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EU-GUGLE aims to demonstrate the feasibility of nearly-zero energy building renovation models in 6 pilot cities in view of triggering large-scale, Europe-wide replication in smart cities and communities by 2020. Taking on the challenge of sustainable renovation in urban areas, the cities of Vienna (AT), Aachen (DE), Milan (IT), Sestao (ES), Tampere (FI) and Bratislava (SK) have committed to renovating a total of 226,000m² of living space during the 5 years of the project, with the objective of achieving 40 to 80% primary energy savings per pilot district while increasing the share of renewable energy sources by 25% by 2018. Gothenburg (SE) and Gaziantep (TR) take part in the 5-year project as associated cities and are expected to start smart renovation activities during project’s lifetime. To reach this objective, the 8 pilot cities join efforts to combine the latest research results relevant to smart renovation of groups of buildings at district level and use this knowledge to implement a balanced mix of technical, socio-economic and financial solutions adapted to local needs. All aspects of the renovation process are monitored and evaluated, from the energy performance of the renovated buildings to the financing schemes chosen by the municipalities. The project is part of the Smart Cities and Communities Initiative of the European Commission, which aims to foster the EU-wide dissemination of the most efficient models and strategies for helping cities and communities to achieve a 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2020. In line with this objective, the pilot cities integrate the results of the project into comprehensive ‘smart renovation strategies’ that will be easily transposable to other municipalities, and which will be disseminated through an EU-wide replication campaign. The role of the campaign will be to maximize the replication potential of the renovation models developed in EU-GUGLE, both in other districts of the same cities and in other cities facing similar issues across Europe.