In February 2023, our colleagues from Tecnalia, Koldo Urrutia and Iñigo Muñoz, successfully defended their doctoral theses in the field of urban and energy planning. Their research findings have greatly enriched the ATELIER project, providing valuable insights and establishing a strong synergy between their work and the project itself. The ATELIER project has served as a conducive framework for both benefiting from and contributing to their thesis findings.

Koldo’s thesis, titled “Integration of energy and urban planning dynamics for cities’ climate-neutrality,” offers significant findings for cities embarking on the path to climate-neutrality. His research focuses on how to orchestrate this transition through a localized approach. On the other hand, Iñigo’s thesis, “Integrated long-term city energy planning: Methodology for the modelling and prospective assessment of urban energy systems,” presents a comprehensive framework for integrated long-term urban energy planning. It emphasizes the importance of modelling and prospective assessment in understanding urban energy systems and supporting decision-making processes.

The theses of Koldo Urrutia and Iñigo Muñoz have significantly nourished the ATELIER cities in their endeavour of Bold city vision creation. The insights and knowledge derived from these theses are playing a vital role in shaping and guiding the development of ambitious city visions within the ATELIER project. The research findings have provided cities with valuable tools, methodologies, and frameworks to effectively plan and implement their vision for sustainable and climate-neutral urban environments. The ATELIER cities have greatly benefited from the contributions of these theses in their pursuit of bold and transformative city visions.

Koldo’s thesis has led to the development of the Cities4ZERO methodological framework, a result highly valued by ATELIER cities. This framework guides cities in developing appropriate plans and projects to facilitate a successful urban transition towards climate-neutrality. During a recent workshop organized by the ATELIER project, where ATELIER cities shared their experiences and knowledge regarding Bold City Vision Creation with other Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) projects, the step-by-step methodology, robust governance model, and adaptability of the framework to cities’ specific circumstances were praised.

Meanwhile, Iñigo’s research highlights the significance of understanding city dynamics for effective long-term energy planning. He proposes three innovative approaches: coordinating national and urban energy planning, energy modelling for the building sector, and integrated energy modelling coupled with impact assessment for urban energy scenarios. Following Iñigo´s proposal, the ATELIER cities are currently focused on creating master scenarios to achieve their city visions. They appreciate the data-driven approach and have implemented actions to facilitate data collection and management, overcoming challenges associated with obtaining high-quality data.

The valuable contributions of Koldo Urrutia and Iñigo Muñoz in their respective fields are making a significant impact on the quality and impact of the ATELIER project’s activities in bold city vision creation. Their expertise and research findings have brought new insights, innovative approaches, and methodologies that are instrumental in shaping the project’s direction and ensuring the development of ambitious and impactful city visions. Their contributions have enhanced the project’s ability to effectively address the challenges of sustainable urban development and climate neutrality. Overall, Koldo and Iñigo’s involvement is elevating the project’s activities and outcomes in bold city vision creation to a higher level of excellence.


Authors: Koldo Urrutia, Iñigo Muñoz, Arantza Lopez Romo, TECNALIA

Picture credits: Koldo Urrutia and Iñigo Muñoz, TECNALIA