City of tomorrow – today’s reality

Published: March 27, 2013

Eco-district Dauphinot-Remafer – Reims (France) – Photo Didier Wauters (Tractebel Engineering)

 

A “City of Tomorrow” is a global vision; yet the concept and techniques are increasingly being applied to very real urban and even industrial projects as Tractebel Engineering brings together the right mix of competences to achieve truly future-oriented results.

UNDERSTANDING CITY OF TOMORROW

A “City of Tomorrow” describes an ideal concept; an entire, living city, planned, designed and built with a holistic approach to environmental and energy issues, with the ultimate goal of creating a more energy efficient, better social, economic, cultural and political living environment with less impact on the ecosystem. Read more

THE CONCEPT AS A PRODUCT

As fast as the idea of “City of Tomorrow” takes hold in infrastructure, so must the thinking and product offers within the industry adapt. For less flexible players this will be difficult. For Tractebel Engineering, with all necessary competences and energy knowhow already in place, City of Tomorrow becomes a well packaged product that can be taken anywhere in the world. Read more

MASTERMINDING PROJECTS

City of Tomorrow solutions are diverse and can be found in a building’s design, but also in building management, expert use of software, energy analysis reports, getting certification, utilising the right technologies – or all of the above:


Videos by GDF SUEZ that inspire the City of Tomorrow

UNDERSTANDING CITY OF TOMORROW

A “City of Tomorrow” describes an ideal concept; an entire, living city, planned, designed and built with a holistic approach to environmental and energy issues, with the ultimate goal of creating a more energy efficient, better social, economic, cultural and political living environment with less impact on the ecosystem.

INFRASTRUCTURE’S NEW DIRECTION
An entire City of Tomorrow has yet to be built anywhere in the world. But as global appreciation of the holistic concept grows at government, municipal and even citizen level, there’s a clear call today for infrastructure that better meets with society’s sustainable, economical and ecological vision.

The City of Tomorrow concept can be applied to a single building. In mature cities it can apply to a project to renovate and transform a whole city block into a sustainable eco-zone. Or it may apply to a new city extension, where an entire city district of several km² is planned for a special (industrial, educational, research and sustainable living) purpose; Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Tsukuba Science City in Japan are examples, as is Saclay Plateau outside Paris, another Tractebel Engineering assignment.

Cities like Rio de Janeiro, hosts of the 2016 Olympic Games, and Qatar, preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, are also sure to demonstrate this new kind of visionary thinking in terms of developing eco- and socio-friendly, energy efficient arenas, mobility plans and city infrastructure in preparation for these global events.

For future-orientated players in infrastructure who understand and share the vision of a more sustainable world, like Tractebel Engineering, who are able to take a City of Tomorrow project from concept to reality, this is a new era and a very exciting market.


THE CONCEPT AS A PRODUCT

As fast as the idea of “City of Tomorrow” takes hold in infrastructure, so must the thinking and product offers within the industry adapt. For less flexible players this will be difficult. For Tractebel Engineering, with all necessary competences and energy knowhow already in place, City of Tomorrow becomes a well packaged product that can be taken anywhere in the world.

THINKING OUT-OF-THE-BOX

City of Tomorrow is also the name used in Tractebel Engineering to describe the “product” we can deliver through the full integration of existing competences with the group’s expertise in energy.

Considering some of the most important elements and competencies needed for a “City of Tomorrow” expertise in:

  • strategic studies and policy advice at urban and regional level
  • environmental and social impact studies
  • master planning and urban development
  • mobility studies; transport (road & rail; ports & waterways) systems
  • energy production (renewable) and distribution
  • smart grids
  • geothermal systems
  • heat and cold networks
  • water management; sanitation; waste water treatment
  • waste collection
  • industrial rehabilitation
  • recyclable materials
  • smart buildings
  • data management to create city or building dashboards to follow up the consumption of energy, water, etc on line… puts us in a unique position.

Able to provide high-level, pure consultancy services, mid-term vision (master plans), as well as the classic civil aspects needed to take such projects from concept to realisation – with energy as a core competence, Tractebel Engineering and key partners available within the GDF SUEZ Group (Suez Environment and Dégremont) this is something not many other companies can say!


Eco-district Dauphinot-Remafer – Reims (France) – Photos Didier Wauters (Tractebel Engineering)

ECO-DISTRICT DAUPHINOT-REMAFER – REIMS, France

In 2009, the eco-district proposal for Dauphinot-Rémafer was entered in a competition organised by the Ministry of Ecological and Sustainable Development and Land Management.

Put forward by the City of Reims and building developer, Plurial Group (the competition winners), the winning proposal – particularly in the domains of energy efficiency, renewable energies and eco-construction – was a project to reclaim an old factory and the 11 ha it occupied, as well as 2 ha of surrounding urban land, to construct 620 new homes and 2,000 m² of public facilities.

Within this framework, Plurial Group, wanting to optimise its choice of eco-materials and the energy efficiency of the different buildings, came to Tractebel Engineering for a full energy analysis and feasibility study (2010 -2011) looking at the different options available to them, as well as their environmental and economic impact. This involved:

  • Defining the parameters which determined the energy demand and costs based on the use of the buildings as well as the opportunities to reduce these in terms of isolation, use of glazing, ventilation, lighting, heating and cooling and hot water use.
  • Calculating, based on these parameters, the annual energy consumption related to the optimised proposals.

New Police HQ in Bruges – Photos: Beel&Achtergael Architecten

CRADLE-to-CRADLE (C2C) – POLICE HEADQUARTERS – BRUGES, Belgium

The goal of the Bruges City authorities was to develop a fully sustainable building with a very ambitious low energy consumption target as the new Police HQ.

Tractebel Engineering, with Stéphane Beel Architects, showed that this could be achieved through a very compact building structure with good thermal insulation, fixed awnings and solar panels. In addition, the building used only the most sustainable building materials (responsibly farmed timber etc) taking a C2C approach.

Tractebel Engineering is a pioneer of the C2C trend in infrastructure in which, not only are low-emission construction materials selected, but their use in the building should not limit their re-use (should the Police HQ ever be dismantled) as an ingredient of a future product of equal quality to the original. Tractebel Engineering’s knowledge of these principles delivered unique added value in achieving the environmental goals of the customer.

WELL DEFINED

The common link with all ‘City of Tomorrow’ projects is that the goal is to achieve higher social, environmental, ecological, economical and energy efficiency levels in the way they are designed, built, operate and deliver the services needed for people to work, live and enjoy their environment in a sustainable way.

smart solutions

“Infrastructure today is not just about technical solutions – it’s about smart solutions – solving a client’s problem in a sustainable, economical and ecological way that he may not have seen for himself”
Donald Desmet – Senior Expert, Tractebel Engineering

More information

  • Stephan Van Den Langenbergh
  • Donald Desmet

 

Stephan Van Den Langenbergh, Special Planning & Design Section Manager
Donald Desmet, Senior Expert

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