Tag: citizen engagement

Positive Energy Champions – Help realise Limerick’s positive energy potential!

Join a team of Limerick Positive Energy Champions by incorporating Positive Energy Actions into your daily routine for twenty weeks. A small change can have a big impact on your energy consumption, on your carbon footprint and can help create a pathway to Limerick becoming a Positive Energy City by 2050.

 

It can be frustrating and confusing to know what meaningful actions individuals, businesses and communities can take to combat climate change. For this reason, Limerick City and County Council and the +CityxChange team are exploring the development of a structured approach to enable Limerick to become a Positive Energy City by 2050, where individual actions can have a local and cumulative impact and contribute to measurable change.

Join Limerick’s Team of Positive Energy Champions for Twenty Weeks.

Positive Energy Champions full briefing document is available here.

Apply on Limerick City and County Council’s consultation and collaboration platform, My Point.

The closing date for applications is 5 pm Tuesday 6th April. 

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please email cityxchange@limerick.ie.

Climathon 2020, Sestao

Sestao was the official Climathon organizer for the 2020 event in Sestao.

It also invited to participate in two neighbouring municipalities: Portugalete and Santurtzi. It, therefore, branded the event towards the public as Climathon SPS (SPS standing for Sestao, Portugalete, Santurtzi). An agreement was reached that every year, one of the cities, in a rotatory fashion, would take care of the actual organization, starting with Sestao in 2020.

The work sessions (Ideathones) were held on the 27th of November, 4th of December, and 11th of December 2020, between 10 am and 2 pm. These were all virtual sessions. The teams presented in a virtual session their projects to the jurors, and the jurors selected the winners on December 18th, 2020, between 10 am and 2 pm. This was the final session for the event.

The theme was to come up with innovative ideas/projects that could contribute in a meaningful way towards reducing the CO2 emissions in the 3 municipalities by 50% by the year 2030. Sub-challenges that were presented where: Sustainable mobility, Energy, Construction and Housing, Industry. 

22 people registered, however, 12 ended up participating and completing the whole event. At the very end, 4 groups were formed. 

The winning team proposed a mobile app that allows citizens to introduce their energy consumption, list sustainable practices that they undertake, measure their carbon footprint and see how they are contributing towards helping the city meet its goals of reducing CO2 emissions. A basic, yet functional, version of the app was presented. The runner-up team made a study whereby they identified 15 locations in Santurtzi where PVs could potentially be installed. A two to three-page technical analysis was elaborated for each one and a general presentation was made presenting the opportunity to bring PVs on a grand scale to the city. A third group promoted the use of cycling lanes and safer and more sustainable transportation for school children. The fourth group presented an app that helped organizations coordinate the transportation needs of each worker and find synergies to create, for example, carpooling, etc.

This shared Climathon event was deemed of special importance because it opened up the dialogue for future collaboration between the three cities. 

 

RESPONSE joins the Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse projects

A new project has joined the Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse projects. We want to welcome RESPONSE which aims to establish a strategic vision for Smart Cities Energy Transition: Climate-neutral cities by 2050. Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, RESPONSE is a 60-month project.

RESPONSE aims to turn energy sustainability into a do-able vision by solving the energy trilemma (security, equity/affordability, environmental sustainability) at building, block and district levels in smart cities. The project builds upon intelligent integrated and interconnected energy systems coupled with demand-oriented city infrastructures, governance models and services that foster energy sustainability.

RESPONSE supports the lighthouse cities of Dijon (FR) and Turku (FI) and their Fellow cities Brussels (BE), Zaragoza (ES), Botosani (RO), Ptolemaida (GR), Gabrovo (BU) and Severodonetsk (UA) to facilitate them deliver positive energy blocks and districts. It attracts the interest of various stakeholders by generating innovative business models enabling the upscale and replication of the solutions forming a validated roadmap for sustainable cities across Europe and beyond. The overall focus of the project is to create resilient and safe cities whilst increasing the quality of life and lowering the impacts of climate change. 

The consortium of RESPONSE is led by European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER) Germany, being technically supported by Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, CERTH, Greece, and comprises a total of 53 partners.

Creative ways of collaborating: Smart Písek joins Urbania

Like many other cities in Europe, Písek has had to rethink how to organize meetings and spaces for collaboration during the times of COVID-19. One of the affected events is the Bold City Vision programme organised by our +CityxChange partner Smart Písek. The programme intended to kick off in the municipal schools in early 2021, piloting The UN Sustainable Development Goals  -related activities for high-schools. Thanks to the resourcefulness of Písek, the programme will now go online as a part of the Urbania exhibition. 

Running from December 2020 to late March 2021, eight original multimedia installations offer visitors the opportunity to become the administrator of an imaginary, and yet familiar, Living City. Through the interactive installations, visitors can explore and utilize eight different principles on which organic and sustainable urban governance is based. Originally exhibited in Prague in the beginning of 2020, Sladovna Písek, in cooperation with Smart Písek, has now tailored the exhibition for the specific context of the city of Písek.

More information (in Czech) of the exhibition can be found here

Trondheim integrating +CityxChange into the local curriculum

The Newton Energy Room at the NTNU Science Museum in Trondheim is a familiar place for all 9th– grade students in the Trondheim municipality: in this science teaching room they spend two days solving tasks and learning about energy as a part of their school curriculum. Now the municipality of Trondheim is looking into how the +CityxChange project can contribute to the local education on the topics of energy and sustainability.

The +CityxChange project is already visible in the room, as everyone entering is required to watch the film ‘Energy positive Trondheim’ made by our partner Trondheim Kommune: watch it on their Youtube-channel. The feedback from the students is extremely positive, says Roy Even Aune, leader of the Science Center.

Next step is to integrate +CityxChange even more in the science teaching of future Norwegian innovators. Our partners in Trondheim Kommune are working together with Mr. Aune and two school advisors from the municipality in order to create an energy package that can be used both at the Newton room and in the schools. Later this year partners from Trondheim will meet with the science teachers to discuss how to integrate also values like sustainability, circular economy and democracy into the curriculum.

Võru to switch to a completely LED technology street lighting

Our follower city, Võru, is the first city in Estonia, and as far as we know, in the Baltics, where street lighting is 100% provided with energy-efficient LED lamps. During the last six years, the city of Võru has been working to ensure that street lighting throughout the city is modern, efficient to run and safe.

“The city of Võru has completed the complete modernization of street lighting, which has resulted in a significant increase in electricity savings, environmental sustainability and considerably improved traffic safety on pedestrian crossings,” commented Mayor Anti Allas.

According to Andres Visnapuu, the manager of OÜ Taristuhaldus, the company that manages street lighting in the city of Võru, there are a total of 2,428 lighting points in Võru today. “In recent years, 422 new lighting points have been added, and although street lighting points have been added, electricity consumption has decreased significantly. For example, 117,747 euros were spent on street lighting in 2014 and in 2019 the amount was only 68,282 euros,”  Visnapuu commented, adding that if before the modernization there were only four lighted pedestrian crossings in Võru, today there are 104.

“Many thanks to us to the Environmental Investment Center (EIC), who has supported the modernization of street lighting,” said Visnapuu.

Under the leadership of the EIC, by the autumn of 2015, seven Estonian cities received new street lighting based on LED technology, which was considerably more energy and environmentally friendly than before. “This was a unique project, where in addition to the usual mediation and supervision of grant money, the EIC organized procurements for cities and was responsible for project management. One of these cities was also Võru, which at that time made its city whiter and more sustainable. Later, we have contributed from the structural funds to the modernization of street lighting in the city of Võru,” – says Andrus Treier, the head of EIC – “City street lighting works smarter and more economically.”

The last sodium lamp of the street lighting in the city of Võru was removed and replaced with a new LED lamp October 29, at 1 pm on Männiku Street.

Sluppen City Lab opening in Trondheim

Over the past year and a half, partners have come together in the EU-project +CityxChange to develop forward thinking solutions within the energy sector.

Many partners gathered at Lager 11 in Trondheim on September 10th to exchange experiences so far within the project and to look at new business opportunities. At Lager 11 you’ll also find one of +CityxChange’ city labs. It was officially opened by the Minister of Local Government and Modernisation, Nikolai Aastrup. The lab provides information about the Sluppen area and about the project and its partners.

The work and effort put into this project is quite impressive” says Chief City Executive in Trondheim, Morten Wolden. Wolden opened the meeting together with Vice-Chancellor for Innovation at NTNU, Toril A. Nagelhus Hernes. They explained how +CityxChange facilitate public-private cooperation for innovation and co-creation on a sustainability perspective.

Placemaking through Stories – Localising Citizen Engagement

On the 20th of October 2020, ISOCARP Institute hosted the 3rd +CityxChange Stoyreliing Workshop in a digital format, as part of our annual consortium meeting.  The aim of the workshop was to understand and reflect on storytelling as a tool for citizen engagement and communication. The event lasted around two and a half hours with discussions and presentations from other Smart City projects in the Basque Country – a place where the consortium meeting would have been celebrated in case Covid-19 travel restrictions did not apply. The main objectives of our third Storytelling Workshops were:

  • Understanding the structure of effective storytelling for citizen engagement;
  • Creating a story using urban heritage as a starting point;
  • Developing a communication strategy with a clear goal along with an effective language (depending on the audience)
  • Learning how to express and communicate urban transformations through stories;
  • Analysing different cases and building upon other urban transformations. 

The session started with a video from Iñaki Peña, journalist and resident in the city of Sestao, Spain (Follower City in +CityxChange). The video (about 11 minutes long) tells the story of changes and developments in Sestao, with a focus on La Casa del Arco (The Arch’s House). Iñaki tells us about the developments and transformations that this building has been through, by using his past experiences, his youth and what he remembers of La Casa del Arco. The later used to be a building with a strong industrial history, that is now being restored with the combined efforts of the Sestao Municipality, the Basque Government and the European Community. 

‘La Casa del Arco, – Iñaki reflects – is the beginning of a progressive restoration of the city’. Iñaki foresees that this development will bring new possibilities to the city, such as, the restoration of nature and the river that was until nowadays used for industrial purposes. Having Iñaki’s story as the kick-off of this workshop, participants were asked to reflect on the structure, the line of narrative and the communication elements that were used.

The session continued with the intervention of three lighthouse cities. Firstly, Jordán Guardo from the Municipality of Bilbao reflected on the ATELIER experience giving examples of positive urban developments and citizen engagement practices. The project focuses on a river area close to the industrial city of Bilbao, concretely, Zorrotzaurre. Zorrotzaurre was a very industrialised small island. Building efforts, using top-down and bottom-up approaches, the ATELIER project achieved a combination of arts, culture and economic development in the zone.

Secondly, David Grisaleña from the Municipality of Vitoria Gasteiz. David presented the SmartEnCity: Coronación District. The objective of this lighthouse project was to develop a systemic approach for sustainable, smart and resource-efficient urban environments in Europe. David explained how through citizen engagement, they could develop strategies to replicate Energy retrofitting buildings. The example given by David was located in Eulogio Serdán Street. Some of the discussions that came up during the presentation were related to how the housing property system works in Spain and the challenges that appeared during the communication of more technical developments with house owners in the building.

The last speaker, Marta Zabaleta, joined to present the REPLICATE project. Particularly on the Donostia/San  Sebastián citizen engagement process. Shortly, Marta presented the objectives of the project, and how they used to top-down and bottom-up approach for citizen engagement. Marta explained their interaction with the citizens since the very beginning of the project. ‘It is crucial – she said – to have the common understanding and collaboration with the residents before and during the execution of the project.’

After the discussions, participants had the chance to come up with their own story based on a building – like Iñaki Peña – a public space or neighbourhood in their area that would reflect urban transformations. The exercise divided the participants into 3 main groups, the participants had to explain their urban development story and jointly discuss the structure and communication points. By the end of the breakout sessions, each group had to choose a representative from their group to present their story to the whole group of participants.

The storytelling workshop finished with a short interaction session, commenting on each other stories and reflecting on the usage of storytelling as a tool to tell stories of places for further citizen engagement.