Bridging adaptation and mitigation: Hands-on climate action across European municipalities
This session hosted urban and infrastructure planners and developers, municipal decision-makers, energy and climate policy experts with an interest in bringing together adaptation and mitigation measures at the local level.
Key conclusions of 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 with 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 about 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 a sense of action among citizens.
- Alba Iulia has gathered feedback from citizens on their smart city solutions, by asking questions when 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:
A 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; where data can come from was discussed.
- The tool can be used outside of cities - it is a 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; there was a lot of interest in this feature.
- 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)