Page 31 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2017 publication
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Summer 2017 European Energy Innovation  31


• the planning processes,                                        For considering energy aspects as part of urban planning
• the framework conditions,                                      processes, the legal base for urban planning has to include
• the involved actors as well as                                 energy or climate protection objectives as reason for spatial
• the instruments and tools, and                                 differentiation, as e.g. in Germany. Alternatively, energy
• possible forms of low-carbon energy systems and their          transitions laws such as in France now demand energy
                                                                 planning for dense territories and require the integration of
    planning implications                                        energy planning through new legal acts.

and to come up with proposals for a better integration of        Furthermore, it turned out to be important to have clear
energy and urban planning processes.                             overarching long-term low carbon strategies in place, which
                                                                 then also guide urban development and planning.
All cities initiated a local working group with staff members    Another factor which was identified as decisive was to have
from various city departments involved in urban and/or           clearly spelled out responsibilities and resources for energy
energy planning and housing. Some groups also include            planning in the city.
external stakeholders, e.g. distribution network operators
or developers. These groups supported the analyses of            THE WAY TO INTEGRATIVE ENERGY PLANNING
the governance processes and contribute to their further         Based on the own analysis and the inputs from the other
development.                                                     cities, in each city priorities for integrating energy and urban
                                                                 planning were identified and put together – from supporting
Across all cities these working groups underline the value       framework conditions, necessary actors to proposals for
of interdepartmental exchange and cooperation when               where and how throughout the urban planning processes
planning the development of urban areas. They also               energy aspects could become a part, as e.g. when selling
surfaced a clear need for more knowledge on energy issues        or renting land, in urban contracts, when controlling
in planning departments and overall created a sound work         obligations.
basis through debating and learning together.

The analysis shows that                                          Overall URBAN LEARNING succeeds to be the door opener
• energy aspects are generally well addressed at the level       for bringing energy planning (back) on the urban/spatial
                                                                 planning agenda in the involved cities. This is needed in
    of a building (energy demand, share of renewables) but       many European cities and legislation, e.g. in France, starts to
    largely lacking at the level of housing or business park     respond. Already during the project, we have established an
    developments, quarters or districts;                         “inner circle” of about 15 cities in the involved countries with
• qualities requested at early urban planning stages are         whom we team up for in-depth mutual learning on the topic.
    often lost in subsequent planning and construction
    phases;                                                      Our selection of cities, with differences in climatic, economic
• a number of good practices in terms of instruments or          and social conditions, make the results relevant and
    tools for planning exist in the cities, which inspired each  replicable for many, also smaller, European cities. Besides
    others work when investigating ways forward.                 many national dissemination activities of the cities, a
                                                                 final event mid-October 2017 in Vienna will offer ample
For this analysis the exchanges between the cities – peer        opportunities for “urban learning” from the participating
to peer – proved to be extremely valuable. They also             cities and beyond, and to advocate for integrating energy
sharpened the understanding of one’s own situation. Across       planning as key instrument towards decarbonisation at
the cities the analysis showed similarities in the principle     local level. l
levels and stages of urban planning – from the strategic
planning down to the building regulation plan as well as           Contact details
in the principle elements of the urban planning processes.
Equally it surfaced a lot of differences, particularly in the
framework for energy and urban planning as well as in
the cities’ land policy. This underlined the importance of         This project has received funding
the legal/political context and (planning) cultures and the        from the European Union’s Horizon
importance of understanding those aspects well for coming          2020 research and innovation
up with suitable proposals for upgrading the relevant              programme under grant
planning processes.                                                agreement No 649883.

Our discussions why something is possible or not possible
in a city often ended at the fostering or hindering framework
conditions – be it legally, strategically or organisationally.
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