CIVIS project: cities as drivers of social change

Reblogged from Science on the Net

The University of Trento is leading the CIVIS project, with the aim of raising awareness on energy saving through the active participation of the community. CIVIS has received a grant of 2.9 million Euros for three years under the call “ICT-Smartcities” of the 7th European Framework Programme. The aim of the project is to reduce CO2 emissions by focusing on citizen empowerment and the involvement of non-economical values such as collaboration and sharing, in order to communicate with the traditional providers and to build a new form of participated energy service.

Three pilot sites in Italy – Trento city and the nearby municipalities of Storo and Stenico – and other two in Europe – Stockholm, Sweden, and at the Otaniemi University Campus in Helsinki, Finland – will be the first to test CIVIS. In these pilot sites, the various districts involved will be an active part of the research project and the project itself will be developed depending on the context in which it is placed.

“Until now,” says Matteo Bonifacio, the project’s creator at University of Trento, “the way of producing energy has led to the evolution of our society. The big question we must answer is therefore how society will look like, now that we are heading towards distributed and complex energy systems. The first response comes from the web. Today’s society does not coexist with the web; it is the web. A form of participated energy use must therefore draw inspiration from the web to achieve social objectives. Energy is our currency, thus, a social revolution of technology is necessary.”

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