Step up strategies towards energy performance and urban planning
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STEP UP – Strategies Towards Energy Performance and Urban Planning

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STEP UP – Strategies Towards Energy Performance and Urban Planning


STEP UP is a European energy and sustainable city planning project that aims to help cities improve their sustainable energy plans. The project is a partnership of twelve organisations consisting of municipal, research and commercial partners in the cities of Ghent, Glasgow, Gothenburg and Riga. Glasgow City Council’s partners are University of Strathclyde and Scottish Power. The project brings together excellence and shared knowledge of energy planning and low carbon energy projects to create a coherent model for sustainable city energy plans that help deliver greater impact on Europe’s 2020 energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon emission reduction targets.

Graham Pinfield, STEP UP Project Manager, Glasgow City Council, 0141 2879121 [email protected]


  • STEP UP was initiated in response to a perceived lack of coordination in planning urban energy systems and a lack of integration with city planning. About 1,500 municipalities who are signatories to the European Covenant of Mayors have had Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) accepted and lodged on the Covenant of Mayors website. However, they are often poorly integrated into the wider policy planning framework.

  • STEP UP’s goal is to create a model for delivering integrated SEAPs that deliver faster and greater impact on Europe’s 2020 energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon emissions targets. The project aims to achieve this by:

  • setting out a model of

  • how SEAPs are developed

  • in cities

  • promoting innovative

  • projects that integrate

  • different technologies

  • and involve varied

  • stakeholders

  • developing a learning network of cities to replicate this activity across Europe

  • training professionals in energy planning and developing a Masters course on ‘Sustainable City Design and Implementation’

  • STEP UP will also help deliver wider policy objectives such as:

  • improving security of energy supplies,

  • achieving urban regeneration

  • tackling fuel poverty


STEP UP comprises municipal, research and commercial partners in the four European cities of Ghent, Glasgow, Gothenburg and Riga. Glasgow is represented by Glasgow City Council, Scottish Power and University of Strathclyde.

First stage is an energy

systems analysis: a range of

data sets are used to inform

analyses, showing energy

consumption and flows

across the city, highlighting

key energy loads and

helping highlight potential

energy projects.

The second stage will result in a new city energy plan for Glasgow by the end of 2014 and a range of projects that help deliver Glasgow’s ambition of a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.

The project engages multiple stakeholders through partnerships such as the Sustainable Glasgow initiative but the challenge is to engage with a much wider range of stakeholders reflective of multiple sectors in the city.

The project is tackling this by reaching out beyond existing stakeholder fora to engage with other sectors (e.g. the business sector and community and voluntary groups) who are not fully engaged with the energy agenda.


STEP UP will produce a new City Energy Plan for Glasgow based on work carried out through the project and will provide support to other cities wishing to do the same.

STEP UP will have practical benefits to citizens in Glasgow by helping tackle fuel poverty in some of the cities’ most deprived communities. This will build on existing pioneering projects in Glasgow such as the Combined

Heat and Power schemes at the

Wyndford Estate and Ibroxholme.

STEP UP will train energy

professionals in sustainable city

planning. A key outcome of the

project will be to integrate

sustainable energy planning

into Local Development Plans

and other strategies produced

within the council.


The project is only 12 months into its implementation but is already providing support and learning opportunities to a wider network of cities across Europe.

STEP UP has assessed and

identified areas for

development and training in

our Scottish SCA partner cities

and is in the process of

assisting with provision of

bespoke energy training.

STEP UP is helping drive existing best practice on integrated energy solutions such as district heating, combined heat and power, waste to energy projects, smart grids, electric vehicles, sustainable transport and efficient waste and water systems.

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