Project assignments

Previous project assignments

Alcoi, Alicante –  Spain. Alcoi is a city and municipality with 70.000 residents in the autonomous region of Valencia, in the province of Alicante. The Serpis river crosses the municipal boundary of Alcoi. Alcoi has an important industry related to textile, paper, food and metal. Furthermore, it has many factories that manufacture matches. Alcoi is the financial, commercial and cultural center in the surrounding area. The city of Alcoi is nestled between two natural parks, and its inhabitants have always had a very close contact with those beautiful places. For future city development and economic growth, the rural activities and sustainable tourism are seen as a huge opportunity. In Alcoi the city council is realizing a General Plan of effective Urban Arrangements in respect to sustainable city environment. 
Reduce CO2-emissions caused by traffic in Alcoy

The question of the Alcoy municipality is: how can a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions in the city of Alcoy be obtained?

In order to transform the south-eastern Spanish city of Alcoy (community of València, about 60.000 inhabitants) into a more sustainable city, its tremendous car traffic pressure should be reduced. The city is located in the valley of a mountainous area. It has lots of narrow and unidirectional streets, which make cycling difficult. The car is dominant in the city and people do not want to live without it. Doing research in the streets of Alcoy and interviewing people helped the students a lot to understand the needs and problems around mobility. These insights were necessary to be able to contribute to finding solutions. The students worked out two concepts for Alcoy. The first concept is developed for the local university. It is an action plan which should help to raise awareness among the students and staff, and it shows alternatives for a more sustainable way of living. The second concept is about changing the infrastructure of Alcoy. Proposals are for example changing streets from unidirectional to bidirectional, by adding lanes for bikes and changing existing bus routes. E-scooters and bike sharing are part of the concept as well. Walking and carpooling are promoted as inexpensive solutions. A more expensive idea is a bike escalator to make biking more attractive in the hilly city; you only have to cycle downhill. The local government is enthusiastic about the variety of ideas in the plan and considers the possibilities for implementation.


Utrecht, The Netherlands. The City of Utrecht is the fourth city in size of the Netherlands (approximately 330.000 inhabitants) and forms part of the larger metropolitan Randstad area in the Netherlands. As Utrecht is a city with approximately 70.000 students, strategic partnerships with educational organizations have formed over the years. Utrecht aims to be a carbon neutral city in 2040. For this different studies in sustainable planning and energy renovation have been executed. But more needs to be done.
Fossil Fuel Free Utrecht

The question of Utrecht municipality is: how can the Tuindorp-Oost district of the city of Utrecht be transformed into a fossil fuel free neighbourhood by 2030?

Related to the goal of the European Union to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent until 2050, compared to 1990, the municipality of Utrecht (about 343.000 residents) has decided to go a step further and become climate neutral by 2030. The municipality of Utrecht wants to switch to a fossil fuel free energy supply as soon as possible. All gas heating facilities must be replaced by electric appliances or other fossil fuel free devices. The students of the Smart Sustainable City course recommend the municipality to insulate all buildings in Tuindorp-Oost before taking further measures. According to them, with a proper insulation it will be possible to cut down the yearly heat loss of the houses up to 90 per cent. The students proved that it is technically possible to make Tuindorp-Oost a fossil fuel free neighbourhood, with the use of insulation, solar energy and electrical heating water systems; although the period until 2030 will probably be too short and investment costs will be too high to reach this goal. In addition, the students developed several approaches on how to get the locals involved and accept the challenge to upgrade their houses.

Circular Economy in Utrecht

The question of Utrecht municipality, department of Environment and Mobility is: develop innovative concepts towards speeding up the process of circular economy in the construction sector in Utrecht.

A circular economy is a system in which resource input and waste, emission and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing and narrowing material and energy loops. There are quite a lot of stakeholders involved who all need to be satisfied. The identified stakeholders in the construction sector (like architects, contractors, homeowners, project developers, transport companies, recycle companies) are all seen as necessary and they all need to be on board in order to achieve a circular economy in Utrecht. In order to boost the process of circular economy in the construction sector in Utrecht it is important to answer the “what-is-in-it-for-me”-question and create accepted social norms on circular economy, according to the students. The supply chain integration can help to create alignment and coordination within a supply chain, often with the use of shared management information systems. Integration of the supply chain is necessary for any of the suggested concepts to succeed. This is a must for Utrecht in order to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy with all the identified stakeholders. A possible way to do so is to clarify the benefits for each stakeholder, to generate circular social norms in Utrecht and to try to combine knowledge from all the stakeholders involved to realise a circular Utrecht.


 Afbeeldingsresultaat voor turku municipality logo Turku, Finland. City of Turku is situated in the southwest coast of Finland. It has 180 000 inhabitants and is the leading city of the region. The city of Turku has made a great effort on sustainable city planning and sustainability in different city processes and decision making processes. The City of Turku is committed to be a carbon neutral city in 2040. One major step is a new city district Skanssi, which will be a sustainable and energy efficient. Skanssi is going to be good platform of different solutions for sustainable practices. The first and second assignment handle about Skanssi area. The third assignment is about the gardening district of Turku.
The Skanssi project about sharing spaces

The question of Turku municipality is: how can empty spaces be used as an opportunity to create a smart sustainable (business) environment within the Skanssi area in Turku?

Skanssi is a new smart city district near the city of Turku (about 180.000 inhabitants). It should be developed into a living oasis that will increase the population of the Turku area and decrease the CO2 emission per habitant. The construction of the first phase of the residential area started in 2011, and a new shopping mall has already been realised in the district. The students designed a shared spaces concept that would fit the Skanssi area. They wrote proposals for utilising the unoccupied spaces within the Skanssi mall as an opportunity to organise events which strengthen the Skanssi community and attract people to the Skanssi shopping centre. Ideas ranged from a lunch disco in the shopping mall, using school buildings more efficiently after school hours (gym, repair cafe, theatre, childcare, kids parties) to creating spaces for co-working in the public buildings. One of the most conspicuous proposals of the students is the ‘man cave’. The man cave is meant as “a male retreat, for male visitors where they will have a place where they can do whatever they like, without any meddling from females”. The man cave concept is based on three main sections: a bar focused on beer and crafts, a relaxing corner and a laser game hall. During a meeting with the marketing promotions manager it became clear that there is a need for a place just for men in the mall.