Limassol is one of the fifty-three cities from across twenty-one European Union and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries, which have been invited to embark upon unprecedented climate action, through the NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme managed by the Mission Platform of the EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities (EU Cities Mission).
Limassol through LC3 - Lemesos City Cooling Challenge - pilot project, as part of the Pilot Cities, will experiment with new ways to decarbonise throughout a two-year rapidly
Programme. Pilot Cities are setting the urban climate transition on a new trajectory. They will implement systemic and locally designed innovative actions that span multiple areas, from buildings to waste, and levers of change, including governance, finance, and policy.
Pilot Cities will experiment with new ways to rapidly decarbonise over the course of a two-year programme.
LC3 - Lemesos City Cooling Challenge will provide ground for taking systemic, inclusive, and multi-lever approaches to transforming city systems. Over the two-year journey, Pilot Cities will reflect and learn as they go, providing opportunities for other cities to follow in their footsteps, replicating and/or scaling approaches and solutions relevant to their context-this reflecting the Pilot character of the interventions
LC3 - Lemesos City Cooling Challenge - aims to provide pilot ways to reduce greenhouse gases due to electricity consumption for cooling electricity consumption from non-renewable sources (CEA factories).
LC3 proposes a holistic framework for energy-efficient building transformation in Limassol by planning to reduce:
- The need for cooling (microclimate interventions)
- the energy needed for cooling
- Locally produce electricity from renewable sources
- Use nature-based solutions to absorb and store CO2
using a systemic and innovative approach in the way to involve stakeholders and managing the social change.
LC3 Pilot Project - Objectives
Co-design and co-create the pilot activities (field and communication interventions aiming at attitude and behavior changes). Participatory (co-design workshops and The Lemesos Commons in Governance), inclusive (multiple stakeholders: owners, professionals, scientists, civil society), uses multiple levers of change (technology, finance, CoL capacity building, regulatory transformation, social alliance building) setting the foundations of a systemic change in a real-world living lab).
LC3 pilot smart innovative low-cost transformations in the typical built environment of Lemesos (a multicultural, southern, Mediterranean, port city) that can lead to substantial energy efficiencies.
The interventions are planned in a small set of typical selected spaces, both public and private, such as:
- Small open spaces (parkings, pedestrian walks)
- Very small open spaces (rooftops, bus stops)
The innovative approach focuses on
- Broad social participation - co-design workshops and Lemesos Commons
- Smart financial instruments backed by the city
- Impact will be assessed by establishing a baseline of the current carbon footprint.
LC3 being a pilot project, scalability and transferability are fundamental.
LC3 - Systemic Approach
The LC3 (Lemesos City Cooling Challenge) project tests the systemic combination of three innovative pathways to accelerated decarbonization in a living lab environment:
1. Overcoming attitudes and behaviours of apathy, helplessness, and myopic self-interest through broad stakeholder participation in participatory cooperative solution design workshop extending deeply in the pilot activities governance so that the learning/reflexive cycle cuts through Project, Mission, City, and local Society. The co-workshops will promote co-design solutions in groups of homogeneous stakeholders who will then deliberate them at the Lemesos Commons where mixed participation of randomly selected and rotating citizens will deliberate them through participatory budgeting before they are adopted by the project team. It is important for scalability that not only the solutions are co-designed but also their application involves the individuals concerned.
2. Simple, collective, innovative interventions to reduce building energy consumption, mainly for cooling where research shows the regional growing need is expected; the interventions go beyond “building insulation envelope”, are non-intrusive, easily scalable, and form a diverse showcase.
3. Solar energy production and natural carbon sinks in small and very small open spaces (parking spaces, rooftops, pedestrian streets, squares, and bus stops) with the dual objective of (a) improving the microclimate and (b) showcasing small local networks of RE production as well as improving conditions for walking and cycling in the city.
A fourth, independent but crucial for upscaling, the experiment is piloted in parallel: smart financial instruments for (a) City of Lemesos (CoL) to crowd-source funds (b) CoL Mission funds to be recycled and (c) dealing with high land value for construction, as an alternative to expropriation -prohibitively expensive and unpopular.
The pilot is science-guided (Heatwaves main local problem; international center of excellence for emissions monitoring) and deploys smart, innovative solutions (Digital twin with GIS and remote sensing, AI for microclimate and lighting, bottom-up governance, and smart green financial Instruments). Based on known social obstacles (“business-as-usual” and “climate is for the governments to deal with” attitudes), it targets key identified city emissions domains (electricity for cooling). Participatory (co-design workshops and Lemesos Commons in Governance), inclusive (multiple stakeholders: owners, professionals, scientists, civil society), uses multiple levers of change (technology, finance, CoL capacity building, regulatory transformation, social alliance building) setting the foundations of a systemic change in a real-world living lab).
In parallel, the LC3 addresses the issue of City of Limassol (CoL ) capacity building including regulatory reform that will allow flexibility in carrying out the Mission, and renewal of the building code so that the City can promote -and later enforce- energy saving, RE production and NBS including at small, individual scale, and setting up a new municipal entity "Lemesos 2030" to accelerate the CoL capacity building.
Mobilizing the long-standing tradition of solar water heating into a movement towards the modern, green, New Bauhaus aesthetic use of roofs will be a litmus test of success of the systemic change. Similarly, broad citizen participation, including the marginalized categories, in the smart financial instruments designed will test their suitability and prove their scalability.
The stakeholders in the LC3 Pilot are:
- Residents in the area (for work and for living) and visitors (clients and tourists). They represent "society-at-large”.
- Owners of buildings and open spaces that are candidates for intervention.
- Professionals and professional bodies: catalysts for the whole Mission as major city economic forces and include: (a) those involved in the construction industry, co-designers of the interventions who will be called to apply them, so they will also need training. (b) those using the buildings professionally mainly in the tourism industry and parking areas owners/renters; and (c) opinion leaders, such as journalists and teachers.
- Scientists in all aspects of climate science, energy, architecture, city planning etc.
- Government and municipal agencies, (legal entities and staff).
- Civil society, from environmental groups to political parties.
- Acronym: LC3
- Website: Under construction
- Center: EEWRC
- Funding Source: European Union / Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program / NET ZERO CITIES
- CyI Funding: 506,250 Euros
- Funding Period: 24 months
- Starting Date: 1 June 2023
- End Date: 31 May 2025
- Coordinator: Lemesos Municipality (Cyprus)
The Cyprus Institute (Cyprus)
Friends of the Earth (Cyprus)
Technical Chamber of Cyprus (Cyprus)
Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus)