Over 50% of the world population lives in urban areas and according to the latest UN estimates, by 2050, this percentage will reach 68%. The city, therefore, represents the locus of maximum concentration of the population and, therefore, of economic, production and social activities, which inevitably require large amounts of energy. The energy sources are still largely traditional ones, responsible for significant greenhouse gases emissions. The complex connections between land use, energy consumption and climate change, require researchers from different disciplines to study issues related to energy saving, because of the key role of urban areas in the climate change challenge. So far, scientific research, from different fields, has addressed the issue of the relationship between city and energy, from the urban to the building scale, with a sectorial prospective; far from the holistic-systemic approach of the disciplines dedicated to the study of the governance of urban and territorial transformation that begins to emerge in the most recent strategies defined in Europe.
On this issue, and following this approach, the working group TeMALab is engaged from 2012 in research funded by the PON project “Smart Energy Master” smartenergymaster.unina.it. The purpose of the project is to “look” in an integrated and multi-dimensional way to the characteristics of the different subsystems that compose a city to obtain energy conservation: the physical characteristics of urban spaces, both built and natural, the features of the mobility system, localization and distribution features of the activities taking place in the city, the most common behaviors of the people and the relationships established between all these elements, are the determining factors for the definition of strategies, policies and interventions aimed at energy saving in urban areas.