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Thessaloniki (GR) and Bottrop (DE), together in the "Municipalities for a strong Europe" Initiative

By Blandine Pidoux on 29 février 2016

Source : European Growth Initiative (EGI) - HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance
Platform (HVGP)

The potential to reach social and economic progress through green growth at the local level was the key topic of a German-Greek workshop in Berlin last November. The 35 participants, from our member city of Thessaloniki and the German town Bottrop, discussed their experiences related to energy transition and ideas for green growth stimulation at the local level.

The workshop was part of the "Growth initiative : Municipalities for a strong Europe" pilot project, launched in the framework of the European Growth Initiative program implemented by HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform (HVGP). The aim of this project is to pursue sustainable green growth at the local level by applying bottom-up approach of multi-stakeholder participation as a requirement of good governance.

The report "Good practice exchange between Bottrop und Thessalonliki" gives an overview of the workshop and presents the “good practice” ideas developed during the event for the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. It describes among others, how Thessaloniki continues to invest in green policy, despite a deep economic recession and the volatile political situation at the national level. After having created in 2006 a big waste management project of a biogas power plant, the Association of Local Authorities of Greater Thessaloniki developped between 2011 and 2013 a “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan” (SUMP) to improve public transport, decrease car traffic and pollution emissions in the city. The workshop’s report also highlights some simulations proving that full exploitation of the wind and solar potential in the main Metropolitan Area of Thessaloniki could comprehensively cover local energy needs. There is no doubt that the implementation of energy transition in Thessaloniki could revitalize its local economy !

Last January, Energy Cities was also invited to participate in another EGI workshop : "Trialogs for sustainable investment ideas in Europe" which focused on the role of multi-stakeholder participation in decision-making processes in European investment policies.

Cooperation for the energy transition at local level will be the main topic of Energy Cities’ annual conference, in Bornova (Turkey) from 1st to 3rd of June. We invite every interested city and town to join us in Bornova, for a creative 3-day conference, forum and workshops around this so crucial question.

To go further :
- Browse the Energy Cities’ proposals for the energy transition of cities and towns
- Download our study on "The economic impact of the energy transition at local level : methodologies and case studies"



Photo : Jens Schicke

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