Projects
Funded by: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
January 2019 / December 2021

CitAge - Cities in the Modern Age

By 2050, the population in urban areas is expected to increase by 2.5 to 3 billion and comprise two-thirds of the world population. Although urban expansion will be one of the main emission sources across multiple sectors, it could also incentivise the adoption of new low carbon technologies in key sectors such as transport, construction and infrastructures. Better public transport, local shared mobility, electric vehicles, low-energy buildings, greater energy efficiency, efficient appliances, renewable energies, green infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, sustainable land-use and urban planning, nature based solutions, reduced food wastage are some of the main examples of the large range of options and policy solutions available to make urban transition feasible.

Understanding the factors driving the energy and environmental performance of modern cities is essential to provide knowledge-based policy advice. Moreover, in order to foster the transition through more sustainable models is crucial to identify potential trade-offs and synergies among options and policy actions.

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identifies cities and urban areas as one of the four critical global systems that can accelerate and upscale climate action. Cities will be, in the next future, the starting point for behavioural, technological and institutional experiments in the direction of greater sustainability and resilience.

In this perspective, moving from the experience of previous FEEM’s projects such Re-Cities and Ecovalue, CitAge wants to guarantee a continuity of FEEM’s research engagement on the topic, by carrying out original research, providing new evidences and contributing to the policy debate on the role of cities in the current transition through more sustainable development models.

Main Results and Outputs

The CitAge project is conducted according to four main research lines.

  • Low carbon cities
    Different sustainable models of urban development are promoted around the world. An overview of measures currently adopted by European cities is crucial to understand the state-of-the art and the on-going progresses. The research provides a review of the initiatives aimed at sustaining cities in entering the pathway to low-carbon development and to provide policy guidelines based on knowledge and expertise as well as existing experience and best practices.
  • Urban spatial structure, mobility and energy transition
    The analysis of the relationship between urban form and energy consumption is a key step to inform policies and to plan the construction of new energy efficient city districts. The research explores opportunities and challenges provided by the urban morphology and transportation to reduce energy consumption and to shift the energy mix towards green energy.
  • Energy density in EU cities
    As of today, the energy demand of cities accounts for almost 70% of the total, and it is estimated to increase by 26% by 2030. Reducing energy use and increasing the share of renewable energy is essential to reduce carbon intensity. The research is devoted to the construction of downscaled models to analyse energy demand scenarios within EU cities.
  • REconcile CONflict through STrategic Resilience in Urban Contexts and Territories (RECONSTRUCT)
    In the light of the current geo-political scenarios, urban reconstruction is one of the great challenges to tackle. There is an increasing debate on how to manage urban resettlements. The research provides guidelines for urban reconstruction possibilities in territories affected by conflicts from an environmental and social standpoint.
  • Transition cities for low carbon and adaptive urban areas
    Understanding the sustainability of changes in land use can contribute to design and implement better planning policies for a transition towards resilient, low-carbon and resource-efficient cities. The research focuses on urban design principles that support the transformation of existing cities towards an improved resilience to climate change.

The main results of the research project will be discussed during a series of events organized during the year. 

Project team
Project leader
Pareglio Stefano
Firms And Cities Towards Sustainability - FACTS Program Scientific Coordinator
stefano.pareglio@feem.it Read more

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