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Sustainable energy Positive & zero cARbon CommunitieS

Project description

An inclusive process for the urban sustainable energy transition to smart cities

Renewable technologies for enabling the transformation of cities into sustainable smart cities, already exist. However their wide deployment, penetration and value obtainment relies on the deep and comprehensive understanding of real-life complexities imposed during actual operation, as well as, on the wide acceptance of smooth communication and interaction between citizens, local communities, industries and authorities. The EU-funded SPARCs project encourages the participation of blocks of buildings and districts in the energy market, aiming to turn urban areas into energy prosumers. SPARCs engages 31 partners from 9 EU countries and coordinates a wide range of stakeholders from citizens and local planning authorities to companies and research institutions for the transformation of cities to carbon-free inclusive communities. SPARCS finds solutions eligible for banking support based on pioneering business models, tailored on interactions between the citizen, building and urban energy systems, as well as effective governance model to facilitate the transformation process.


Sustainable energy Positive & zero cARbon CommunitieS demonstrates and validates technically and socio-economically viable and replicable, innovative solutions for rolling out smart, integrated positive energy systems for the transition to a citizen centred zero carbon & resource efficient economy. SPARCS facilitates the participation of buildings to the energy market enabling new services and a virtual power plant concept, creating VirtualPositiveEnergy communities as energy democratic playground (positive energy districts can exchange energy with energy entities located outside the district). Seven cities will demonstrate 100+ actions turning buildings, blocks, and districts into energy prosumers. Impacts span economic growth, improved quality of life, and environmental benefits towards the EC policy framework for climate and energy, the SET plan and UN Sustainable Development goals. SPARCS co-creation brings together citizens, companies, research organizations, city planning and decision-making entities, transforming cities to carbon-free inclusive communities. Lighthouse cities Espoo (FI) and Leipzig (DE) implement large demonstrations. Fellow cities Reykjavik (IS), Maia (PT), Lviv (UA), Kifissia (EL) and Kladno (CZ) prepare replication with hands-on feasibility studies. SPARCs identifies bankable actions to accelerate market uptake, pioneers innovative, exploitable governance and business models boosting the transformation processes, joint procurement procedures and citizen engaging mechanisms in an overarching city planning instrument toward the bold City Vision 2050. SPARCS engages 30 partners from 8 EU Member States (FI, DE, PT, CY, EL, BE, CZ, IT) and 2 non-EU countries (UA, IS), representing key stakeholders within the value chain of urban challenges and smart, sustainable cities bringing together three distinct but also overlapping knowledge areas: (i) City Energy Systems, (ii) ICT and Interoperability, (iii) Business Innovation and Market Knowledge.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 976 812,50
02150 Espoo

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Manner-Suomi Helsinki-Uusimaa Helsinki-Uusimaa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 976 812,50

Participants (38)