Co-creation Design Process

Why Don’t Existing Tools Answer to Municipalities Needs?

There are several city planning tools existing already in the market, however, why aren’t they more implemented in a daily based management at municipalities? As first step, it was needed to do a state of the art analysis in order to avoid mistakes of current tools in the market.

The competitive analysis was done in 2014 and 2015, and it covered nearly 40 initiatives. The main factors to analyze the initiatives were:

  • Type of offer proposed: The different kinds of offers depend on the financial investment to run the tool. The categories evaluated were: Software, Study/Report, On-line Platform, and spreadsheet.
  • Inputs: The information that the different tools use to calculate the energy model is essential to determine how the software is conceived and how it works. On which data the maps and estimations are based (statistical, real data, etc.)? The categories itemized were: Mainly real consumption data, real thermic data, Statistical and injection real data, Statistical data.
  • Outputs: It answers the question: what type of results does the tool provide (map, graphs, etc.)? The categories spitted were: Follow-up instrument, Map, Scenario/Forecast, Tables and Graphs.
  • Scale of inputs/outputs: The last factor analyzed was the scale: municipality in a whole, district and building.

The results obtained were synthesized in 4 graphs (Fig. 1). They represent the scale of results, the type of offer proposed by the tool, the inputs, and outputs of the tool. It’s needed to remark that the categories analyzed under each factor are not always exclusionary, as the different tools can represent several of the categories analyzed.

In Fig. 1 it is shown that practically 50% of the tools analyzed display the results on a building scale. It is also displayed that a third of the tools analyzed were scientific research without specific tool developed so far, about 60% correspond to computer tools, software or on-line applications; while the number of tools developed based on excel sheets were not very representative. On the other hand, tools based on real thermic data inputs and offering a follow-up instrument, weren’t very common.

To sum up, the main weak points identified were:

  • • Planning tools were set at a local framework, and it was difficult to interact or to make modifications of the existing tools.
  • • There was a lack of tools focused on the building stock management as a whole.
Synthesis of the tools and factors analyzed

Fig. 1 Synthesis of the tools and factors analyzed

  • • There was a lack of tools providing urban energy planning assistance and gathering on the same platform the main actors involved in energy efficiency: citizens, municipalities and service providers.
  • • At the moment of the analysis, none of the online platforms, providing global estimations or maps of the energy consumption, offered a networking option to connect with other cities.
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