The first workshop held in the course of the Project Polish-German cooperation on low emission economy in cities, which took place from 8-9 December 2015 in Herten, Germany, brought together high level representatives from German and Polish municipalities to discuss efficiency in buildings at district level and its related coordination processes.
Representatives from Bottrop and Herten showcased two district-wide energy-related refurbishment projects under implementation: Gartenstadt der Zukunft in the neighboring cities of Herten and Gelsenkirchen, and a project in Batenbrock-Nord, Bottrop under the umbrella of InnovationCity Ruhr. Presentations and discussions focused on the importance of thinking refurbishments beyond the sole energy component, at district level and in an integrated manner.
Improving energy efficiency is a multidisciplinary task involving urban planning, energy production and distribution, transportation, buildings and the citizens themselves. The most economically efficient way to create an impact is through coordinated strategies that are planned end-to-end. This entails:
- Starting with a proper auditing process to identify specific needs, weaknesses and strengths;
- Undertaking a feasibility check to verify whether the project can successfully be implemented with the existing resources, regulatory framework and stakeholders;
- Engaging with both internal stakeholders (different departments of city councils) and external stakeholders (citizens, civic society organizations, private businesses);
- Realizing impact analyses to compare the actual reduction in emission with the costs of the project
Further, participants delved into the concept of integrated low-emission strategies – the golden thread of this cooperation project. A session was also dedicated to providing an overview of the financial opportunities in Poland, with a special focus on energy efficiency improvements in buildings.
At a partnership market, Polish and German participants presented their municipalities' focus areas, challenges and fields of interest. The partnership market provided a better understanding of the concept and the potential of city partnerships, which will be supported under this project. More information on the city partnership programme is available here.
Read more about the outcomes of the workshop here: