22 February 2021
SMARTEES develops a tool delving into energy- and mobility transitions
Following two years of research, interviews, surveys, and workshops with ten pioneer cities and islands across Europe, the development of the SMARTEES Policy Sandbox Tool is underway.
The Policy Sandbox Tool aims to support local governments in moving towards successfully achieving milestones related to their local energy and mobility transition. Moreover, it will help local authorities improve decision making, particularly under conditions of uncertainty, by providing an opportunity to explore social dynamics in a local context and gather insights into what kinds of policies could be implemented to increase citizen acceptance.
The user-friendly tool, based on the qualitative research and modelling of up to ten trailblazers in Europe, will be available to local governments interested in holistic mobility plans, renewable energy, district regeneration, superblocks, and energy efficiency on the SMARTEEs website Autumn 2021!
The tool delves into what happened and what could happen. The former is based on the surveys and desk research that have been conducted for each modelled SMARTEES case painting a picture of the actual situation, conditions, and occurrences that ensued during a period of time and what this meant for the energy- or mobility transition. In this part of the modelling, attention is given to, for example, the different key organizations that were present, how the organizations interacted with one another and with the wider population, what the local context was like, and what changes took place with regard to citizen behavior. The latter part, on the other hand, is fictional and the user gets to decide the scenario. Users will be able to test what the outcome in policy or citizen behavior could have been in a specific context had something been different by adjusting a set of predefined variables.
While last year taught us better than ever that we cannot predict the future, the tool can help us to make a grounded assumption about what could happen in a particular context and its likelihood and thereby better understand the implications for a local energy or mobility transition. Local authorities interested in a tool that reflects their own city more closely will also have an opportunity to purchase a service package that includes desk research, interviews, surveys, and modelling based on their city.
To learn more about the tool as well as the agent-based modelling behind it, please check out the recording of the 'Toolbox: SMARTEES - Policy Sandbox Tool for energy and mobility transitions' session at the 9th European Conference on Cities and Towns - Mannheim2020.
The session further features the cases of two pioneer cities, namely Groningen (NL) and the closure of Noorderplantsoen Park to car traffic as well as Aberdeen (UK) and the expansion of its district heat network.