+353 (0)1 707 9818

Decarb City Pipes 2050

Decarb City Pipes 2050

September 2020 - August 2023

The Decarb City Pipes 2050 project will unite cities across Europe to work out actionable, spatially differentiated transition roadmaps to decarbonise heating and cooling for buildings by 2050.

Codema's Services

The Climate emergency calls on those at all political levels to act effectively and with greater urgency. The Horizon 2020 funded Decarb City Pipes 2050 project is the first to unite cities across Europe to work out actionable, spatially differentiated transition roadmaps to decarbonise heating and cooling for buildings in 2050, taking up the challenge to phase out natural gas in heating.

Transitioning the heating and cooling sector to energy-efficient, renewable and zero-carbon solutions is key to meet the EU climate and energy targets. Given the long life-cycles of the grid infrastructures involved in this transition, there is an urgency to start planning this transition today. But how? What first? Which systems? How to govern this process? The increasing complexity of the energy system together with technological uncertainties require a high level of knowledge and skills to act wisely. Cities currently lack capacity, skills and the legal empowerment to act and develop regulatory and planning frameworks to steer this transition.

Decarb City Pipes 2050 showcases how local authorities can meet this challenge. Bilbao, Bratislava, Dublin, Munich, Rotterdam, Vienna and Winterthur, seven cities from frontrunners to beginners join forces to learn from each other and develop innovative responses to this challenge.

Each city will explore pathways which address their local challenges and build up skills in the use of data, planning tools and instruments, techno-economic as well as process and transition management knowhow. Engaging in a participatory process with key stakeholders (local working groups), each will develop an actionable transition roadmap, building up trust, relationships and commitment for its implementation along the way. Through deep peer-to-peer exchanges, cities and utilities share knowledge to benefit from other perspectives, stages of advancement and planning traditions. Together, they will advocate for the needed changes to framework conditions.

Enriched by a distinguished advisory board, the project aims to enhance to capacity and skills of >220 public officers to manage the heating and cooling transition and improve >50 policies and strategies. Ultimately, it strives to motivate and support >80 more cities to start the same roadmap process.

Codema's Role in the Project

Codema is leading Work Package 4 – Developing Transition Roadmaps through Multi-Actor Dialogue (with a particular emphasis on task 4.5).


Empower the involved cities with transition management skills by:

  • increasing knowledge on the instruments, competences, procedures, tools and (new) actors that are or need to be part of the transition process, identifying gaps and adjustments required
  • learning new skills to deliver the transition in the face of uncertainties, new actors and conflicts from the fields of change management, governance and citizen engagement

Consolidate the learnings of WP2-4 to develop robust and actionable Transition Roadmaps 2050.

Task 4.5 Developing Transition Roadmaps
In close cooperation with the local working groups, partner cities develop Transition Roadmaps setting out how to reach energy efficient, zero-carbon local heating and cooling (H/C) by 2050. The Transition Roadmaps contain as core elements:

  • a description of the status-quo and of the decarbonised H/C market in 2050 (or earlier),
  • a prioritisation of options (including ‘no-regret’, second best, etc.),
  • instruments to be employed, and governance structures to be set up,
  • actions the city will take at a defined time, in particular with regard to H/C grid infrastructure,
  • clearly spelled out responsibilities,
  • sub-targets for five-year periods,
  • milestones, in more detail for the first five years of implementation
  • a results framework with indicators to monitor progress

‘Transition experiments’ (T5.3) feed back into and further refine the Transition Roadmaps.