In Amsterdam, 70% of end-users must agree to a changeover to district heating, which drives the City of Amsterdam to focus on tools that facilitate the involvement of both end-users and private sector stakeholders (housing authorities, energy companies, developers) in developing urban energy plans. Amsterdam developed an open-source Energy Atlas to provide detailed information on the geographical distribution of energy demand and potential supply (thermal production, geothermal, industry and private buildings’ waste heat) and a basis for local energy strategies; to enable implementation of the right combination of measures and technologies based on scenario modelling; and to help build the business case for district heating, cooling and power.



Amsterdam launched its Energy Atlasxxix in April 2014, the result of collaboration with local stakeholders, including businesses and property owners. The Atlas is a multi-layered energy-GIS tool with a software decision-support systemxxx that enables ‘what-if’ scenarios for improved urban planning. As a flexible modern mapping tool, it can be continuously updated or expanded. It also helps generate enthusiasm for district energy projects by providing detailed open information, and unveils collaboration and cooperation opportunities by bringing together different stakeholders interested in district energy development and providing them with concrete matchmaking opportunities.xxxi

Using the Energy Atlas has already enabled Amsterdam to transform Zuidoost, an existing 300-hectare mixed-use area, and to establish cooperation among various industrial partners on the exchange of energy and the use of excess waste heat from data centres. Amsterdam is currently replicating the positive experience from Zuidoost in order to advance district energy opportunities in other communities.


Reasons for success

The success of Amsterdam’s energy mapping was based on strong regulatory framework (i.e. district-connection targets and a connection mandate for all new developments); partnership with other utility providers (e.g. the water network), city monitoring departments and developers on sharing data (driven by partners’ demand for the energy utility data once project finished); and public support driven by demand for open-source data that could facilitate cooperation between stakeholders on saving energy and financial resources. 


C40 Good Practice Guides

C40's Good Practice Guides offer mayors and urban policymakers roadmaps for tackling climate change, reducing climate risk and encouraging sustainable urban development. With 100 case studies taken from cities of every size, geography and stage of development around the world, the Good Practice Guides provide tangible examples of climate solutions that other cities can learn from. 

The District Energy Good Practice Guide is available for download here. The full collection of C40 Good Practice Guides is available for download here.  

All references can be found in the full guide.