Citizens and Positive Energy Districts: Are Espoo and Leipzig Ready for PEDs?
In urban transformation, no solution works without citizen support. With increasing numbers of building technologies and large-scale urban development on its way across cities, it has become vital to keep citizens informed, engaged, and content with the new changes. This paper looks at citizen engagement in Espoo (Finland) and Leipzig (Germany), and it determines whether the cities are ready for developing and implementing positive energy districts (PEDs). The authors studied the cities operations and current citizen engagement methods to understand how the efforts could be combined and improved. The analysis indicated that the city of Espoo already has a well-established system that continuously promotes citizen engagement at various levels, and combining the available infrastructure with company experts on citizen participation will allow Espoo to seamlessly transition towards PEDs in the near future. The city of Leipzig has a rich experience due to several national projects and participation in an earlier European project, which enabled the city to set clearer goals for the future and modify existing citizen methods. As lighthouse cities, findings from Espoo and Leipzig are also aimed at cities across Europe and beyond to boost development of PEDs together with citizens.