From Problems to Potentials: The Urban Energy Transition of Gruž, Dubrovnik

Andy van den Dobbelsteen, Craig Lee Martin, Greg Keeffe, Riccardo Pulselli, Han Vandevyvere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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IIn the challenge for a sustainable society, carbon-neutrality is a critical objective for all cities in the coming decades. In the EU City-zen project, academic partners collaborate to develop an urban energy transition methodology, which supports cities in making the energy transition to sustainable lifestyles and carbon neutrality. As part of the project, so-called Roadshows are organised in cities that wish to take the first step toward zero-energy living. Each Roadshow is methodologically composed to allow sustainability experts from across Europe to co-create designs, strategies and timelines with local stakeholders in order to reach this vital goal. Following a precursory investigative student workshop (the SWAT Studio), Dubrovnik was the third city to host the Roadshow in November 2016. During these events the characteristics of Dubrovnik, and the district of Gruž in particular, were systematically analysed, leading to useful insights into the current problems and potentials of the city. In close collaboration with local stakeholders, the team proposed a series of interventions, validated by the calculation of carbon emission, to help make Gruž, and in its wake the whole city of Dubrovnik, net zero energy and zero carbon. The vision presented to the inhabitants and its key city decision makers encompassed a path towards an attainable sustainable future. The strategies and solutions proposed for the Dubrovnik district of Gruž were able to reduce the current carbon sequestration compensation of 1200 hectares of forestland to only 67 hectares, an area achievable by urban reforestation projects. This paper presents the City-zen methodology of urban energy transition and that of the City-zen Roadshow, the analysis of the city of Dubrovnik, proposed interventions and the carbon impact, as calculated by means of the carbon accounting method discussed in the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Article number922
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Sustainability
  • carbon neutrality
  • zero carbon cities
  • net zero energy
  • urban energy transition
  • energy renovation
  • neighbourhoods
  • SWAT Studio
  • City-zen
  • Roadshow
  • OA-Fund TU Delft


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