Claude Arnaud

Cities are already home to half the world’s population and generate a massive energy and environmental footprint. Yet at the same time, they provide real leverage to achieve the aims of energy transition, through a renewal of the way we travel, work and consume.

Improving urban energy efficiency is thus a major issue, yet one that is particularly complex to address. Much of this is due to the systemic nature of the city, with very diverse modes of production and consumption, multiple technical objects and numerous actors, sometimes with diverging interests.

Furthermore, while France’s scientific expertise in urban phenomena is widely recognised, that expertise is still relatively compartmentalised. Each urban player’s expert carry¬†a solution for one or a number of components of the system, while what is really needed is to improve the system as a whole.

Realising this, the French government decided to support the creation of Efficacity, in the form of an Institute for Energy Transition, as part of the Investments for the Future programme (PIA). The Institute brings together the R&D capacities of about 30 private and public sector urban actors encompassing a wide range of multidisciplinary skills, all working towards a single goal: successfully steering urban energy transition.