From November 10-11 we held a consortium meeting in Písek, Czechia to plan for the final year of the project. It was a great opportunity to catch up and in some cases meet for the first time in person! We were able to discuss hurdles and achievements, as well as future steps for the project.
The program was structured around specific challenges and needs of the 7 project cities, which were discussed in workshops and interactive discussion-based sessions. For the FCs—Alba Iulia, RO; Písek, CZ; Sestao, ES; Võru, EE; and Smolyan, BG—the focus was on their journey and needs, and for the LHCs—Trondheim, NO and Limerick, IE—it was on what we have learned from the demonstration phase, and plans for moving forward towards replication. We also discussed how to best extract all the knowledge (and associated processes) that we have tested and created throughout the last 4 years, and then make this information accessible.
As part of the program, the LHCs each presented on how to make the last year count. First LHC Trondheim led a session titled ‘How to make a PEB?’ (see our recent news post about Trondheim’s successes here), followed by a presentation from LHC Limerick about forming Energy Communities (for more about what Limerick is up to, check out the recordings of their recent symposium and read our news post about it here).
We also held a successful storytelling workshop about the role of citizen engagement in the project, discussing how to engage hard-to-reach citizens, how to communicate complexity, how to know when to involve different stakeholders in extended projects, and how to make participatory processes valuable for vulnerable citizens in the short term. This was followed by a demo of the Mobee app by Trondheim Kommune, a real-time assistant that supports mobility in the city of Trondheim.
After several other sessions and important discussions, it became even more apparent that the cities have had differing challenges and successes, which need to be understood and recognized for the value they bring to the table. We are learning from our ‘failures’ and finding meaningful ways to bridge the gaps in our intended impacts. A next step for the +CxC project is to record the stories of the various lessons learned, describing how and why certain ambitions were or were not met. The challenge is to effectively extract and package our learnings for widescale impact and a just energy transition beyond the parameters of our project.
A huge thank you to our wonderful hosts in Písek for sharing their beautiful city with us. Feeling inspired and looking forward to this last year!