Climate urgency calls on all political levels to act more stringent and faster. In this EU-project Vienna teams up with Bilbao, Bratislava, Dublin, Munich, Rotterdam and Winterthur to work out actionable roadmaps to decarbonize heating and cooling for buildings in 2050, taking up the challenge of phasing out natural gas in heating.
Responsible for roughly half of the EU’s final energy consumption, transitioning heating and cooling to energy efficient, renewable solutions will be critical to bring EU countries in line with their pledged climate and energy targets. Given the long-life cycles of the grid infrastructures involved, there is an urgency to start the planning of this transition today. But how? What first? Which systems? How to govern this process? Increasing complexity of the energy system together with technological uncertainties require a high level of knowledge and skills to act wisely. Cities are ill-equipped for this. They lack capacity and skills as well as legal empowerment to act.
Decarb City Pipes 2050 showcases how local authorities can build capacity to succeed in this challenge. Seven cities - from frontrunners to beginners - join forces to learn from each other and elaborate innovative responses together. They explore pathways suitable for their local challenges and build up skills in the use of data, planning tools and instruments, techno-economic as well as process and transition management knowhow. In a participatory process with stakeholders, they develop tangible transition roadmaps, building up trust and commitment for its implementation along the way. In deep peer-to-peer exchanges, cities and utilities share knowledge to benefit from other perspectives, stages of advancement and planning traditions.
Together, they will advocate for the needed changes to framework conditions. Guided by a distinguished advisory board, the project aims to empower more than 220 public officers and improve more than 50 policies. Ultimately, it strives to motivate and support more than 80 cities to start the same roadmap process.
Urban Innovation Vienna is the coordinator of this project.