3rd CAN Working Group meeting: Activate neighbourhoods to implement local low carbon strategies –CAN partnership discussed roles of local authorities, multiplicator groups and neighbourhood initiatives
The city of Essen in the middle of the German Ruhr-area welcomed over 30 representatives from the 10 CAN project partners. Deputy Mayor Simone Raskob welcomed the partnership to the City of Essen, European Green Capital 2017.
The relevant question in this session was: Which role does the municipality play in different organisational models to enhance the necessary commitment of local neighbourhoods while securing coherence of bottom-up actions and city wide strategies and which approach is best in which situation?
Three approaches were tested by the project partners which lead to discussions on how far a “grass-root” approach, where the local authority is giving as much responsibility as possible to bottom-up initiatives to act in their neighbourhood, can go and what kind of results can be achieved. The very time consuming face-to-face approach was analysed on how the consultation of each household can be most effective. Last but not least the role of mulitiplicator groups and how they can be identified was discussed.
“The experiences of the international partnership show that you need to combine these approaches to fit the situation”, Kai Lipsius explains on behalf of the hosting partner. Furthermore the project partners outlined the importance of using synergies between other issues such as health and social affairs and seize any opportunity to integrate energy and climate mitigation matters.
The site visit to one of Essens most deprived neighbourhoods arranged by the representatives of Essen has shown how a mixture of all approaches leads to an empowered neighbourhood that is taking an active role in improving their living situation.
The resulting organisational models developed by the international partnership will be summed up in a “Coaching framework” providing transferable advice to similar local authorities to facilitate implementation of low carbon strategies.