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The 9th annual edition of Sustainable Places (SP2021) will be a hybrid event, from 28th September to 1st October, with the in-person sessions to be hosted in Rome, Italy.  

SP2021 is gathering more than 150 European projects representing €850 million in R&D and 1500 research performing organizations.

1-Page Event Overview

Draft Scientific Program

Rome Smart City (30 Sept)

Cities in Transition (1 Oct)

Conference Scope

Sustainability targets and climate change objectives cannot be met without addressing buildings and the built environment at the building, district and urban scale to include our transport and energy infrastructures. Renowned for showcasing results coming out of the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme via the participation of cutting-edge research and innovation projects, the scope of Sustainable Places is captured directly in its name. It involves designing, building and retrofitting the places we live and work in a more sustainable way.

Conference Concept

Sustainable Places prides itself on being an ideal platform for the dissemination of research, the conduct of workshops, EU project clustering and networking between stakeholders of all types. SP2021 will be held over four days in a hybrid (digital + in-person) event format. Between opening and closing keynote sessions, parallel technical sessions and project-organized workshops will explore the various conference themes. A particular highlight of SP2021 will be two full morning plenary sessions moderated by PPAN focusing on Smart Cities, Smart Districts and perspectives from the real estate sector in facilitating the energy transition.

Conference Themes

Each year, Sustainable Places features topics that are shaping how we think about buildings and the built environment. Across all editions, Sustainable Places is open to all topics related to building sustainability and most often reflect priorities reflected in the European Commission Societal Challenges and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For SP2021, the following list of themes are non-exhaustive and the conference program is being created according to accepted proposals:

Buildings / renovation / energy performance

Policies / certifications / behaviours

Renewable energy technologies / platforms

Circular economy / business models

Smart grids and cities / energy communities

BIM / Digitalisation / energy modeling

Publication Opportunities

Non peer-reviewed technical papers (maximum 4 pages in length) are completely optional, can be submitted by any SP2021 contributor, and referred to as ‘conference papers’. They are due no later than 1st November to and shall be published in Open Access MDPI Environmental Science Proceedings. The template for SP2021 ‘conference paper’ submissions with enclosed formatting instructions can be directly downloaded hereAs a reference, please feel free to peruse the previous SP Proceedings editions from SP2020SP2019SP2018, and SP2017

Select papers will be considered for publication in the Buildings peer-reviewed journal after a manuscript submission pre-approval phase by the publisher. If selected, a cover letter with copyright attribution and an explanation of ‘conference paper’ content extension will be required alongside the ‘journal paper’ and these two documents (i.e. cover letter and ‘journal paper’) will be self-submitted through the MDPI AG online submission portal. Please do not submit your manuscript unless first given the authorisation to do so. As reference, please feel free to peruse the Buildings editions from SP2019, SP2018, and SP2017 (SP2020 edition to be updated shortly). The template for SP2021 ‘journal paper’ submissions with enclosed formatting instructions can be directly downloaded here.

SP2021 registration

Registration will take place using XING (similar to last year). Registration outside of XING can be accommodated on a case-by-case basis and questions can be sent to   

The event has a free and paid structure. The plenary program and pre-event training activities are free and makes possible the engagement of policy makers and local area in-person professionals/stakeholders we are trying to attract to the event. These professional/stakeholder guests will not have access to the scientific or social parts of the program unless they decide to register for the scientific program using the in-person event pass or day pass. The in-person rates include attendance to the event plus lunches and coffee breaks for 3 days. For “presenters” the 30th September Gala Dinner is included, but it is not included with the “guest” option (tickets can be purchased separately).

Attendees who are presenting or disseminating scientific content have a registration fee. Registration fees are shown in the following table and are VAT inclusive.  The price shown is the final price that will be required on the XING platform.

N.B. to register as a representative of the European Commission (EC) or as a non-presenting student, please write to with your student credentials or official EC email address and a unique code will be provided to you that will unlock a free registration option in Xing. All in-person SP2021 delegates will have access to the plenary/training sessions, and all in-person presenters will be provided with one free social dinner ticket. Non-presenting event passes do not include a social dinner ticket, but they can be purchased before 1st September with no limit. The digital platform registration link to create your networking profile and choose the sessions that you would like to stream will be provided to all registered delegates at least two weeks before SP2021 commences on 29th September. 

Venue in Rome and administrative aspects

We are proud to welcome EUR SpA as a partner of SP2021. EUR SpA is a company operating in the management and development of real estate with in particular the curation of historic and cultural heritage assets which notably include the EUR exposition area of Rome (Esposizione Universale Roma) and operation of a smart district for heating and cooling. In this regard, the SP2021 venue will be the “Roma Convention Center” (Viale della Pittura, 50, 00144 Roma RM). The structure is easily accessible from the Airport, is connected to the Rome city center by metro and has ample space for social distancing, networking, parallel tracks, booths for exposition space and the exciting plenary sessions being designed to engage Rome-area built environment stakeholders and guests.

In accordance with national protocols, this event will require the “Greenpass”. The timing, event concept and venues have each been designed and selected considering Covid. Overall, the situation in Italy is favorable and improving. All regions except Sicily are White (lowest Covid risk level) at the time of this writing. The venue is enormous, out of the center and we will occupy at between 25-30% capacity. The hotel (in this newsletter edition) and gala dinner are selected to have maximum space and to have a location that can properly accommodate our conference attendees for a dinner respecting the required protocols. In a smaller number, we are assessing the feasibility and demand for an aperitivo / walking tour in the city center and of course our delegates can enjoy the Rome city center individually or in smaller groups. Sign up requests for the social program and days registrants will attend the event will be sent shortly so that we can deliver the headcount information to the services that require those. Upon receipt, please do consider the signup request with special attention this year so that our information is reasonably accurate.

We have arranged for a gala dinner and special guest rate at Hotel Villa Pamphili. This hotel is located adjacent to Villa Pamphili Park, the largest park in Rome and its concept can be found here. It was recently renovated by one of our SP2021 attendee organizations and through them, this venue was made possible. Included in the SP2021 registration is an organized transfer each day to and from the event venue at the EUR. The hotel is a resort and has plenty of space to network, relax and accommodate a dinner (weather pending) on a terrace overlooking Rome. We anticipate three types of travelers to the event, those that want to stay close to the venue (EUR), those that want to be in the city center of Rome (using Metro) and those that want a more quiet experience (this option with transfer). Rome is large and the expo area is not directly in the center – do plan accordingly. The SP2021 rate at this accommodation (VAT Included) is €150 for a single room, €160 for a double room and €205 for a suite. A €6 city tax is not included in these rates.
The provided daily rates include:
  • Buffet Breakfast at the Hotel Restaurant
  • Use of the outdoor pool with guest services
  • 1 Transfer for the Event venue (arrive/return) per day
  • WI-FI throughout the property in both the common areas and bedrooms
  • 10% VAT
The accommodation can be booked directly by email or phone using a credit card.
Hotel Villa Pamphili Roma
Via della Nocetta, 105 – Roma (RM),
T +39 06 40064500

For questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Digital Platform - Hopin

Digital participants will have a new user experience this year as SP transitions to Hopin.  The platform features a “Stage” area, breakout sessions channels for workshops and a networking area for meeting participants. Running chat dialogue during the workshop will make the sessions more interactive and “live.” Similar to last year, digital workshops will be available as recordings post event on the SP2021 area of the SP website for further dissemination and use. For SP2021 “Virtual Booth” setup (one per project), confirmed speakers can send this info no later than 17th Sept. to zia[.]lennard[@]r2msolution[.]com who will input the data to be made available to all Hopin users during SP2021.

Organized By

Participating Research Projects

With the Patronage of

With the support of

Gold Sponsors

Silver & Blue Sponsors

Technical Sponsors

Twinning Event

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