21 October 2016

Three UM faculties help municipalities become more sustainable

Renovating apartments and flats inhabited by private individuals can reduce the carbon emissions within municipalities by 50-70 % . Taking these measures will also yield significant financial benefits for the people living in these spaces. Three of Maastricht University's faculties - Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, School of Business and Economics and Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience – are knowledge partners in the 'Energy Cities'-project, a European project that aims to promote the renovation of apartments and flats inhabited by private individuals.

Even though municipal governments are trying to reduce their carbon emissions, they will still have a considerable carbon footprint in the future. Most of the apartments and flats in the northwest of Europe are still energy inefficient, creating a growing need for a comprehensive approach to the renovation of these buildings.

UM researchers involved in the 'Energy Cities'-project contribute in different ways: they help address the main administrative obstacles, make a scientific contributions to the co-creation processes for sustainable development, and contribute to the creation of methods for financing the refurbishment of these buildings. But they also provide psychological insights that can be used to a change behaviour.

The 'Energy Cities'-project aims to formulate a strategic vision on energy transition that will help bring down legal, personal and financial barriers to the renovation of apartments and flats. It is currently being implemented in six cities: Aberdeen, Antwerp, Frankfurt, Liege, Paris and Maastricht.

CoachCopro - a free tool developed by the Agence Parisienne du Climat - plays a central role in this project. In France, this web-based platform successfully assisted apartment owners and construction professionals. An additional advantage of the project is the creation of jobs - it could potentially yield nineteen jobs for each € 1 million invested. The entire European Energy Cities campaign will last 10 years and will contribute to the improvement of approximately 15,000 households.