Making CIty


Coordinated by the CARTIF FoundationMAKING-CITY is a 60-month Horizon 2020 project launched in December 2018. It aims to address and demonstrate the urban energy system transformation towards smart and low-carbon cities, based on the Positive Energy District (PED) concept.

Today cities have an essential role to play in tackling climate change by significantly reducing their carbon emissions. The PED operational models developed in MAKING-CITY will help European and other cities around the world to adopt a long-term City Vision 2050for energy transition and sustainable urbanisation whilst turning citizens into actors of this transformation.

The PED concept will be tested and validated in two Lighthouse cities: Groningen (Netherlands) and Oulu (Finland). It will be then replicated in 6 Follower cities: Bassano del Grappa (Italy), Kadiköy (Turkey), León (Spain), Lublin (Poland), Trenčín (Slovakia), and Vidin (Bulgaria).

The technologies selectedto be implemented in the project are mature or already on the market. The PED concept appears as a step beyond the current European building regulations by bringing major structural, societal, economical and technological changes in the cities.\

The PED concept:

Derived from the Positive Energy Block (PEB) definition established by the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), a PED is a delimited urban area composed of buildings with different typologies and public spaces where the total annual energy balance must be positive. Therefore, the district will have an extra energy production that can be shared with other urban zones. The total energy balance is the energy taken from outside the district minus the energy delivered inside the district.

Even if all energy carriers can be considered as potential energy inputs and/or outputs, only primary energy units make a suitable calculation of energy flows to establish the total energy balance. Finally, achieving PEDs means that the amount of energy delivered by the district must be higher than the amount of energy supplied from outside.

A City Vision 2050:

For a successful PED implementation, the MAKING-CITY project is considering a series of key sectors and applications which will ensure a long-term vision for energy transition. A structural shift from a system mainly based on finite energy sources such as fossil fuels, towards a system using more renewable energy sources is considered as energy transition. This significant change also leads to a better management of energy demand in addition to an increase of energy efficiency. 

Currently, city energy plans for energy transition are designed within a 2030 horizon, which can be considered as a mid-term strategy (part of the 2030 Climate & Energy Framework in Europe). Nevertheless, learning from the past to plan the future of cities for more than the next few years appears to be a real need. In MAKING-CITY, the City Vision 2050 is used as a longer timescale to address the urban energy system transformation towards low-carbon cities, bringing appropriate energy planning tools as well as reconsidering municipal organisation (creation of City Planning Offices for instance).