Building Scenarios in Urban Energy Transition: A trans-disciplinary method for integrated spatial energy design

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Within an energy transition process in the urban environment, a successful implementation of strategies requires the capacity of communities to develop and explore various visions and make decisions within an uncertain and complex context. To achieve a reduction of energy demand and to introduce technologies for production, storage and re-use of energy, different scenario types have been applied in energy and spatial planning in order to explore future pathways supporting and guiding decision makers. These are often used to compare the energy performance of different possible solutions and technological measures, underestimating physical and local spatial components to support integrated design processes, where spatial and energy urban systems can create a synergy for a better performance. This paper describes the elaboration and the application of a transdisciplinary Design Oriented Scenarios (DOS) method for energy transition strategies, which is being developed within the framework of the JPI Urban Europe research project ‘SPACERGY’. The DOS method, employed in the Hochschulquartier in Zurich, Switzerland, combines normative, descriptive and explorative components. It aims to help decision makers in a complex multi-actor process by setting common ‘internal’ transition objectives, sharing and creating a multidisciplinary common ground, and exploring alternative spatial and energy performative visions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 33rd PLEA International Conference
Subtitle of host publicationDesign to Thrive
PublisherNetwork for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings (NCEUB)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-0-9928957-5-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventPLEA 2017: 33rd International Conference "Design to Thrive" - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20175 Jul 2017


ConferencePLEA 2017: 33rd International Conference "Design to Thrive"
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Scenario
  • Living Lab
  • energy transition
  • urban design
  • Zurich


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