Decentralization of energy supply enables new settlement structures in all kinds of populated areas. For example, different forms of individual heat pumps can be applied in sparsely populated areas, whereas cluster solutions with a decentralized, low‐energy heating grid can take advantage of energy efficient housing, and still organize around a bigger entity to ensure energy security in a more urban context.
Skanssi is a new development southeast of the city centre of Turku, Finland, which is to become a sustainable district for approximately 8,000 residents by 2030. The area serves as a pilot project for an integrated energy supply and demand system, and is, by and large, meant to operate self‐sufficiently.
The heating system will have its own operating system which allows to lower the temperature in the pipes and use intelligent optimization based on “heat consumption profiles”, geothermal heat utilization, solar power, district cooling, processing of surplus heat, and small CHP plants. In terms of energy, the overall objective is to focus on smart energy and distribution networks, smart grids, local energy production, continuous monitoring and documentation of results, and encouraging and informing the residents about sustainable habits.
While Skanssi serves the purpose of attracting new taxpayers to the already growing municipality, it is also perceived as an avant‐garde sustainability project, which can be used to boost the sustainable image of the city. Together with new transport solutions these types of developments can change the spatial conditions for sustainable urban development, especially regarding new developments.