Funding program

Horizon Europe


2023 - 2027


Lyon Confluence

Accelerating positive, clean energy districts (PCED) for cities’ transition towards climate neutrality and social justice across Europe

The project’s overarching goals are to:

  • make cities healthier, inclusive and climate- neutral and
  • speed and scale the deployment of cost-effective PCEDs solution packages.


  • deliver two inclusive, affordable PCEDs in Lyon and Munich
  • successfully Bootstrap implementation of PCEDs in the Multiplier Cities of Alba Iulia (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Charleroi (Belgium), Prague (Czech Republic), Porto (Portugal), Stockholm (Sweden)
  • scale-up solution packages for a large community of cities and investors across Europe.
  • disseminate our results widely to the smart cities community.

Large-scale demonstrations in Lighthouse Cities (LHCs)

using existing knowledge built by Smart Cities Projects, offering well-proven and cost-effective solutions packages, scalable by design to cities across Europe. Second, ASCEND will develop solutions packages across the entire life of the district: from design to implementation and maintenance. Third, the project will create a PCEDs replication wave in our eight partnering cities by iterating between the development of solutions packages and deployment in LHCs and Multiplier Cities (MCs) during the project. MCs will achieve impact by bootstrapping their PCEDs during the project. Finally, ASCEND will trigger a PCED wave through outcome-driven collaboration with EC initiatives: Climate-Neutral and Smart City Mission, Covenant of Mayors, Smart Cities Marketplace, Scalable Cities.

Additionally, it will deploy City Alliances in the eight participating cities, targeting small municipalities, not used to European projects.

What is Energy Cities’ role in the project?

Energy Cities’ main role is to amplify PCED results for Lighthouse Cities and Multiplyer Cities. This entails coordinating and organizing:

  • the updated characterisation of the PCEDs
  • the implementation of a detailed capacity building programme for LHCs and MCs
  • facilitation support to implement PCEDs in MCs
  • the development of multiplication strategies in LHCs and MCs to apply the PCED methodology to new areas.

This project is funded by the Horizon Europe programme of the European Union.