Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, RESPONSE is a 60-month project that aims to establish a strategic vision for Smart Cities Energy Transition: Climate-neutral cities by 2050.

RESPONSE aims to turn energy sustainability into a doable vision by solving the energy trilemma; security, equity/affordability and environmental sustainability at building, block and district levels in smart cities. The project builds upon intelligent, integrated and interconnected energy systems coupled with demand-oriented city infrastructures, governance models and services that foster energy sustainability.

Towards resilient and safe cities – Turku paving the way

RESPONSE supports the Lighthouse cities of Dijon (FR) and Turku (FI) along with their Fellow cities Brussels (BE), Zaragoza (ES), Botosani (RO), Ptolemaida (GR), Gabrovo (BU) and Severodonetsk (UA) in delivering positive energy blocks and districts. The project attracts the interest of various stakeholders by generating innovative business models. They enable the upscale and replication of solutions forming a validated roadmap for sustainable cities across Europe and beyond. The overall focus of the project is to create resilient and safe cities, whilst increasing the quality of life and lowering the impacts of climate change.  

“Regarding climate targets, Turku is among the most ambitious in Europe. Turku strives to be carbon neutral by 2029 and climate positive thereafter. Being part of the RESPONSE project is very important to Turku. As Mayor, I couldn’t be happier with the advantages and the level of ambition that RESPONSE brings to the whole city – also in the long run”, says Mayor of Turku Minna Arve.

Regarding climate targets, Turku is among the most ambitious in Europe. Turku strives to be carbon neutral by 2029 and climate positive thereafter.

In RESPONSE, Turku will demonstrate 10 integrated solutions, to be implemented in the Positive Energy District (PED) in the Student Village area. These include various innovative technologies and tools that aim at transforming existing and new building stock, decarbonization of the electricity grid and the district heating and cooling systems, proposing flexibility and storage strategies for optimizing energy flows and reducing the grid stress.

Moreover, further methods are tested in order to link existing data and information platforms to enable digitalisation of services, integrating also smart e-Mobility to promote the decarbonisation of the mobility sector. Last but not least, the applied interdisciplinary engagement and co-creation practices will put citizens and stakeholders at the forefront of shaping Turku’s development as a smart, resilient and safe city. Based on the successful piloting of the solutions, a replication roadmap will be developed for areas of Science Park Itäharju and Runosmäki, as well as the 2050 Bold City Vision for the Smart city of Turku.

Turku leads the local project ecosystem

The overall consortium of RESPONSE is led by EIFER - European Institute for Energy Research, Germany, technically supported by CERTH - Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece, and comprises of a total of 53 partners.

The local ecosystem is led by the city of Turku and consists of 18 partners. The ecosystem includes several city-affiliated companies (Turku Energia, Turku City Data, Turku Student Village Foundation, Turku University of Applied Sciences), national research institutions (VTT, University of Turku and Finnish Meteorological Institute) and forerunning innovative technology providers both from Finland (Solar Finland, Oilon, Sähkö-Jokinen, HögforsGST, Elisa, ELCON Solutions, HR-Ikkunat Ruhkala) and abroad (eGain, FerroAmp and SunAmp).  

The project commenced on October 1, 2020.