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Smart INitiative of cities Fully cOmmitted to iNvest In Advanced large-scaled energy solutions


EU contribution
Total costs
Funding programme
4- Demonstration of optimised energy systems for high performance-energy districts.


The SINFONIA project was a five-year initiative to deploy large-scale, integrated and scalable energy solutions in mid-sized European cities. At the heart of the initiative, it was unique cooperation between the cities of Bolzano (Italy) and Innsbruck (Austria), working hand in hand to achieve 40% to 50% primary energy savings and increase the share of renewables by 20% in two pioneer districts. This was done through an integrated set of measures combining the retrofitting of more than 100,000m² of living surface, optimisation of the electricity grid, and solutions for district heating and cooling.


Project demonstration sites

Fellow cities


SINFONIA aimed at validating a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, refurbished city district model where the potential for scalability and replication by middle-sized European cities is built and validated during demonstration, based on energy technologies deployed by the two pioneer cities. This model emphasised the role of an innovative integrated energy system approach, linking energy efficiency and CO2 abatement.

The model’s robustness was reinforced by five follower cities - Pafos (Cyprus), La Rochelle (France), Rosenheim (germany), Seville (Spain) and Borås (Sweden). They used the tested scalability and replication rules to reinforce their impacts on the five future city district refurbishment processes, thus showing that district renovation can be prepared under different sizes, climate and regulatory conditions (Scandinavia, Central Europe, Atlantic, and Mediterranean). An exploitation plan with a complete European perspective was then designed involving replication cluster cities and industry.

Since 2005, Bolzano has developed an ambitious investment plan for large scale urban refurbishment in collaboration with both public and private stakeholders. The work undertaken in SINFONIA was part of this plan and aimed to achieve 40% to 50% primary energy savings in the demo sites and to increase the share of renewables in the district of Bolzano South West by 20%.

Innsbruck defined its 2025 Energy Plan back in 2009. In this context, and as part of SINFONIA, the city has selected its eastern district to demonstrate the large scale implementation of energy efficient measures, with the objective of achieving on average 40% - 50% primary energy savings in the demo sites and to increase at least by 30% the share of renewables in the city’s energy mix.


Håkan Perslow
SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

Building aspects

  • Building Energy Services
  • heating and DHW
  • Installed Renewable Energy Sources
  • photovoltaic
  • Installed Renewable Energy Sources
  • solar thermal collectors
  • Technology used to supply the buildings
  • boiler
  • Technology used to supply the buildings
  • condensing boiler
  • Technology used to supply the buildings
  • district heating (DH) network
  • Technology used to supply the buildings
  • electrical equipment
  • Technology used to supply the buildings
  • electrical heating system
  • Technology used to supply the buildings
  • heat pump: compression
  • Technology used to supply the buildings
  • stove

Energy Carriers

  • Biomass
  • Domestic gas - grid-bound
  • Heat/district heat
  • Light oil
  • Other
  • Waste heat
  • Wood Chips 30% moisture
  • Wood pellets

Energy Systems Types

  • Sustainable Generation
  • Boiler
  • Sustainable Generation
  • Co-generation
  • Sustainable Generation
  • Waste heat

Thematic Field

  • Energy System(s) Integration
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Refurbished Building(s)


SINFONIA_Smart city projects implementation in Europe - assessment of barriers and drivers
(271.24 KB - PDF)
SINFONIA_SWOT analysis report of the refined concept-baseline
(4.36 MB - PDF)