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Policy brief: Are you SuperBLOCKs or BLOCKchain (or both)?

By Claire Roumet on 31 May 2016

This month, Energy Cities launched a new project: "LIFE Living Streets". The idea is to BLOCK cars from using a street for a few months so that citizens have time to imagine how to make better use of public space. It has been very successful in Ghent (Belgium), where the concept was first tested.

In European cities we are used to car-free days, but longer periods without cars allow people to think more deeply about the place of private transport in our lives. The same idea is behind the new Superblocks project to redesign urban mobility in Barcelona, although it goes one step further as the integrated planning to renew the street includes resource-efficiency, urban agriculture and social cohesion.

In the field of energy generation, we can take a look on the other side of the Atlantic, with the blockchain in Brooklyn, where neighbours are starting a new branch of the sharing economy by exchanging the solar electricity they produce.

These are just a few examples of new blocks which will be the basis of the local energy transition.

Meanwhile, on the European scene, Urban ministers have just approved the Pact of Amsterdam, designed to better shape EU policies impacting cities. It is a step towards bottom-up policy design, but it is still a far cry from our need for devolving more powers to the local level. And if you want to know more about the building blocks of the new Urban Agenda, take a look at this infographics by Eurocities.

Claire Roumet
Executive Director, Energy Cities

© photos: Palle Peter Skov/Lego; www.shutterstock.com | Danil Vitalevich

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