Both districts were built in the 1960s and 1970s to account for the quick rise in urban population and are in general of low-quality. Both districts share the characteristics of lively multi-cultural districts, with a high share of social housing, schools and shops. The residential areas are densely populated districts, home to a majority of low-income households. Both districts have a triple energy infrastructure: a district heating network, gas infrastructure for home-boilers and an electricity grid.
The demonstration actions that will be undertaken by the ARV project are the resource efficient, systematic retrofitting of 8 residential apartment buildings from the 1960s into Positive Energy Buildings embedded in a green neighbourhood, with a global area of 63 600 m2.