Fostering public capacity to plan, finance and manage integrated urban REGeneration for sustainable energy uptake

Training for public officers involved in urban regeneration

Integrated urban regeneration

Multilevel coordination

 

FosterREG aims at enhancing public capacity at local, regional and national levels to plan, finance and manage integrated urban regeneration for sustainable energy uptake, through capacity building, promotion and articulation of effective multilevel coordination, and national as well as European network strengthening. These objectives will be achieved through public stakeholders’ engagement in joint analysis and knowledge development activities, as well as creation and dissemination of targeted training materials and activities across Europe. Read more...                    

Spanish cluster capacity buildings activities overview

Increasing energy efficiency awareness and enhancing funding schemes and financial instruments were the main issues addressed in the capacity building plan specifically developed by the FosterREG Spanish cluster. These were identified as key issues through collaborative analysis carried out in the first part of the project. A brief summary of actions performed by the Spanish cluster and their conclusions are presented below.


Increasing energy efficiency awareness. The first workshop held in this framework was organized to reach social workers who are the ones working daily with residents who live in buildings with poor thermal performance but cannot afford its energy efficient retrofitting. The objective of the workshop was to provide tools to these municipal social workers on how to raise awareness to residents in relation to energy efficiency.
First part of the workshop made visible good practices in raising awareness about energy saving by presenting experiences developed by public organizations representatives such as Sestao Berri, Debegesa and Nasuvinsa. Second part of the workshop was dedicated to discuss among experienced participants how do you communicate the benefits or possibilities of Energy Efficiency among residents, who is essential in this communication and when it should be made?

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 Since social workers work mostly in most vulnerable districts, the most effective approach towards residents would be probably door-to-door visits to generate trust. Each social and urban context requires a different type of experts in their multidisciplinary teams: in vulnerable districts, technical and management becomes a secondary consideration, while social services are a priority.

There is not a generic way to face the communication about Energy Efficiency - how, who and when depends on each neighbourhood or community’s reality.
In any case, urban regeneration processes should be facilitated by the administration but should be designed and guided by the residents. Only by having citizens interested and engaged the project can succeed – and this can take a long time.
Enhancing funding schemes. The socioeconomic and urban reality of the areas involved in urban regeneration processes is complex; diverse and dynamic (varies over time). Urban rehabilitation policies and funds, especially those aimed at Energy Efficiency, require tools (protocols, criteria, messages, etc.) adapted to the reality of the residents and their urban context.
To address the financial issues, the SOCIOECONOMIC CRITERIA IN THE SEGMENTATION OF REHABILITATION FUNDS workshop was held. It was aimed to present and discuss the existing criteria at different administration levels concerning energy efficiency regeneration and the possible coordination and segmentation of these funds considering new criteria and indicators.
Representatives of the Regional Governments (housing departments of the Basque and Navarre Government and Basque Energy Agency) and local level bodies (City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz) presented their existing public funds related to energy rehabilitation.

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 The Methodology to analyse the "life cycle sustainability" presented by Phd. Maruxa Touceda, researcher in the Free University of Brussels allows to apply the environmental and socioeconomic benefits to guide a potential adaptation of policies and incentives to urban regeneration.

According to the conclusions drawn from the discussion the funding criteria for different schemes have different priorities (e.g. social, industrial, environmental) and are not enough well coordinated. Funding schemes should integrate socioeconomic criteria to a greater extent in order to optimize social, economic, and environmental impact. For example, building owners with higher incomes could be subject to additional environmental criteria, while those with lower incomes may be evaluated according to socioeconomic criteria solely.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 649846