What: The City of the Sun
Where: Netherlands
Who: Municipality Heerhugowaard
When: since 2009
Source: Stadvandezon

Carbon-neutral neighbourhood

This urban district is called the ‘City of the Sun’ and is located within a recreational area of more than 177 hectares. It is not just the large ratio between urban and recreational areas that is unusual. The level of ambition in the two elements of the district could also be described as exceptional. For instance, the City of the Sun is entirely carbon-neutral and the recreational area, in addition to woodland and ecological zones, will also contain more than 75 hectares of recreational water of a quality suitable for swimming in.

It is not just the spacious recreational area but also the environmental measures that have been taken that will make this neighbourhood a model project both in the Netherlands and far beyond. The carbon neutrality in the central part of the City of the Sun – the Square – is achieved, among other things, by the large-scale use of solar panels on the roofs of homes and facilities. The construction of highly energy-efficient houses, the planting of woodland in the recreational area and the installation of three wind turbines also contribute to this carbon neutrality.

The active solar energy is provided by the use of 2.45 MW photovol-voltaic solar panels on the roofs of the houses and the various facilities. Heerhugowaard was with the ‘City of the Sun’ the biggest partner of the European SunCities project. This project aims to deliver significant contributions to the European objectives in terms of CO2 reduction and implementation of PV systems.

The use of the solar panels is one of the measures contributing in the ‘City of the Sun’ to the realization of a CO2 emission neutral district. Also said as a district that yields as much renewable energy as it produces with all its functions (living, working and traffic) consumed.

The ‘City of the Sun’ has its own facilities so that the viability of this district is positively influenced. There are schools, kindergartens, shops, restaurants, medical facilities and a community center.