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Welcome to City Stories, the podcast by Energy Cities. Energy Cities is the European city network of local authorities in energy transition with over 1000 members from 30 countries. This podcast is for those who want to learn more about how cities go about with the energy transition. The challenge is big, but there are so many new, collaborative practices that emerge and that make this challenge fun and feasible. Each month we invite passionate European guests from different horizons and sec ...
 
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show series
 
The Netherlands is one of the leading countries when it comes to an energy policy taking into account many different people and sectors. The Dutch National Climate Agreement from 2019 is the best example. So, to achieve its climate and energy goals, the country needs the highest possible involvement and public ownership of green energy, including f…
 
If you’ve been following along with this podcast in the past months or more, you’ll know that we like to dig out local initiatives that might look small for now, but that can have a big impact in the future. For this episode, we picked one of them: the Economes, an awareness raising program on energy use - from citizens for citizens.We meet Hugo an…
 
Today’s guests will explore the question on how we can create a culture of energy citizenship. I sit together with two inspiring women: Dr BinBin Pearce who is researcher at TU Delft and Margot Vingerhoedt who is Head of communications, marketing and press for the Belgian cooperative Ecopower. While BinBin has been looking into the sociological dim…
 
For this episode we wanted to know what it needs to spark such initiatives, how we can bring more women into it and what all this has to do with taking risks.That is why we invited Katharina Habersbrunner who is Head of sustainable energy and climate solutions at the non-profit network WECF, Women Engage for a Common Future. Katharina has an impres…
 
For this episode, our podcast host Miriam Eisermann sat down with Martin Mrkos, Mayor the City of Žďár nad Sázavou in Czech Republic. He is joined by Michal Bacovsky, who is Smart City Coordinator of Zdar. The city counts 21.000 inhabitants and is one of the 10 pilot cities involved in the EUCityCalc project. After intensive thermal insulation of i…
 
If you want to trigger big change in a city you essentially need 2 things: a great deal of political will and people in the administration who know how to go about it. Such a massive change is underway in the cities of Brasov in Romania and in Mouscron in Belgium. Both cities have been working with the so-called "transition management" approach whi…
 
How do you engage individuals and local organisations in the energy transition? What does it need to make them allies in the journey towards greener cities? And what if people get tired of workshops around the city of TOMORROW? In this episode I was joined by two “activators” as I would call them: Anne-Claire Urvoas from the city of Brest where she…
 
The City of Valencia and Dublin County are both on an ambitious trajectory: Not only do they aim for becoming greener and fairer cities by 2050. But also, they do push beyond their comfort zone by designing their roadmap with a big variety of stakeholders. We chatted with Jordi Peris Blanes from Valencia and Katie Harrington from the Dublin Energy …
 
In this episode Miriam sits down with Pau Balcells from the Barcelona Data Office. Together they dive into the role of data to design, feed and assess innovative and sustainable policies. The city of Barcelona is leveraging on data for better decision-making and to become a smarter and fairer place. During the talk Pau shares why big data have beco…
 
In this episode, two energy experts based in the East of France join us to share their plans for an energy community in the city of Besançon. Besançon counts around 120.000 inhabitants. Anik Lehman-Tron is a renewables expert and works for the local government. Mireia Matencio is legal advisor at Opale Energies Naturelles, a renewables company base…
 
Greece is a gifted country when it comes to renewables and it was the first EU country to have a law on energy communities all the way back in 2018. In its national energy and climate plan, the Greek government has set a target of in self-consumption by 2030. We wanted to know how this translates into concrete action on the ground and did a virtual…
 
The city of Zenica, a coal and steel producer, lies right in the center of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jakuta talks us through the different projects of the local government to increase efficiency, including Toplana Zenica plant. She proudly presents the city's ambitions, but she also mentions the issues regarding the lack of knowledge around new energ…
 
We talk with Lucie Middlemiss about who the energy poor are in Leeds (and elsewhere), why they should be involved in finding the right answers, but also how she thinks research can help improve energy poverty policies in cities in the UK and Europe. Lucie is Professor of Environment and Society at the School of Earth and Environment at the Universi…
 
Until now, Valencia with its 800.000 inhabitants may be more known for its mild climate and lovely beaches than for its incredibly collaborative and forward-looking energy policy. In part 2 of our ECF collaboration lab series, we dive into Valencia’s impressive efforts to involve the local community in energy and climate matters. A big change of cu…
 
Today we’re in the South of Italy: in the region of Naples, four small municipalities team up for the energy transition so as to make their place attractive for current and future generations. UCSA, which is the official name of this group of municipalities (61.000 inhabitants), puts special emphasis on citizen-led initiatives. That is why they cam…
 
The City of Prague has an ambitious Climate Plan. In addition to high goals for energy efficiency, this plan includes an objective of fostering the emergence of energy communities. For this episode we met Miloslav Franek from the energy management department of Prague City Hall and Tereza Mc Laughlin Vanova from the Czech Association of Local Energ…
 
Since 2016, Munich turned two of its neighbourhoods into a laboratory: over a bit more than 4 years, 20 million euros were invested in testing smart city solutions. That money came from the EU funded Smarter Together project. In this episode we chat with Bernhard Klassen and Verena Stoppel who both coordinated one after the other the Smarter Togeth…
 
For this episode we are in Lyon, France. Its neighbourhood called Confluence is all about transformation: What once was a logistics and industrial site with a rather bad reputation has become one of Europe’s biggest urban renewal projects. With a surface of 150 hectares, 600.000 sqm existing floor area and 1 million sqm of new buildings this urban …
 
The City of Vienna is often quoted as an outstanding example of people-centred urban renewal. From urban gardening to shared mobility solutions - when it comes to good governance in urban development planning hardly any other city is breaking the ground as much as Vienna does. Is this one reason why the Austrian capital is regularly rated as the wo…
 
Dublin counts half a million residents. Its energy agency CODEMA is in the early stages of redesigning the city’s energy landscape by involving the local community. The challenge is huge: How do you decarbonise a capital city that is very much driven by the fast-growing digital economy? Today I talk with Donna Gartland who is heading the Dublin ene…
 
The energy and climate challenge is so big that it requires everybody to be involved. New ways of communicating are needed. What are the best means to shape new narratives and, in the end, to make people want to engage in changing the energy system? In this episode we talked with Laura Williams and Britt Jurgensen from CarbonCoop: one is a trained …
 
2020 was a tough year and never before has the need for local resilience and solidarity been stronger. One extraordinary means for increasing solidarity while making places stronger are renewable energy communities. Since recently renewable energy communities are legally defined and protected by EU legislation. “Community energy” or “community powe…
 
We have interviewed two amazing women and we have talked with them about the right political triggers for renewables in Italy, about the place of women in the sector and I even learned during our conversation what ethical energy means. Our interviewees were Sara and Claudia: Sara Capuzzo is the President of enostra, which is a major Italian renewab…
 
Since almost 20 years the region of Navarra in the North of Spain pioneers with wind and more and more with solar energy. Now, building an energy community with the regional capital Pamplona as a partner means getting to the next level. This energy community is part of the local government’s climate change strategy for 2030. I wanted to gain a very…
 
In this episode we want to understand how a very young energy community in Strasburg, in the North-East of France, came into being. Where did it all begin with this cooperative called the Brasseurs d’Energie (which means Energy Brewers)? What role did the city council play? And how challenging was the cooperation between citizens and the administra…
 
Since 2018, a new Greek legislation allows local authorities to be an energy producer. In this episode, we’ll have a look at how much this legislation was a gamechanger for Komotini, a local government in the very North-Eastern edge of Greece.The city counts around 60.000 inhabitants and we were joined by one of them: Dimos Ispikoudis. Dimos works …
 
Sometimes it’s good to look into history when we want to better see the future. That’s why we’ve interviewed the Belgian academic historian Tine de Moor over the phone. Her teaching and research at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands focus on how collective action developed over time. We talked about the trends she observes in cooperatives…
 
Today we take a look at the democratic potential of the urban commons. The commons are those resources we all share and use like water, energy, food or public space. I’ve talked to someone who deals with this in her everyday work: I’ve interviewed Nathalie van Loon who is the commons coordinator at the city council of Amsterdam. Nathalie talks abou…
 
Before Covid-19 turned our lives upside down, we met with Geert Vanhorebeek in the Belgium old university town of Leuven. Geert is the city’s sustainable development advisor. You’ll see, he knows how to bring people’s ideas and engagement into municipal action. There is much to learn from Leuven on how to build on strong local communities. During t…
 
For this episode, we have met two very committed people from Croatia: Zoran and Lucia. Zoran Kordic works for ZEZ, green energy cooperative in Croatia. And Lucia Topic is spatial planner in the city of Krizevci which recently became a playground for crowdinvesting in renewables. They are both driven by the personal desire to spread the “energy comm…
 
For this episode, we have met Alba del Campo. Alba is a Spanish journalist and activist fighting for more energy democracy. She is advisor to the local authority of Cadiz since 2015. A new local government was elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. Since then, the city opened the energy politics to its citizens. This was a first radical change and…
 
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