HotCity - Gamification as a possibility to generate data for energy-oriented neighbourhood planning

The aim of the project is a functional test to determine whether an up-to-date data set of energy-oriented data can be collected for neighbourhood planning through gamification, cost-efficiently, quickly and reliably. This will be determined using the example of the potential determination of industrial and commercial waste heat sources in Vienna and Graz.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

The energy system of the future will consist of many different decentralized units. For the development of districts with high energy efficiency and increased use of locally available and sustainable energy sources, a detailed spatial identification of possible energy potentials is necessary in order to plan cost-efficiently and future-proof.

In particular waste heat from industry (foundries, food production...) and commerce (data centers, supermarkets...) can make an important contribution to heating and hot water production in plus-energy districts. While the "low-hanging-fruits" are already widely used, the identification of smaller sources is associated with various difficulties.

Many larger cities already have a data set, e. g. Open Government Data, which is usually not up-to-date enough, not sufficiently detailed (spatially) and often does not contain the necessary data. Due to the often chosen top-down methodology for the waste heat potential survey of the largest pollutant emitters, smaller sources are not recorded which therefore do not appear in these databases.

Gamification, on the other hand, offers the possibility of generating targeted incentive systems for data collection (crowdsourcing/crowd collecting). Games like "Pokemon Go" have shown which undreamt-of dynamics can be created.

Contents and goals

In this project, gamification will be used to collect data for energy-oriented neighbourhood planning. Using the example of identifying and locating waste heat sources for the research area of Vienna and Graz, it will be investigated whether and with what effort relevant data on gamification can be obtained, e.g. by taking photographs of chimneys and recooling systems, but also by researching on the Internet, conducting on-site surveys, or from Google Maps, etc.

Using innovative approaches from Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analysis (e. g. image localization and recognition), a spatially detailed potential assessment will be possible. The use of blockchain technology is intended to investigate whether, on the one hand, whether user data can be registered anonymously and encrypted and, on the other hand, achievements in the game can be saved as unique performance entries triggering awards.


  • Iterative Game Design
  • Blockchain technology
  • AI/machine learning/image analysis
  • GIS analyses
  • Profitability analyses
  • Programming of an interactive web-based dashboard

Expected results

  •  a "proof of concept" (function test) whether an up-to-date data set can be collected cost-efficiently, quickly and reliably by gamification.
  • usability analysis of the gamification approach
  • investigation of the economic efficiency of potentials (waste heat potentials)
  • development of an interactive web dashboard for spatially differentiated analyses, which stakeholders can use to support planning of plus-energy quarters based on waste heat potentials.
  • awareness raising for efficient energy use and waste heat potentials or renewable energy sources in general.

Project Partners

Project management

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Project or cooperation partners

  • picapipe
  • Digitalsunray Media
  • Grazer Energieagentur

Contact Address

Ernst Gebetsroither-Geringer
Gieffinggasse 6
A-1210 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (505) 50-4582
Fax: +43 (505) 50-6613