ATELIER - Positive Energy Districts (EU)

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ATELIER is an AmsTErdam and BiLbao cItizen drivEn smaRt cities project funded by the European Commission under the H2020-LC-SC3-2018-2019-2020 Smart Cities and Communities call.
Coordinated by the City of Amsterdam, the project combines the expertise and the commitment of 30 partners from 11 countries.

ATELIER focuses on developing citizen-driven Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) in the two Lighthouse Cities Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Bilbao (Spain). Their successful implementations will then be replicated and tested for feasibility in the six Fellow Cities Bratislava (Slovak Republic), Budapest (Hungary), Copenhagen (Denmark), Krakow (Poland), Matosinhos (Portugal), and Riga (Latvia).

Via dedicated PED Innovation Ateliers, ATELIER will strengthen the local innovation ecosystem and thus remove legal, financial or social barriers to the implementation of smart solutions. The PED Innovation Ateliers will be self-sustaining, continuing for a long time after the project has ended. They will thus become engines for the upscaling and replication of solutions within the ATELIER cities and beyond.

To achieve successful implementations of energy saving measures, ATELIER puts citizens at the centre of all its activities: residents (
To really pave the way for more ‘positive’ cities in Europe, each of the eight ATELIER cities will develop a City Vision 2050 that constitutes the roadmap for upscaling solutions in the long term. The main objective of this is to guarantee a seamless city transformation from planning to implementation and further upscaling and replication.

What is the goal of the project?

ATELIER will develop two city districts, in Amsterdam (Buiksloterham) and Bilbao, into Positive Energy Districts (PEDs): generating more sustainable energy than consumed. Besides implementing sustainable energy systems, research is done to provide insight into which technologies contribute effectively and efficiently to these energy-producing districts and how the various parties involved can achieve this within a particular area. The research results will be evaluated and will inform recommendations for the further roll-out and implementation in other European cities. That's why in addition to the technological possibilities, attention is focused on matters like new forms of civic engagement and effective business models.

What is the result of the project?

  • Demonstrations of PEDs in two Lighthouse Cities Amsterdam and Bilbao.
  • Replicability in six Fellow Cities (Bratislava, Budapest, Copenhagen, Krakow, Matoshinos, Riga)
  • Tools and guides and labs for replicability, f.e. innovation labs, policy and planning learnings, and city visions on PEDs.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

The Amsterdam municipality is responsible for coordinating the project, in collaboration with the Bilbao municipality. Spanish, Dutch and European partners are tasked with realising project objectives and evaluating the results. Alongside the Amsterdam Universiy of Applied Science this includes, among others, Spectral, TNO, DNV GL, Tecnalia, Cartif and the Paul Scherrer Institute. The so-called Follower Cities will replicate the results: Budapest, Matosinhos, Riga, Copenhagen, Bratislava and Krakow. Other partners will take care of the external communications for this project and will liaise with various stakeholders, such as local residents and associated companies (De Waag, Steinbeis).

What is the next step?

This project will cover 5 years of planning, developing and monitoring. The first step is starting up this project and implementing first sustainable energy systems.

What can other cities learn from your project?

The main focus of the project and research grant is replicability of PEDs in other cities. At the time these learnings are known, they will be presented here.

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Simon Duncan's picture
Simon Duncan

Hi Evert,

I understand that but I am also interested in developing contacts or relationships with these projects to create video and podcast content for my website. So while you may not need video content I would still like to develop contacts within this project so if maybe you might be able to put me into contact with another person who I could liase with to find out more about the project planning, milestones and various players involved.


Evert Kuiken's picture
Evert Kuiken

Hi Simon, my comment was meant for the project ATELIER. We don't have a need for video's, sorry.

Simon Duncan's picture
Simon Duncan

Hi Evert,

Thanks for your reply. Green Energy Videos is very keen to be involved in this project and help tell it's stories as it develops.

I've had a look at the web link you gave but unfortunately I don't read or speak Dutch.

I would like to visit Amsterdam and meet up to discuss in more detail but if you could briefly answer:

What stage of the project you are at?

Simon Duncan
Green Energy Videos
+33 6 77 67 63 98

Smart City Academy's picture
Smart City Academy

Dear Simon,
Thank you for your interest. We will officially start in November. Please contact us in that stage to find out if any form of involvement is possible. Best!

Simon Duncan's picture
Simon Duncan


My name is Simon Duncan. I am the Director of Green Energy Videos.
Green Energy Videos is a video communications company based in Angers, France and Wodonga, Australia. I create high end video and podcast projects specifically on The Renewable Energy Sector and Sustainability.

I am interested in being involved in ATELIER.

Would it be possible to discuss this further with a representative from this project?

Simon Duncan
Green Energy Videos
+33 06 77 67 63 98


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