Developing Energy Communities with Intelligent and Sustainable



Developing a comprehensive solution, both technically and socially, that

empowers citizens, communities, housing corporations, municipalities, and other

stakeholders to efficiently and inclusively build and maintain an energy-sustainable future.

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About the project

On 28th of June, the Developing Energy Communities with Intelligent and Sustainable Technologies (DE-CIST) project is launched in Rotterdam. The project led by Dr. Rebecca Moody (EUR) is a consortium including Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Technical University Delft, Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Resilient Delta Initiative, the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics, and the City of Rotterdam. DE-CIST, an ICLEI Action fund 2.0 project supported by ICLEI Europe through 1 million Euro grant funding from, aims to collect data on individual buildings, combining it with meteorological, air quality, emission, and socio-economic data.

An AI solution will classify neighbourhoods and buildings based on their current energy sustainability and potential, considering citizens’ input. Additionally, the project seeks to engage citizens, communities, researchers, and governments to co-create an equitable energy transition, support citizen-led energy communities, and foster connections between communities, governments, and energy corporations.

The research will not only be of a fundamental nature but will actively involve citizens and stakeholders, empowering them to utilise the project's generated information, fostering community building, and reducing energy inequality.

Dr. Rebecca Moody echoes this project objective saying: Our goal is to develop a comprehensive solution, both technically and socially, that empowers citizens, communities, housing corporations, municipalities, and other stakeholders to efficiently and inclusively build and maintain an energy-sustainable future.

The ICLEI Action FundOpens external, supported by ICLEI Europe and Google.orgOpens external, focuses on promoting data-driven environmental and climate action at the local level. As a member of ICLEI, the City of Rotterdam is actively committed to advancing local sustainability goals.

Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director, ICLEI Europe elaborates on the role of the Action Fund stating that advancing local environmental and climate action requires understanding local realities and needs. He says, “We believe that obtaining actionable insights from diverse data sources is crucial to accelerate the development of innovative projects, enhance environmental quality, and reduce carbon emissions. We are confident that the selected projects will contribute to their cities’ sustainability goals and exemplify the importance of data-driven approaches for informed decision-making.

DR Rebecca Moody


(Erasmus University)

Nicolette Stehouwer-den Hollander

(Erasmus University)


Rebecca Moody is assistant professor at Erasmus University ESSB, her research focusses on the link between the public domain and public policy and big data, algorithmic data and ICT alignment within public organizations. She has coordinated several large research programs in the past, including NWO and KNAW funded as well as FP7 and H2020. She has worked with the municipality of Rotterdam extensively on several research programs in the field of big data, working datadriven, image recognition, transparency of AI and organizational change.

isis van Rooy

(Erasmus University)

Isis van Rooy is a junior researcher at Erasmus University ESSB. She is a sociologist that turned her interest to sustainability issues. Before arriving at the Erasmus University, she obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sociology from the university of Amsterdam, with her main area of interest being in cultural sociology. Her methodological research focus is qualitative, such as in-depth interviewing and focus groups.

My name is Nicolette Stehouwer-den Hollander and I work as a sr innovation manager at Resilient Delta. Resilient Delta’s mission is to design resilience solutions in the Rotterdam delta for implementation around the globe. Our aim is to develop an integrated approach to address the major societal issues increasingly confronting the Rotterdam region, such as rising sea levels, poverty and inequality, air pollution, population density and major technological changes. I am an experienced commercial

professional with experience in setting up successful innovation projects. I am at my best in complex business environments where new innovations and results are key, such as the DE-CIST project!

Dr. Alexander Los

(Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies)

Alexander Los (D.Phil. University of Utrecht) is a climatologist and expert in urban environment and climate change. He focuses his research on urban environmental pollution and energy transition by engaging with citizen communities and applying environmental observations as well as climate model data. Alexander’s experience in climate change, air quality and energy transition is built on a consequent combination of modelling and field work in atmospheric photochemistry, radiative closure studies, solar resource forecasting, and cloud-induced effects on the Earth’s climate. After his PhD he pursued his scientific career as a post-doc researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and as research associate at the University of Technology Delft, The Netherlands. As managing director and as senior scientist in private companies, he developed scientific instruments for climate research and solar energy.

Dr. Seyran Khademi

(TU Delft)

Seyran is a computer scientist and an Assistant Professor at the Design, Data, and Society (DDS) Group at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft. With a passion for harnessing the transformative potential of artificial intelligence and data analysis in the field of architectural design. Seyran also serves as the co-director of the AiDAPT (AI for Design, Analysis, and Optimization in Architecture and the Built Environment) lab. In 2020 she was honored to be the research in residence fellow at the Royal Library of the Netherlands working on visual recognition for children’s book collection. In 2017 she was appointed as a postdoctoral researcher at the Computer vision lab working on the ArchiMediaL project, regarding the automatic detection of buildings and architectural elements in visual data focusing on Computer Vision and Deep Learning methods for archival data and street-view imagery. Seyran received her Ph.D. in signal processing and optimization in 2015 from TU Delft. She received her MSc. degree in Signal Processing from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2010 and her BSc degree in telecommunications from the University of Tabriz in Iran.”

Dr. Charalampos Andriotis

(TU Delft)

Charalampos Andriotis is an Assistant Professor of AI in Structural Design & Mechanics at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment. He is co-director of AiDAPT Lab, TU Delft AI Lab for Design, Analysis, and Optimization in the Built Environment. Before joining TU Delft, he was a

Postdoctoral Scholar in the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Penn State University, where he also received his PhD in 2019. He holds an MSc in Earthquake Engineering, and a 5-year Diploma in Civil Engineering with specialization in Structural Engineering, both from the National

Technical University of Athens. His research focuses on decision-making under uncertainty for design, operation, andmanagement of the built environment, especially as these emerge at the interface of engineering,

mathematics, and data science. Computational and theoretical themes that underpin his research intersect structural mechanics, uncertainty quantification, systems risk; reliability, building engineering, optimization, reinforcement learning, and generative AI. By shaping novel algorithmic

approaches in AI, his efforts converge to the vision of bridging physics-based engineering and data- driven intelligence as a powerful means to enable new paradigms that can meet the complex decision-making challenges posed by our dynamically changing, expanding, and intertwining built world, at large, real-world scales.

Anna Maria Koniari

(TU Delft)

Anna Maria Koniari is a Phd Candidate in the AiDAPT Lab, TU Delft’s AI Lab for Design, Analysis, and Optimization in Architecture & the Built Environment since October 2023. She holds a master’s degree in Architectural Engineering from National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and a MSc in Building Technology from TU Delft. During her studies, she focused on computational methods to enhance conventional design processes and, particularly, her MSc thesis was dedicated to the

development of a customized Topology Optimization formulation for the design of minimum mass cast glass structures under performance and manufacturability constraints. After the completion of her studies, she worked as a junior researcher in the Faculty of Architecture &The Built Environment (TU Delft), while she was also occupied as a parametric architectural designer in the ArchiTech Company. Currently, her Phd research lies on machine learning applications for optimization of

retrofit strategies at scale towards upgrading building’s energy performance.

Dr. Pablo Morato Dominguez

(TU Delft)

Pablo is a Postdoctoral Researcher at TU Delft’s AI-Lab for Design, Analysis, and Optimization in Architecture and the Built Environment. His research is centered on advancing decision-making under uncertainty methods and their application to real-world engineering problems. Pablo earned

his PhD from the University of Liege, Belgium, where he developed an algorithmic framework for optimally managing engineering systems, with a particular emphasis on offshore wind farms. Before joining AiDAPT, he served as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Wind Energy division at the Technical University of Denmark. With expertise in uncertainty quantification, multi-agent reinforcement learning, and computer vision, Pablo will contribute to the project by setting up a machine-learning

pipeline that connects features extracted from images, and other building data, to optimal retrofit decisions.

Roland van der Heijden

From origin a city planner Roland always has had a fascination for the (social-)physical city and its past, present and future. Currently we see a whole new reality arising for the city due to the digital transformation. What does this do to this new city? And what kind of images are attached to this? What does this transformation do with the challenges cities are facing? And what is the role of the government in all this? How do we make sure that everybody can come along? Questions Roland tries to answer within the Digital City program of Rotterdam.

(Municipality of Rotterdam)

Sjoerd Braaksma

(Municipality of Rotterdam)

In his neuropsychology study, Sjoerd always tried to determine the potential of new technologies such as VR in assessing and treating patients. After finishing his master’s, he went into the field of data science and eventually became a senior data scientist for the municipality of Rotterdam in addition to finishing up an MBA in big data and advanced analytics. With his knowledge of human behavior, data science, and management skills he uses a data-driven approach to make the municipality work better for it’s people and try to understand the drivers behind the complex challenges the municipality faces now, and in the future.

Brenda van Breemen-Olij

(Municipality of Rotterdam)

Born in Rotterdam, Brenda van Breemen works as innovation process manager and participation advisor for the city of Rotterdam. Currently, she is carrying out various assignments, all at the intersection of innovation, digitalization, and participation. She has been involved in the

municipality's Digital City innovation program. With her years of experience, broad knowledge and down-to-earth approach, she is able to bring people together and connect them within a network. She has a strong affinity for digital technology and its practical applicability for the residents of Rotterdam.


Roland van der Heijden


  • On October 27th the first expertboard was held in which the DE-CIST team received valuable insights of experts on the themes of social inclusion and participation, data analytics, building architecture.

  • On June 28 th during the “Rotterdam in the Metaverse” event the DE-CIST project was officially launched with a presentation by Rebecca Moody (Project Coordinator) and Ruud Schuthof (Deputy Regional Director ICLEI).

Our ambitions

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energy solutions

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Economies of


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To measure is to know


For questions please contact the research coordinator Dr. Rebecca Moody at