It is a common understanding that the successful development and implementation of Positive Energy Districts requires the support of citizens. Citizen engagement is indeed at the core of the ATELIER project – as the name also implies. The article “Energy CItizenship in New Energy Concepts”, written by representatives from six European projects with similar goals (ATELIER, +CityxChange, ENERGE, MAKING-CITY, mySMARTLife, and POCITYF), present the different citizens engagement approaches in their projects. The article has evolved from a conference proceedings paper from the Sustainable Places Conference in 2021 to a more detailed research article that was publishes in MDPI buildings on 6 February 2022.
It is commonly assumed by the projects demonstrating concepts for positive energy districts in cities across Europe that citizens want and need to be involved in the development of these concepts as an essential condition for positive energy districts to be deployed successfully and to achieve the expected societal goals. Six different research and innovation projects are investigating the different forms of energy citizenship in positive energy districts and their impacts. They aim to apply a transdisciplinary approach to collaborative research and to impact assessment. The interim results are described, and preliminary conclusions on impact are drawn. The projects each used different approaches to engaging citizens, while differentiating between different groups. Progress is monitored but only fragmentary evidence on the impact has been gathered. Transdisciplinary approaches are being developed but are still immature.