European Week of Regions and Cities
7-10 OCTOBER 2019 Brussels

Bridging adaptation and mitigation: Hands-on climate action across European municipalities

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Tue 8, October 2019
11:30 - 13:00
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How are climate change impacts gaining importance to urban infrastructure planning?

Regulations and investors increasingly require the consideration of climate risks and opportunities both over the lifetime or in the planning phase of urban infrastructure. This form of climate resilient planning can increase, and improve urban quality of living.

This interactive session showcases how multi-level collaboration can unlock the potential for local climate action to shape a greener Europe. In the context of EU regional policy, two roundtables will discuss lessons learnt from two approaches to local projects: 'municipal climate partnerships' and 'smart cities'. Participants will share experiences and challenges of supporting communities through these approaches.

Based on a hands-on lab conducted prior to the session, participants identify climate risks and impacts to their infrastructure projects based on data of their specific location through the CLARITY Climate Services Information System (CSIS) screening tool. Hazard-specific resilient solutions will be presented, guided by pilot initiatives with climate-resilience experience from Austria, Sweden and Italy. Results of the lab will be discussed at a panel discussion by experts and innovators from the investment, climate risk, and adaptation sectors.

This session is aimed at urban and infrastructure planners and developers, municipal decision-makers, energy and climate policy experts with interest in bringing together adaptation and mitigation measures at the local level.

Inputs to the session are based on the Horizon-2020-co-funded project CLARITY providing the CSIS tool and a climate services marketplace and the project Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON) financed by the European Climate Initiative of the German Environmental Ministry (BMU). BEACON brings together 34 municipalities and 57 schools from seven EU Member States in central-eastern and south-eastern Europe.

11:30-11:44     Welcome & Opening

Presenting the BEACON and CLARITY projects; outline the aim of the session

Smart Cities Consulting, Austria / Navigant, Germany

BEACON municipalities introduce themseves and present their approaches to climate adaptation and mitigation protection

Agios Dimitrios, Bottrop and Alba Iulia

11:45 – 11:55   Steering Local Adaptation: Hands-On Lab on Measuring Climate Risks in Municipalities

Input presentation: the CLARITY project: Pilot city with recent insights on climate proofing project, Rosmarie de Wit, ZAMG

Based on a hands-on lab conducted prior to the session, municipalities identify climate risks and impacts to their infrastructure projects based on data of their specific location through the CLARITY Climate Services Information System (CSIS) screening tool. Hazard-specific resilient solutions will be presented, guided by pilot initiatives with climate-resilience experience from Austria, Sweden and Italy. Results of the lab can then be discussed at two roundtables and the panel discussion.

11:55-12:25     Connecting Local Mitigation action: Roundtables

Input presentation: BEACON municipalities introduce themselves and present their approaches to climate protection

Roundtable - City climate partnerships: Bottrop (DE, Tilman Christian) and Agios Dimitrios (EL) discuss good practices, first experiences, challenges, Q&A.

Moderator: Lisa Schneider, adelphi

Roundtable - Smart cities: Alba Iulia (RO) presents and discusses their ongoing activities and develops avenues for further action with participants

Moderator: Sarah Gül, Navigant

Roundtable - Clarity Screening Tool:Online presentation of the workflow; the service is under development yet and feedback of participants is sought-after

Moderator: Denis Havlik, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

12:25-13:00    Panel discussion: Solutions and Financing for integrating adaptation and mitigation planning Moderator: TBC 

  • Presentation of key takeaways for municipalities from roundtable and lab
  • Panel discussion on the finance options and co-benefits of planning adaptation and mitigation in an integrated manner with 3-4 questions on the opportunities of integrated adaptation and mitigation planning at the local level
  • Wrap-up

Moderator: Sarah Hendel-Blackford

Panelists:

Sumeet Manchanda, Associate Director & Lead, EU and Bilateral Green Finance, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change (EBRD),

Kristina Dely (Energy Cities / CEEC Regional capacity building at Covenant of Mayors Office)

Liviu Stanciu (Community Project Manager - Alba Iulia Smart City)

Representative (Agios Dimitrios)

Sarah Hendel-Blackford, Managing Consultant, Navigant GmbH, Germany.
Maria Androutsou, Mayor, Municipality of Agios Dimitrios, Greece.
Kristina Dely, Project Manager, Energy Cities - The European association of Cities in Energy Transition, France.
Sarah Gül, Senior Consultant in Energy and Climate Policies, Navigant Energy Germany GmbH, Germany.
Denis Havlik, Scientist, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria.
Katrin Knur, Klimaschutz Management, City of Bottrop, Germany.
Sumeet Manchanda, Associate Director & Lead, EU and Bilateral Green Finance, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, United Kingdom.
Ilias Savvakis, Secretary-General, Municipality of Agios Dimitrios, Greece.
Lisa Schneider, Project Manager, adelphi, Germany.
Liviu Stanciu, Communication Manager Alba Iulia Smart City Project, Municipality of Alba Iulia, Romania.
Rosmarie de Wit, Researcher, ZAMG - Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Austria.
08PL512
Participatory Lab - world café, ideas labs
A greener Europe
European Commission - DG REGIO, Smart Cities Consulting GmbH, Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
english (en)
Building SQUARE - Brussels Convention Centre, Room 410 (circle 4).
Address: Mont des Arts, 1000 Brussels

Session summary

This session hosted urban and infrastructure planners and developers, municipal decision-makers, energy and climate policy experts with interest in bringing together adaptation and mitigation measures at the local level.

Key conclusions roundtables

Agios Dimitrios (Greece) and Bottrop (Germany) tackle shared challenges and what they gain from their climate city partnership

  • Local authorities can benefit substantially from exchange on climate and energy topics with their partner cities (due to similar size, etc.)
  • Challenges to municipalities of similar sized cities are often very similar throughout Europe
  • Exchange with partner cities creates a space to find solutions outside the “national bubble” and can help moving forward
  • Not only small and medium sized cities, but also large urban areas profit from the exchange on climate action, e.g. London and its partner cities in the Horizon 2020 project “Sharing Cities”.

Alba Iulia (Romania) has discussed the challenges of disseminating smart/ big data obtained through smart solutions via smart cities with participants

  • Alba Iulia is a pilot city for smart city solutions along with large cities like Barcelona. They cooperate with 45 local and international companies to implement smart technologies. The concept of smart cities is at a very early stage, i.e. companies are developing solutions and are always looking for open-minded and interested cities to pilot the technologies. Smart city solutions are not financially sustainable yet.
  • Liviu considers it important to not implement individual smart city solutions in an isolated manner, but to look at combined measures.
  • Alba Iulia is interested in how to make the citizens understand what the city administration is doing related to smart city solutions. Benefits are often not visible, such as reduced air pollution.
  • Alba Iulia sees the main work in engagement through e.g. organising events to raise awareness and sense of action among citizens.
  • Alba Iulia has gathered feedback from citizens on their smart city solutions, by posing the questions when the citizens get on certain public buses and use the free wifi. More than 10.000 responses were obtained.
  • Quotes by Liviu Stanciu, Communication Manager Alba Iulia Smart City project, Alba Iulia:

 Prototype of the climate risk assessment tool CSIS developed in H2020 Project CLARITY was presented

  • Tool can be used locally, local data can be integrated; it was discussed where data can come from.
  • The tool can be used outside of cities - it is matter of available data. Regional committment of some kind may be requested for that.
  • It is possible and strongly encouraged by the team to integrate third party applications; this feature met a lot of interest.
  • EU Institutions like the Environment Agency are prepared to contribute data and digital tools from their work.
  • Participants liked that documentation of assesment process and decisions is made easy by report-generation feature.

 

Take away message

  • EBRD: reaching out early in the process, EBRD provides support for the financial structure of the project.
  • Alba Iulia: creating a digital platform to harvest ideas about climate change.
  • Energy Cities: careful planning - reducing CO2, ensuring social cohesion, economic competitiveness
  • City of Bottrop: involve people, convince them that they are part of the change that we need.
  • Agios Dimitrios: “Find out what you really care about as a municipality, and then ask your citizens what they really care about”.


"It is important to implement smart city solutions in an ingegrated way." (Liviu Stanciu, Communication Manager Alba Iulia Smart City project)

“Find out what you really care about as a municipality, and then ask your citizens what they really care about”. (Ilias Savvakis, Secretary General, Agios Dimitrios)

“Of course we have barriers but we overcame these through collaboration. Learning from other cities’ experience is vital to fast track progress” (Ilias Savvakis, Secretary General, Agios Dimitrios)

"Digital platforms foster collaboration of various actors on climate adaptation and contribute to the impact of climate actions." (Andrea Geyer-Scholz, Smart Cities Consulting)

"You need not be a geo-scientist to make a valid climate assessment of your planned infrastructure projects." (Denis Havlik, Austrian Institute of Technology)

"Climate resilent planning means planning with future conditions in mind - and CLARITY helps you to do just that." (Rosmarie de Wit, Researcher, ZAMG)

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