A. Ferrante, A. Fotopoulou, E. Cattani and M. Santamouris
Bibliographic info:
Proceedings of the 34th AIVC - 3rd TightVent - 2nd Cool Roofs' - 1st venticool Conference , 25-26 September, Athens 2013

Appropriate strategies to reduce energy consumption, increase Renewable Energy Sources (RES) penetration within local urban ecosystems are the higher priorities towards low carbon cities. In this context urban canyons (UCs) -conceived and investigated as a whole consisting of the buildings blocks and the related open areas- represent the core of the search for new intersections between energy issues and urban dwellers. In fact, morphological and spatial geometry of UCs, thermal properties of surface coatings and green surfaces have a strong potential on the energy performance and cooling demand reduction in urban settings.  
Furthermore, the urban buildings should be also investigated to understand the potential of mutual intersections between passive components, Energy Efficient (EE) techniques and RES.  
Finally, efficient schemes for zero-energy requirements, energy construction quality, technological flexibility also need to fit with different users’ needs and expectation, taking into account the different economic and social possibilities, within the large building stock throughout European cities. Existing buildings in urban environments represent the biggest challenge both in carbon terms –because of the large amount of existing stock- and for the social impact they may generate on the relationship between human behaviour and urban sites.  The URBAN RECREATION project – funded within the frame EU 7th Framework Programme for Research (Marie Curie-IEF Intra-European Fellowships -IEF-) aims at achieving an effective research action exploring the socio-technical mechanisms that can promote the concrete synergies between economic constraints, users expectations, EE systems and production, in renewed forms of urban expression. In other words, URBAN RECREATION aims at demonstrating the techno-economical and social feasibility of zero energy-zero emission retrofit in existing UCs. To reach this aim the research will: 

  • Develop a model which spatially depicts the energy of a selected urban area as a contribution to the mapping of the city energy consumption. The principles of the model -based on the city discretization into homogeneous districts characterised by several UC types- will be therefore applicable to other districts and cities.  
  • Study and evaluate the energy demand/potential of the UCs by designing –in different steps of actions retrofitted scenarios to achieve carbon neutral UCs. The study will evaluate different solutions to diffusely integrate available technologies within UCs. Therefore Energy demand in the UCs and Energy saving potential of UCs by passive and RES will be fully investigated; Zero Energy-Zero onsite emissions in the UCs, where additional energy savings production by synergies between passive and active systems will be addressed.  
  • Study and evaluate existing constraints (technical, economic and social constraints) and the way to overcome conflicts/barriers to the designed scenarios’ penetration into real UCs. To overcome these barriers and design a framework to achieve the development of low carbon scenarios and zero energy neighbourhoods, the research project will also develop further activities (social, technical and economic incentives/actions) to fill the knowledge gap among low carbon techniques and their adoption at social and community city level.