Freitag, 30. Januar 2015

Green Capital award 2015 goes to Bristol!

Bristol is the 2015´s Green Capital of Europe! And this seems to be deserved: 

Bristol Winning City logoWith its high investments in transport and energy efficiency, the city, located in the south west of England, could consistently reduce the carbon emissions since 2005, also with 4.7 % growth in the green economy. Besides the green economy, Bristol is the UK’s greenest city with very good air quality. The number of cyclists doubled during the recent years and the ambitious goals are to double them again until 2020. With regeneration projects Bristol was able to clean and open areas for habitation which were formerly polluted by the industry.

According to the Jury “Bristol [shows] a high level of achievement across the board. Bristol is an innovator in terms of the green economy, with a powerful communication strategy and the commitment and enthusiasm required to develop its role as a model for Europe.”

The European Green Capital Award is granted every year to a city which shows best practice in environmentally beneficial performances. The improvement of the environment in urban areas gets more and more important with two thirds of all Europeans living in towns and cities. In these urban areas most environmental challenges concentrate and need to be faced with commitment and innovation, as demonstrated by the European Green Capitals. 

Cities winning the European Green Capital award are cities with promising strategies - and great motivation and inspiration for the PLEEC cities!

Freitag, 9. Januar 2015

Happy New Year to all PLEEC project partners and readers of this blog!

After a relaxed Christmas beak we are now starting refreshed and motivated into the New Year 2015!
The last PLEEC project year was full of interesting events and great initiatives. Let´s have a short review of what has happened...

In springtime we spent several days in Turku, Finland, where our second project workshop took place. As the preliminary results of Work Package 2 (“Smart City Profiles”) were already available, the main objective of the meeting was to reach a common understanding of the further actions and objectives of Work Packages 3-5 and a common base for the work plans and activities within these Work Packages. Accompanied by several study visits, we gained a deeper insight into how energy efficiency is being realized in Turku. 

During early summer time, Work Package 2 was officially finalized. The focus of this Work Package - led by Vienna University of Technology - was on generating “Smart City Profiles” of our six partner cities Eskilstuna, Santiago de Compostela, Jyväskylä, Turku, Stoke-on-Trent and Tartu. All reports can now be downloaded from the PLEEC website. 
Based on this foundation, Work Packages 3, 4 and 5 are currently working actively on benchmarking energy efficiency measures and issuing recommendations for improving energy efficiency from the technology (WP3), planning (WP4) and behavioral (WP5) side.

Furthermore and apart from our joint project meetings all city partners organized their first Local Dialogue Forum - dialogue creating meetings with industry, public bodies, citizens and the local partners involved - in the run of 2014.
Topics ranged from savings and energy efficiency measures in buildings (Santiago de Compostela), technology innovations (Eskilstuna), needs and opportunities for improving energy efficiency in cities (Jyväskylä), project alliances in extensive public real estate and construction projects and service procurement (Turku), the local energy efficiency study (Stoke-on-Trent) and status and trends of energy efficiency in Tartu (Tartu).

The Executive Board Meeting, consisting of all Work Package leaders and the project coordinator, met physically (apart from their monthly Skype Meetings) in Vienna in October 2014. The project´s half-time reporting was one of the main issues to discuss among the project members.

And last but not least, the 2nd Energy Efficiency Forum took place - this time in Copenhagen, Europe´s green capital of the year 2014! On 29 october 2014 - in the framework of “Building Green” fair - we welcomed representatives from the academic sector, industry, authorities, practitioners and the general public to learn about and discuss with us possible solutions on how to successfully transfer Best Available Practices to other cities.

It was a very enriching year full of good ideas and discussions… The energy smart city is coming closer!
Now we are looking forward to our next project meeting in February in Santiago de Compostela!