Municipal peer-to-peer learning in integrating transport,
land-use planning and energy policy at district level
The city of Recklinghausen, with a population of around 120,000, is located in the northern Ruhr region in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
In 2013, the city commissioned an integrated district development concept for the existing Hillerheide neighborhood. The urban development focus is on the development of a former harness racing track with approximately 34 hectares as one of the last large conversion areas in the urban area.
In December 2020, the Climate Protection and Energy Agency Baden-Württemberg (KEA-BW) published a guideline for municipal heat planning. After the October 2020 amendment to the Climate Protection Act in Baden-Württemberg, municipal heat planning for cities above a certain size became mandatory. The guide serves as orientation and assistance for municipalities in the preparation of a concrete plan for a heat transition strategy.
The Dutch design offices Generation.Energy and PosadMaxwan aim to stimulate integrated planning, i.e. planning that cuts across disciplines and silos in order to address a challenge within all its complexity. As part of MULTIPLY, the offices hosted expert workshops to share their experiences on integrated urban planning with all committed- and forerunner cities. During the Big European Exchange conference, Boris Hocks (the CEO of Generation.Energy) presented a number of projects that encourage sustainability through integrated planning and make cities more climate friendly and comfortable places to live in. One of these projects was the Integrated Neighborhood Strategy, which provides insight into the spatial claims of various transitions, and where efforts can be combined and implemented into strategic and implementable process.
The MULTIPLY project goes on! The next part of the project implementation is the conference, at which we will present the best practices from the municipalities in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Sweden, for which integrated urban planning has been one of the top priorities. Conference topics include: renewable energy, energy efficiency, mobility and participation. The event is organized by Legambiente in collaboration with 7 partners who work on the MULTIPLY project: research and innovation project of the HORIZON 2020 call funded by the European Union, whose purpose is to stimulate the increase of environmental sustainability actions from the public administration for their cities with the ultimate aim of achieving the objectives of reducing CO2 emissions in their territories.
Integrated urban planning is one of the basic approaches to modern planning and is, due to the complex character of spatial phenomena, a logical and necessary one. Policy-making for sustainable urban development and the creation of institutional frameworks at all levels has acknowledged integrated planning as the mechanism for achieving a sustainable and resilient urban space and environment. The main aim of integrated urban planning is to “identify opportunities to solve problems holistically.” (Ovink & Boeijengap.191). The multi-disciplinary nature of the solutions ensures that these are capable of withstanding unexpected challenges and have the flexibility to adapt to new situations. Furthermore, a broad range of stakeholders, planners and experts which are involved in the development of comprehensive solutions forms a strong support for the implementation of urban development projects.
During the two-part workshops concerning integrated city planning, representatives of seven Polish cities participating in MULTIPLY project were working on spatial concepts that responded to previously defined challenges and aimed to help to achieve their set goals.
The 4th event of the 6 part peer-learning workshop series of the H2020 MULTIPLY project was organized as the 2nd event for the technical planning staff of the municipalities (the 1st one took place in Szarvas during summer). The event was held in a hybrid format (with the possibility to join online and offline) and our Dutch partner facilitated a great workshop that made the event really unconventional.
As a leader of integrated urban actions, Bydgoszcz shared its experience with cities that need additional knowledge and skills to effectively implement the idea of integrated urban planning. The transfer of knowledge and experience began 7th September with the RES Demonstration Center in Bydgoszcz, which supports the development of innovative technologies and promotes energy generation from clean renewable sources, conducting a number of research, consulting, training and educational activities. This place was an excellent environment to hold next workshop within the MULTIPLY project and to present Bydgoszcz's sustainable energy solutions to other cities. The city of Bydgoszcz, playing a pioneering role in the MULTIPLY project, skillfully combining sustainable solutions in the project's three areas, shared with other cities its experience in the implementation of pro-energy activities, including the implementation of energy management systems in public buildings.
MULTIPLY aims to increase energy efficiency through the development of cities and districts with a focus on energy systems, land-use planning and mobility. These three themes are inseparable and must be treated and developed jointly. The programme therefore stimulates integrated planning, i.e. planning that cuts across disciplines and silos in order to address a challenge within all its complexity.
As part of MULTIPLY, the Dutch design offices Generation.Energy and PosadMaxwan hosted expert workshops to share their experiences on integrated urban planning with all committed- and forerunner cities. They encourage sustainability through integrated planning in many of their projects. Most recently, the two design agencies have acted as the spatial and energy experts for the development of a regional energy strategy for the Dutch province of North Holland. In this project they advised on how to apply integrated planning in the transition towards renewable energy.
The Multiply workshop series has been continued –finally- with a 2-day physical meeting in Szarvas, one of the Forerunner Cities of the project. The primary target group of the meeting was the technical staff of the municipalities, who had the chance to expand their knowledge about the topics of integrated urban planning via expert’s presentations, groupworks and study tours.