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Systems Thinking for Comprehensive City Efficient Energy Planning

Project Details

Project date: 
October, 2013 to September, 2015
Contact Person: 
Euken Sesé
Municipality of San Sebastian

Budget Information

EU contribution: 
Total cost : 
Funding programme: 
1- Strategic sustainable planning and screening of city plans,

Pilot Cities

  1. Bristol
  2. San Sebastian
  3. Firenze

STEEP (Systems Thinking for Comprehensive City Efficient Energy Planning) was an innovative European project delivered in partnership between the cities of San Sebastian (Spain), Bristol (United Kingdom) and Florence (Italy). These cities decided to join together adopting a ‘systems thinking’ methodology in combination with open-data sourcing to improve efficiency along all the key aspects of their energy value chain, by applying smart city concepts in an integrated manner while learning from each other’s expertise in applying sustainable practices.

Integral to the STEEP project is the concept of open-source information sharing and creation of a methodology that could be utilised and applied by any city.

The STEEP project used an innovative open source methodology to develop smart city plans for each pilot city and help them achieve their carbon-reduction targets. The local authorities took a lead role in this process, coordinating the activity of relevant stakeholders.

STEEP has made available a background of knowledge that can be extended to wider areas (metropolitan) and to other cities that are approaching the smart city thematic.

The STEEP project created a process model of systems-based thinking for district energy master planning, which was to be applied to three city districts to better understand the systems that impact upon energy use, and the interventions that can be taken to meet the ambitious energy and carbon targets.

These models were enriched and validated through open innovation methodologies applied with the stakeholders. The learning obtained from the process model for district energy master planning was then applied when defining a specific action plan (timeline, costs and payback periods) at city level. With the knowledge gathered in this process, a replicable open source methodology and key performance indicators were produced for developing and screening integrated Smart City Plans.

The key performance indicators will also allow other cities to use the STEEP methodology to produce their own energy and Smart City Plans and carry out benchmarking analysis.