Trondheim's Positive Energy Districts See Potential in 'Co-using'
This year on Global Climathon Day, the Trondheim Municipality invited students, researchers, entrepreneurs and citizens to join and generate innovative climate solutions for a smart and sustainable city.
This year on Global Climathon Day, the Trondheim Municipality invited students, researchers, entrepreneurs and citizens to join and generate innovative climate solutions for a smart and sustainable city. In partnership with +CityxChange the Trondheim Climathon produced transformative ideas to engage citizens in the co-creation of "Positive Energy Districts" (PEDs).
Of the 100 PEDs being established across Europe over the next five years, Trondheim vows to develop three! These are urban neighbourhoods with annual net zero energy import and net zero CO₂ emissions working towards a surplus production of renewable energy. The PED transition requires comprehensive and sustainable urbanisation strategies couple with community engagement to make this a reality. The most effective carbon cuts will come from individual households. But introducing the sharing economy into personal spaces will require a new perspective on privacy and a fundamental shift in preexisting social norms.
'Co-using' questions the future of housing in Norway. It's a new social order that structures society based on activity levels, common interests, and daily space utilisation. Citizens cohabitate in modular dwellings consisting of a personal space, a flexible multi-purpose space, and a community space, and pay by the amount of time and space they take up. This solution accommodates for a growing housing demand in the most energy-efficient manner and absorbs many energy-positive themes under the framework of community building.
Co-using encourages citizens to take an active role in the green energy transition and the sharing economy. Of course, its success will rely on Trondheim’s willingness to challenge the status quo. After acclimating to a certain standard of living, the tradeoff of less privacy can seem inferior at first. But for the average citizen, embracing Co-using brings a wealth of incentives including reduced rent, a sense of community, and a lighter carbon footprint.
"When you have shared resources, it's easier for everyone; and I think people will see the advantage of living that way," explained Shamita Chaudhary, team member of the winning Climathon solution.
Meet The Team
Possessing educational credentials in circular economy, geography and sustainable energy systems, the Norwegian team of Shamita Chaudhary, Julius Ott, Lala Mammadova and Nithish Kini accepted the challenge in stride. They believe the first step in successfully integrating Co-using is by increasing awareness and gaining acceptance. To test the solution, the team would first divide Trondheim into smaller districts and allow citizens to turn their homes into Co-using spaces to cater to those with complementary schedules and common interest.
Co-using is a shining example of a transformative solution with the potential to change the way our cities operate. EIT Climate-KIC's annual global Climathon offers a launchpad for these innovative ideas, bringing participants together to help find solutions to decarbonize or build the resilience of cities. It's a chance for participants from 145 different countries to command an audience and amplify their voices.
"I don’t know where else my idea would be taken seriously," admitted Shamita. "I’m still surprised that it is being taken seriously! I did not think it would come this far."
Shamita's team has been invited to attend the Climathon Global Awards on 31 January 2020 with the chance to receive prizes of up to €10,000 to propel Co-using into its next phase of development. Join us for the celebration of an international movement that brought citizens and cities together to co-create and solve the local climate issues.