IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Smart City Block: a new level of intervention for city renovation and reducing energy consumption

Listed author(s):
  • Frédéric Klopfert
  • Olivier Mortehan
  • Hélène Joachain
  • Caroline Lhoir

The Directive 2002/91/CE on the energy performance of buildings requires that by end 2020, all new buildings within Member States are “nearly zero-energy”. Though this is technically feasible for any new construction, the problem of reducing the energy consumption of the existing building stock seems much trickier. Can or will all owners invest to renovate their houses? Are information and financial incentives sufficient? Will individual cost-benefits or return on investment calculation at micro level be enough to overcome the barriers to renovation?The Smart City Block project aims to promote renovation at the level of a city block. It thus directly tackles the insufficiently explored “meso level” where stakeholders with different motivations should interact to achieve a common goal. This interdisciplinary project proposes a variety of technical solutions including insulation techniques and highly energy-efficient equipment but also exploits energy savings that can only be achieved by behavioural changes related to new living organisations. As the proposed approach cannot be applied systematically to any city block, the first step was to develop a methodology for determining where such a block renovation is feasible, within the 5000 city blocks of Brussels.In order to evaluate the acceptance of households, a survey was conducted on four city blocks in Brussels, representing over 450 households. It was therefore necessary to expose the possible solutions in a comprehensive manner for a diverse set of inhabitants. A list of “elements” (including items such as architectural, building performance, HVAC, common living spaces, equipment and gardens or vegetable garden) was produced by specialists (engineers, architects, urban developers and sociologists). The last section of the paper provides the survey methodology and some early results showing inhabitants low attractiveness of energy saving technologies and limited desire to share energy consuming activities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: wp13017
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 13-017.

in new window

Length: 12 p.
Date of creation: 18 Apr 2013
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/143285
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CP114/03, 42 avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles

Phone: +32 (0)2 650.48.64
Fax: +32 (0)2 650.41.88
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Shove, Elizabeth & Walker, Gordon, 2010. "Governing transitions in the sustainability of everyday life," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 471-476, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/143285. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benoit Pauwels)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.