Solar Energy Simulations in Historical Districts for Retrofitting and Evidence-Based Decision Making: Data Challenges for Low Carbon Cities in the EU Neighbourhood & Accession Countries

Baypinar, Mete Basar and Yasa, Enes and Ersoy, Selahattin and Beygo, Cem and Beygo, Kerem (2020) Solar Energy Simulations in Historical Districts for Retrofitting and Evidence-Based Decision Making: Data Challenges for Low Carbon Cities in the EU Neighbourhood & Accession Countries. SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 781-788. ISSN 2521-3938

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Transformation of cities to low carbon cities is a global policy priority that attracts a wide range of actors, including policymakers, local governments, scientists as well as associated technology companies. On the other hand, the geographic, climatic, and structural variations across cities are high not only at the global level but also in sub-continental regions. Besides, the cities also contain highly varied districts with respect to their built environment, land use, microclimatic conditions, and geographical and topological features, where some type of districts may require similar solutions adopted in other cities rather than the district’s own city. Historical districts constitute a particular category from this perspective, where retrofitting and application of smart energy systems and energy-efficient solutions depend on different issues than in other districts. Historical districts have unique problems with respect to the adoption of smart and energy-efficient technologies. While positive carbon districts imply energy production at the site, low carbon districts instead focus on decreasing energy usage and carbon footprints. The selection of the appropriate basic strategy at the district level relies on sound scientific assessment. The assessment should be able to evaluate whether the district is capable of locally producing positive energy outputs without significantly altering or destroying the historical characteristics and ongoing or proposed socio-economic functions. As an example, assessment of the application of solar energy panels in historic neighbourhoods require building based modelling approaches for: a) understanding whether solar energy panels may function within a required technical operation range in built environments; b) if the energy produced locally may be distributed to other buildings in the district; c) if historical buildings can safely accommodate solar energy panels and associated infrastructure; d) if energy storage is necessary and if buildings possess suitable interior spaces for safe storage of electric energy. All these categories of assessment require standardised, rich, transmissible data on various properties of the interior and exterior of existing buildings, of open spaces, and of existing infrastructure. Often, historical neighbourhoods consist of a large number of buildings and extensions which have been subject to an unknown number of interventions over time with varying quality. It is highly unlikely that any existing databases could provide the basis for the extraction of relevant information, as in the past the purposes of such data collectiond did not involve objectives regarding energy efficiency or positive energy potentials. On the other hand, it would be costly and technically challenging to collect all such data from the site by traditional surveys. This problem is exacerbated as many cities now face sudden policy pressures to apply sustainable energy action plans at short notice. All these issues force the stakeholders to seek effective solutions for collecting data, structuring of data and conducting integrated-holistic retrofit simulations in historical districts that provide the evidence-based information for the selection of the suitable technological approach and strategic choices to transform historical cities into low carbon cities. In addition, such simulations might enable a healthier assessment of making use of carbon credits and other incentives in line with such strategies and interventions. This paper discusses the general situation of historical districts and their assessment as positive or low energy districts, in the context of EU Neighbourhood countries. As a first step, the paper evaluates the regulatory framework regarding the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals, global climate change, EU Energy Policy, cultural heritage preservation, retrofitting in historical districts, and research-policy connections. Next, the paper surveys the literature associated with the data problems in the simulation of the application of sustainable energy systems and provides a critical evaluation of the general case of historical districts. Third, the paper explores the situation of data assets in the EU, its neighbourhood and Turkey, with a particular emphasis on building level data about buildings in historic districts. The paper discusses alternative approaches to effective data collection and joining strategies that would serve for different levels of PV solar energy simulations in historical districts. The paper concludes by providing a research agenda on PV Solar Energy simulations in historical districts for improving relationships between scientific research and policies addressing Climate Change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: positive energy district, European Neighborhood Countries, retrofitting, simulation, solar energy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 16:46
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 16:46

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