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Community data-loops for energy-conscious urban lifestyles

CODALoop (Community data-loops for energy-conscious urban lifestyles) aims to enrich the way we think about ‘energy’ and inform innovative energy policy approaches, by enabling communities to discuss, share and co-create energy-related data and information.

There is a need for innovative approaches to reducing energy consumption. While the urgency to take action on lowering energy consumption is acknowledged widely across Europe, the results of previous calls to action—many of which took a limited, behavioural approach to the topic of energy consumption or focused on top-down investments in infrastructures for increasing energy efficiency—have yielded weak results.

In contrast, CODALoop takes a sociological approach and explores the extent to which neighbourhood-level social interactions might be able to challenge current energy needs, create new meanings of energy, and ultimately lead to a reduction of energy usage. In doing so, the CODALoop research project focuses on two things in particular. First, it explores how energy-related data and information can influence existing social relations across different neighbourhoods. Second, it aims to find out how both physical and virtual space can generate interactions that co-create new energy-related meanings.

To reach these goals, CODALoop organises a range of activities in which inhabitants of neighbourhoods in Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Graz and Leibnitz (Austria) and Istanbul (Turkey) interact with each other in a face-to-face manner. One example is the free-of-charge Energy-Story nights in Amsterdam, a variety of social evenings including storytelling and stand-up comedy. The goal of these activities is to spur the discussion in order for neighbours to learn about energy-related issues.

Additionally, for each of these neighbourhoods, CODALoop runs a web-based platform through which the inhabitants can engage with each other virtually.

In both the physical and virtual interactions that the activities and online platforms facilitate, the discussion, sharing, and co-creation of data and information pertaining to energy has a central role.  Essentially, CODALoop hopes to create new ways of looking at and appreciating energy use by enabling social interactions between individuals and their community, as well as between communities and policymakers. Through these loops of interaction, new meanings of energy are expected to emerge and inform innovative energy policy approaches. Between 2016 and 2019, researchers will facilitate, observe and contribute with extra input to these loops.

Research partners

The Netherlands

Academic partners:

  • University of Amsterdam (UvA), Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) - Project Coordinator
  • Technical University of Delft (TU Delft)

Non-academic partners:

  • Amsterdam Economic Board
  • Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) (Public-private organization)
  • Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Nederlands Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving - PBL) - (Government research Institute)
  • Nudge (Social Enterprise)


Academic partners:

  • Graz University of Technology (TU Graz)

Non-academic partners:

  • City of Graz (Local Government)
  • City Lab Graz (Research and innovation platform)
  • Energie Steiermark (Energy company)
  • HORN CONSULT (Eco-Management Consultancy)


Academic partners:

  • Yildiz Technical University (TU Yildiz)

Non-academic partners:

  • District Municipality of Kadikoy, Istanbul (Local Government)
  • Yurtici Kargo (Logistics Firm)
  • PlusOneMinusOne (P1M1) (Software programming firm)

Duration: 2016-2019

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 726744.


Case study date: July 2018



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