Innovation and learning hubs for climate-neutrality: what’s next for the cities in the Pilot Cities Programme? – NetZeroCities

Innovation and learning hubs for climate-neutrality: what’s next for the cities in the Pilot Cities Programme? – NetZeroCities

Collaboration as a pathway for transition

One avenue for learning to happen is collective sensemaking sessions, where Pilot Cities are grouped based on commonalities in their plans. This is intended to maximise opportunities for peer-learning and tailored exchange.

In the first cohort, the projects of one group (Kozani, Liberec, Leuven, and Spanish cities) were based on improving energy efficiency in the built environment. Another group (Rivne, Slovenian and Italian cities) found they had challenges related to data governance in their cities, among other topics including finance and participation.

“While the initial sensemaking sessions might seem like we are scratching the surface, they are very much sowing the seeds for future sessions and future collaboration. We have seen in these early sessions that cities are identifying common challenges. This will hopefully be the beginning of a relationship and allow them to dive deeper in the next sessions”, says Anna Huttunen, Climate-Neutral City Advisor for NetZeroCities.

Early sessions have revealed shared challenges among cities, including the role of city administration, citizen involvement practices, and engaging different stakeholders with different needs and priorities.

“We are finding it challenging to move from a point where everyone is looking at each other, and mostly to the city administration, to take the first step to a place where everyone feels empowered to take ownership of the transition,” said one of the city representatives during a sensemaking session.

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