Baltic Smart City Areas for the 21st Century

Project activities: The existing energy planning instruments and cooperation models applied by local and regional public authorities in strategic energy planning are not adequate for realizing integrated approaches that reduce sectoral fragmentation and exploit the full energy savings potential of built-up urban districts. Currently, the design of strategies that integrate energy consumers’ behaviour is insufficient. This is a result of the lack of cooperation between local and regional public authorities, energy utilities and property owners. Further, instruments and tools are missing to under stand end-users’ motives and barriers, to enable direct exchange with citizens as energy consumers and to pro-actively engage them in strategic energy planning.

AREA 21 increases the energy efficiency of BSR cities and regions by developing, piloting and disseminating innovative cooperative approaches and instruments for integrated energy planning and implementation on the level of urban districts. AREA 21 shifts the focus from single-building/single-infrastructure solutions to a holistic system perspective on energy efficiency and energy consumption.

It develops new approaches and tools for collaboration of local and regional public authorities with energy utilities and for active involvement of citizens as building users and energy consumers in cooperative planning, decision making and implementation processes. AREA 21 opens energy planning to new actors to develop and implement more effective energy efficiency solutions, exploit synergies on district level and reduce sectoral fragmentation.

Project main target groups are local and regional public authorities that are involved in energy planning processes in two ways: as strategic energy planners setting the strategic frame for energy efficiency measures and as property owners that can act as forerunners in developing and implementing energy efficiency measures from the energy consumer perspective.

AREA 21 addresses two concrete needs: the need of local and regional public authorities to cooperate with energy utilities and co-design integrated approaches to energy efficiency in order to exploit thefull energy savings potential on district level and the need to engage energy consumers in strategic energy planning and thus raise awareness and promote behavioural change.

Project is supported by Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme.

Project budget: 2 550 859,58 € (incl ERDF support 2 432 424,58 €)
TREA budget: 212 000,00 €

Project duration: 2017−2020

Project aims: Developing and implementing the Energy Improvement Districts.

Project home page:

Follow-up project: AREA 21+ action: Promoting Cooperative Processes for Integrated Energy Planning at a District Level

Total budget of AREA 21+ action: 812 630 € (programme co-financing (ERDF): 613 030 €; Russian & ENI funding 199 600 €)

Project results:

• Position paper incl. recommendations on policy improvements for regional energy efficiency
• Energy Improvement District concept
Tartu Kalda Energy Improvement District (EID)
• Guidance on cooperative energy planning on district level
Cooperative (District-level) Energy Planning: Commonly experienced challenges and barriers
• Process model for the cooperation of local and regional authorities, energy utilities and public property owners in energy efficiency implementation on district level
Process model in implementation energy efficiency projects in urban districts
• Energy planning and management tools. AREA 21 guide
• New ICT-based tools for involving citizens and property users in energy planning
Energiamonitor, energy monitoring, analyses and reduction,, ICT tool presentation promo
Energy application from Tampere University of Applied Sciences,, ICT tool presentation promo
The Energy Improvement Circle Tool applied in Helsingborg Hospital Area, Sweden,, ICT tool presentation promo

Project partners:

  • HafenCity University Hamburg (Germany)
  • Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
  • Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (Russia)
  • Kohtla-Järve Town Government (Estonia)
  • Tartu Regional Energy Agency (Estonia)
  • City of Tampere (Finland)
  • Region Skåne (Sweden)
  • Öresundskraft AB (Sweden)
  • Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Germany)
  • City of Lublin (Poland)

Project home page:

Contact person in TREA: Antti Roose (, +372 5332 8233)

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