicators” (KPIs), the most important indicators of progress on route to the EU’s 20/20/20 goals. These KPIs include total energy demand, the proportion of renewable energy, CO2 emissions, resource and energy efficiency, soft mobility and public transport, or additional regional income. For example, this makes it possible to demonstrate the impact on the greenhouse gas balance of connecting a building complex to the district heating system and to show the economic effects associated with these investments and activities.



  • City of Kopenhagen
  • City of Hamburg
  • Communauté Urbaine de Lyon
  • City of Vienna
  • City of Genua
  • AIT - Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • Accenture
  • Siemens AG Austria
  • Ove Arup & Partners International
  • Enel Distribuzione s.p.a.
  • ÖIR GmbH
  • Hespul Association
  • Agenzia Regionale per l'Energia della Liguria s.p.a.
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
  • Dong Energy Wind Power Holding
  • Hamburg Energie GmbH
  • IBA Hamburg GmbH
  • Electricité Reseau Distribution France