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Together with a great group of colleagues, Imrat Verhoeven, Stan Majoor and John Grin received a major grant for a research project on the energy transition in underprivileged neighbourhoods in the Netherlands!.

In addition, some 40 municipalities, housing corporations, NGOs, firms etc will be involved as co-funding or collaborating partner in four Living Labs and a Learning Lab in this so-called JUST PREPARE (Putting REsident Practices And REsidential areas at the center of a JUST and effective energy transition in underprivileged neighbourhoods) project.

Underlying rationale

The underlying rationale is that in Underprivileged Neighbourhoods (UNs), attempts to realize the energy transition (ET) face two mismatches:

  1. between retrofit technologies and residents’ energy practices, and
  2. between residents and those actors planning and implementing solutions.

These may hamper the ET in terms of both effectiveness (through producing resistance, rebound and prebound effects) and #energyjustice (i.e. distribution of benefits and burdens; degree of access to ET decision-making; and recognition of how vulnerable groups are affected by the ET). Knowledge causes underlying these mismatches are lack of in-depth knowledge of energy-consuming practices such as cooking, laundering, and keeping warm; and lack of effective and just methods to involve UN residents in the ET.

Bottom-up perspective

An effective and just ET thus requires a bottom-up perspective to rethink and further develop thematic agendas for municipalities, housing corporations and other institutional actors; repertoires of interface technologies, renovation strategies and governance arrangements; insight into the #diversity of current and future resident needs and practices each may serve; methods to develop or check such insights in cases beyond our project); educational material for (post-)initial training of professionals to support the Et in UNs. This project develops methodical and substantive knowledge needed to realize these issues. Initial knowledge outputs are tested and improved based on lessons learned in four Living Labs, in which four municipalities, residents and other stakeholders participate. These outputs are translated into outcomes for use in other places in Learning Labs, in which both Living Labs stakeholders, businesses and actors specialized in knowledge utilization and transfer participate.

The team 

The team has members from the Radboud University, Technische Universiteit Delft, Eindhoven University of Technology, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN), Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and University of Amsterdam.

Co-applicants: Aksel Ersoy; Joep Frens; Mendel Giezen; Simone Haarbosch ; RenĂ©e Heller; Thomas Hoppe; Erik Jansen; Maria Kaufmann; Thaleia Konstantinou; Lenneke Kuijer; Roel Loonen; Stan Majoor; Sietske Veenman; Floris Vermeulen; Imrat Verhoeven; Henk Visscher; Mark Wiering.