CrAFt Cities Session 5: Implement your plan

In CrAFt Cities Session 5 —28 February 2023—, Judith Borsboom introduced Stage 4: DO concerning the implementation of programmes and projects for smart and sustainable cities to achieve their climate neutrality goals.

Among the steps in this stage, we should consider the following:

  • Gathering a skilled local team to work on the implementation
  • Allocating resources to their project
  • Defining a concrete action plan
  • Organising the launch of the programme or project
  • Setting up a monitoring process
  • Sharing data through an urban platform

After Judith’s introduction to the process, our first guest speaker was Bart Geernaert, coordinator at The Republic, Bruges (Belgium). The city has a Climate Plan around seven themes, and they have been building a local climate alliance to reinforce this plan.

The Republic is a community of creative “city makers” —a blend of thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs— and a critical engine in the city’s climate plan. Bart delved into the organisational and financial models of The Republic and how they have been conceived to initiate new urban dynamics with a bottom-up approach and, ultimately, achieve social change.

After Patrick, Pat Stephens at Limerick Clare Energy Agency presented Limerick Positive City Exchange. Limerick is Ireland’s EU Lighthouse city. Together with Trondheim in Norway, they lead the way with several demonstration projects focused on the clean energy transition.

They have identified their city’s historic Georgian Neighbourhood as the project’s demonstration area and designated it as an innovation district, allowing them to trial and test solutions with their stakeholders.

So far, they have learned that:

  • Citizens must be at the heart of societal transformation, and there is undoubtedly an appetite for co-creation methodologies,
  • Acceleration is required mainly for energy infrastructures like tidal turbines, community grids, etc., as they have difficulty bringing renewable projects through statutory systems,
  • Collaborative governance models are essential.

Additionally, Pat mentioned they need a legislative framework for regulatory sandboxing to enable the experimentation and innovation required to achieve their goals.