Integrative energy planning of urban development areas: joint learning for improved governance.

The URBAN LEARNING project aims to make urban planning fit for the development of low-carbon neighborhoods. For this purpose, energy planning should be strengthened and institutionalized in city as well as urban development area planning. It is an EU project from cities for cities, centered on governance processes in seven European capitals.


URBAN LEARNING unites capitals and other large European cities whose common challenges are substantial population growth and ambitious targets to reduce fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions - what is now being built will still exist in 2050 and should be largely CO2-free by the latest. High pressure on affordable housing, technological developments in the field of renewable energy sources as well as tight economic margins due to the European electricity market design are the main challenges cities face in new urban development areas.


In response to these challenges, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam / Zaanstad, Warsaw and Zagreb are working together to enhance the competence of their local authorities in the interplay of energy and urban planning. While some of the cities have already (started) ambitious low-carbon urban development projects, the institutionalization of these experiences in the urban regulatory framework is still largely lacking.


The work focuses on departmental and sometimes cross-institutional working groups in all cities. Their aim is to work together to assess the current governance of energy and (partial) city planning and to examine whether and how framework conditions and processes should be improved, so that energy-relevant aspects are considered as early as possible and consistently in the various stages of the (partial) city planning. The identified improvements will then be processed as implementation-oriented as possible and put into action. In addition, the project also analyzes and exchanges innovative technological energy supply solutions as well as promising instruments and tools for energy and urban planning.


Improving governance processes is expected to have a significant impact on the energy consumption of homes and workplaces which will be built / refurbished: more than 1,700 GWh / a of energy savings and more than 2,000 GWh / a of renewable energy generated.


URBAN LEARNING sees itself as a direct support and deepening around the creation of the concept for spartial energy planning in the context of the STEP 2025 and enables the inclusion of diverse international experiences. The Energy Center manages this project; the MA 20 is the urban partner. The consortium consists of municipalities and supporting energy agencies.


You can find further information on the project website.


European Union (Horizon 2020, Energy)


3/2015 – 11/2017


City of Vienna (AT)

Berliner Energieagentur GmbH (DE)

Ville de Paris (FR)

Agence Parisienne du Climat (FR)

Stockholm Stad (SE)

Grad Zagreb (HR)

Energetski Institut Hrvoje Pozar (HR)

Miasto Stoleczne Warszawa (PL)

Gemeente Amsterdam (NL)

Gemeente Zaanstad (NL)