12th June 2017

Ecoparc Forum 2017 in Neuchâtel

The interdisciplinary research project ACTIVE INTERFACES, conducted within the framework of the national research program NRP 70 "Energy Turnaround" of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), is co-organizer of the 9th Ecoparc Forum. Entitled "Solar potential of urban areas : towards new paradigms ?", this forum will be held on September 8th in the Auditorium of Microcity, an EPFL branch in Neuchâtel (Switzerland). This event will be the opportunity to bring together researchers, practitioners and public authorities to examine the evolutions taking place in urban territories.
According to projections for the energy transition, a significant part of electricity production will be of solar origin by 2050. In this context, the integration of photovoltaic energy production into the heart of urban territories is a major challenge for the coming decades, both for energy systems that have to integrate increased decentralization and for the built environment in the densification phase.
Despite technological and economic progress, only a small percentage of this potential is currently valued in the Swiss urban areas. Various obstacles tend to limit their implementation in urban renewal processes and to slow the emergence of a real value chain in this strategic domain.
Recent technological developments offer new perspectives, not only in terms of energy performance, but also in terms of industrial innovation and architectural integration. Thanks to an expanded range of technologies, textures and colors, photovoltaic systems can now be more easily integrated into the building envelope, both in the roof and façade. The result is new paradigms for urban and architectural projects, whether for new buildings or for renovations. Exceeding their current status as consumers, buildings are also likely to become electricity generators. This development is a major challenge to current practices, both at environmental and socio-economic levels.
In this context, the Ecoparc 2017 Forum is associated with the ACTIVE INTERFACES research project carried out within the framework of the PNR 70 of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The objective aims to provide participants, researchers, practitioners, private investors or public authorities with an overview of the challenges, solutions and experiences associated with this in-depth evolution of the energy functioning of urban territories.