Innovation district twins between developed and emerging economies can often, unintentionally, be set up on the assumption that city districts in emerging economies should learn from city districts in developed economies. This overlooks the value that sharing lessons bi-directionally affords. REPLICATE is an example of how Bristol and Nilüfer learned from each other about the delivery of an energy community.
Renaissance of Places with Innovative Citizenship And Technology (REPLICATE) was a European research and development project that deployed integrated energy, mobility and ICT solutions in city districts. It was funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It involved three ‘Lighthouse Cities’: San Sebastian, Spain, Florence, Italy and Bristol, UK. The project was designed to accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies to significantly increase resource and energy efficiency, improve the sustainability of urban transport, and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas. The project had public and commercial partners across energy efficiency, ICT and smart infrastructures, sustainable transportation, and citizen engagement. More than 1,800 activities were carried out under REPLICATE, reaching about 12.5 million people around the world.
Business models that were tested offered integrated, sustainable, workable solutions to urban challenges. The business models were then replicated and scaled up throughout an entire Lighthouse city and packaged for replication in the Fellow cities involved in the project – which include Essen (Germany), Nilüfer (Turkey) and Lausanne (Switzerland). One example of early replication is the expansion of heat networks in Bristol.