Hosted by Kozani Municipality and the Cluster for Bioeconomy and Environment of Western Macedonia (CLUBE) the workshop gathered the six STARDUST cities and other partners to look at current and future efforts towards making the cities climate neutral in the coming years.
Such exchanges between cities are important as they can all learn from each other. This is particularly true since two follower cities (Kozani and Cluj-Napoca) and a lighthouse city (Tampere) have been selected from almost 400 applicant cities to feature among the first 100 “Climate Neutral and Smart Cities” by the end of the decade. The scheme by the EU aims to ensure these cities act as “experimentation and innovation hubs” to help other cities become climate-neutral by 2050.
Similar in size, these cities share many concerns about improving energy efficiency, organising clean transport, switching to renewables and more, all of them at city level. However, they’re not all at the same point in these areas, so examining each other’s paths becomes a valuable exercise. For example, Kozani performs well in waste management but not so well in transport. Tampere has developed ICT smart solutions and Cluj-Napoca is quite advanced in e-transport.
At the workshop, Kozani shared its experience of applying for the 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities scheme. The application first laid out the city’s characteristics such as its shift away from lignite-produce electricity. The city has been heavily reliant on lignite and is now looking for a new, greener identity. Featured in the application were the needs, ambition and plans for the future, put together in close collaboration with local stakeholders and the public. This played an important role in making a very competitive proposal.
“The STARDUST project gave a first inside knowledge of terms and practices, through the meetings and study visits organised during the project” says Dr Yannis Fallas, Director of CLUBE, “The real implementation work of the Lighthouse cities, with its positive progress and the potential drawbacks, enriched the knowledge base of Kozani’s involved local stakeholders and provided specific ideas and informal guidelines on how to eventually become a smart city itself.”
The workshop was held as part of the STARDUST General Assembly, hosted in Kozani and gathering the partners as the project gears up to its final year.
Photo: Dr Yannis Fallas, Director of CLUBE, adressing the project consortium
Credit: Municipality of Kozani