What’s next for our Net Zero Projects?

Back in May, we held a design sprint in partnership with the London Environment Directors Network (LEDNet). The design sprint set out to explore how technology, data, digital and innovation methods can help meet London’s net zero climate targets.  The energetic event brought together practitioners from across local government, the private sector, academia and think tanks to use design methodologies to interrogate challenges in 4 of the 7 LEDNet’s strategic climate priorities:

  • retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency, 
  • switching more of London to renewable energy, 
  • reducing petrol and diesel journeys to tackle transport emissions and 
  • helping London live within the resource limits of our finite world.

The event resulted in cross-sector teams developing 11 solutions ideasOut of all the solution ideas, LOTI has committed to working with the project groups to take forward 2 of the ideas.

Idea 1: Planning Insights for Retrofit

Overview: To accelerate the uptake of retrofit by the able-to-pay market by providing tailored planning guidance at key decision points in the retrofit journey.

The journey

Since the design sprint, LOTI and LEDNet have worked to refine the idea in discussions with the Retrofit London group. Through this network, we have partnered with the South London Partnership (SLP) which were exploring a similar proposal and will now lead the pilot work.

Together we put in a funding bid to the MCS Charitable Foundation and while this has not been successful, the process has allowed us to further develop the scope of our idea and produce a more focused project initiation document including our one-line summary of the project featured at the top of this section.

We have also produced a project plan, assigned roles and responsibilities, and conducted a gap analysis of the current landscape of projects, tools and resources . We have engaged a range of stakeholders including suppliers of tools in the retrofit ecosystem including Ecofurb and Kuppa and colleagues in digital planning working on the PlanX tool.

Our next steps are to continue the discovery phase investigating user requirements and testing assumptions before finding partners to support us with codifying the relevant national and local planning guidance relevant to retrofitting homes.

Idea 2: ReCare (user interface for repair & upcycling)

Overview: Increase awareness of cost-effective, convenient repair services by building a front-end interface and backend data product that provides users with relevant local information on available services.

The Journey

Members of the One World Living (OWL) programme, Re-London and Barnet have been meeting to advance the initial Recare proposal.

The group has agreed to focus on increasing the visibility, awareness and access to local services that can repair electrical goods. While other material streams such as textiles are closely aligned and in some circumstances may be supported by the same services, it was decided to focus on electricals in the initial phase.

The project will be broken up into two phases for delivery. Phase 1 will focus on research to gain a better understanding of the existing resources and insights into the provisions of electrical repair services in London. This includes building on existing repositories such as the Restart project, OWL’s community hubs and repair cafe mapping, London Recycles’ repair directory, YouTube, and the Library of Things.  The project will seek to go beyond this by commissioning additional primary research that will establish how well these services meet current needs and enable us to create a set of personas that can be used in designing the solution.

Phase 2 will move forward based on the outcomes of phase 1 drawing on the research insight including the personas. Solutions will be developed that respond to the user needs identified. Without prejudicing the outcome of the discovery potential solutions could include a centralised repository of repair service data that could be made available to private sector technology partners that already have a large engaged user base. This would provide maximum visibility of available services to potential users. The underlying data would also be made available to individual boroughs and the GLA to provide directly to their audiences through web portals or an app. The project is seeking private sector technology and innovation partners to support the delivery of this work from large corporations to start-ups and SMEs. 

Challenge LDN Funding

The GLA’s Challenge LDN team has announced that seed funding of up to £40k is available for projects coming out of the design sprint. Projects will need to demonstrate that they have partners ready to work on delivery and applications will be judged across the following criteria:

  • Feasibility. The idea can be put into practice.
  • Roadmap. The team has a clear set of activities and milestones for delivery or a plan for how to create this.
  • Sponsorship. The team has the necessary commitment, time, and permission to make the idea come to life, including the funding for phases not covered by the seed finance.
  • Impact. The idea aims to make a difference in the lives of Londoners.
  • Scalability. The idea has the potential to grow with a model that can be replicated by other partners and boroughs who may not initially have been involved in the project.
  • Ecosystem. The idea brings together a wide network of stakeholders and innovators.

For further details and including how to apply for the funding visit the Climate Design Sprint page.

Further Updates

You can keep track of the progress on both projects on the LOTI Climate Goals Design Sprint project page.

Jay Saggar
28 November 2022 ·
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