Reports

Adopting an explorative approach, this article seeks to advance understanding of how leading mid-sized cities are undergoing transitions towards post-carbon futures in the EU. The paper develops a preliminary typology of mid-sized cities in post-carbon transitions, profiling five exemplary city types according to a combination of their sustainability characteristics. The profiled cities have been pre-selected to provide reasonable geographic distribution within the EU, and show the influence of different contextual factors: population size, local political autonomy and economic wealth: (1) Malmö (Sweden); (2) Bristol (UK); (3) Freiburg (Germany); (4) Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain); and Ljubljana (Slovenia). Conceptually, transitions are viewed as the outcome of the specificities of a place and broader (regional, national, transnational) dynamics in a range of dimensions (climate, economic, political-discursive) over a period of time. The progress of these cities in transition is evaluated qualitatively in environmental, social and economic terms. It is
hoped that developing knowledge on generic urban types may aid in establishing which mid-sized cities are peers for the transfer of successful mitigation practices. This is especially important for disseminating and scaling up effective practices across European cities under different contextual conditions and with limited funding.

This booklet gives an overview of the POCACITO project, focussing on the methodology used and most importantly on the major findings, results and outcomes of the project. Cities are of outstanding importance in addressing climate change since they are not only the centre of economic and social initiatives, but also responsible for the majority of global energy consumption and for approximately 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Stakeholders at the city level thus face significant challenges, which are addressed by the European research project Post-Carbon Cities of Tomorrow (POCACITO), funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration. The POCACITO project facilitates the transition of cities to a sustainable or “post-carbon” economic and societal model in a global context. POCACITO uses a participatory approach that engages local stakeholders to create custom made transition strategies for ten case study cities. These strategies are then used to create a EU 2050 Roadmap, a stakeholder-driven guide towards the model “Post-Carbon City of Tomorrow” that merges climate, energy and social urban transitions.

The POCACITO (Post Carbon Cities of Tomorrow) project - foresight for sustainable pathways towards liveable, affordable and prospering cities in a world context - is a research project funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development. With the objective to facilitate the transition of EU cities to a forecasted sustainable or “post-carbon” economic model, it bases on a series of participatory stakeholder workshops in the case study cities. The purpose of these workshops was to bring together local stakeholders to construct a common postcarbon
vision for 2050 and roadmap, or action plan, to reach the vision. The workshops have highlighted the current successes and challenges facing the city and supported a discussion of city-specific innovative measures based on lessons learned from local experience and best practices. The involvement of local stakeholders took place in joint collaboration with local authorities in order to make sure that such a process could be done within an institutional context. Parallel to the local workshops, the project also sought to involve EU stakeholders to enrich and develop an EU 2050 post-carbon city roadmap. Those activities took place under the form of EU workshops and exchanges in international setting and inputs by the Advisory Board. The organisation of study tours allowed further local stakeholders to share and expand their knowledge with local experts from the visited areas.

Drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions to reach a post carbon society by 2050 requires policy makers - and to an important extent city authorities - to take action to change the way by which our modern society uses energy. Key sectors of the economy will be affected, but policies will work only if stakeholders actively participate and change their way of living, moving, consuming and doing business. Today’s climate objectives require policy-making tools which engage directly with citizens as co-creators of decisions. This paper discusses a living lab approach using visioning and backcasting with an example of results in stakeholder workshops in the cities of Barcelona and Malmö for the EU funded project POCACITO.

This document presents the results from the city case study and the Roadmap reports. The document is structured as follows: Section II presents the process by which the recommendations have been produced in the case study cities through a visioning and back-casting approach and how those have been used to develop the roadmap. The POCACITO case study cities are: Barcelona, Istanbul, Lisbon, Litomeriče, Malmö, Milan, Rostock, Turin and Zagreb. A large number of stakeholders contributed to these recommendations at the local level in the case study cities as well as at the European level, including among other the POCACITO advisory board. Section III presents the recommendations on the use of visioning and back-casting at the city level. Section IV presents recommendations for city authorities. Section V presents key recommendations for national and EU policy-makers.

The transfer of good practices among cities in Europe has been an important driver of local climate action since the forerunner cities became active in climate policy in the early 1990s. Although lesson-drawing has taken place since then, particularly by forerunner cities, there are also limitations. The diversity of cities with respect to their size, geographical location, social and economic structures and their position within national governance systems needs to be acknowledged. Still, lessons can be learned in different areas: i) strategic approaches to post-carbon transitions, ii) evidence-based institutional learning, iii) visibility and awareness-raising through demonstration projects, and iv) sector-specific initiatives (for the built environment, transport, waste, urban planning, etc.). Given the diversity of cities and towns in Europe, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, certain preconditions are needed: post-carbon transitions require political and administrative leadership, a broad integration of and support for post-carbon objectives and initiatives, and the participation of citizens and stakeholders. In addition to charismatic leaders at a local level, transitions need to be supported by the member states and the EU.

This policy brief was prepared and written by Anne Jensen, AU, Inga Stumpp, IRS, Kristine Kern, IRS

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This paper aims at expanding the analysis on low carbon development of selected European cities as carried out in the POCACITO project to the Chinese City of Xiamen and compare it with the results for EU cities. On this basis, similarities, differences and potential starting points for cooperation and transfer of know-how or technologies are discussed. Based on generic quantitative city data as well as “key performance indicators” for low carbon development a quantitative comparison between Xiamen and EU case study cities is undertaken. The results show that Xiamen catches up quickly in terms of economic development and currently may be situated already at the lower end of EU cities.

Recently, initiatives involving key performance indicators (KPIs) have been influenced by the smart city agenda and the digital revolution, in terms of content, data collection, analysis and dissemination processes. ICT, big data, open data, real-time information, data analytics, dashboards and operation centres are some of the main components of this movement. Taking into account the different KPI initiatives and their evolution, the POCACITO project defined a set of urban indicators oriented to assessing cities’ performance and to analysing their transition towards a post-carbon future, comprising economic, environmental and social dimensions. However, several methodological and policy limitations can be observed when urban indicators are used, notably in the development of benchmarking exercises among cities of different countries. Finally, this Policy Brief looks at ways to support trends towards standardisation, openness, interoperability, innovation and collaboration, which can inform data-driven policy-making at local/regional, national and European levels.

This policy brief was prepared and written by Catarina Selada, Carla Silva and Ana Luísa Almeida, INTELI – Inteligência em Inovação, Centro de Inovação

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In the POCACITO project, cities around Europe have created a ‘post-carbon 2050’ vision in which cities have moved towards greater sustainability owing to various environmental measures. However, the results from the project also show that the increase in gross domestic product (GDP) and the rise in consumption that goes with it, along with a reduction in direct emissions at a local level, are in most cases outweighed by a larger, indirect environmental footprint occurring outside the city boundaries.

To address this consumption issue, a transition towards a circular economy is one possibility. A circular economy has the potential not only to reduce the indirect footprint, and thereby total emissions, but also to boost local productivity and create new green jobs.

To support cities in their transition towards a circular economy this policy brief highlights several examples of circular initiatives, including reuse malls, recycling parks, clothing libraries and foodbanks.

A circular economy can sometimes seem hard to achieve but one should not forget the old-fashioned circular business models that already exist, like flea markets, clothing collection services and laundry rooms. With the new technologies of today a circular economy is not far away.

This policy brief was prepared and written by Albin Pettersson & Steve Harris, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

Within POCACITO, two study tours have been organized and conducted throughout the project, one in 2015 and one in 2016. The aim was to facilitate a reciprocal dialogue and exchange ideas, experiences, best practices, socio-economic success factors and limitations of implementing post-carbon solutions among city representatives. The study tours were part of the “Marketplace of Ideas” (Work Package 6), which exemplified the level of knowledge networking and policy exchange necessary for cities to overcome post-carbon city preparation challenges. This document summarizes the agendas of both study tours, gives an overview on the cities and places visited and the respective focus of the visits and provides the presentations that were made available for the participants of both study tours in the Annex.

In this paper a suite of complementary methodologies are utilised to enable a comprehensive sustainability assessment of 2050 scenarios for 10 European cities. The aim is to compare a 2050 business as usual scenario (based on recent trends) with a 2050 post carbon (PC2050) scenario developed with city stakeholders. A key strength is that it applies both a production based approach and consumption (footprint) based accounting methodology to assess the impacts. A semi-quantitative/qualitative indicator approach shows that nearly all cities will improve under Business As Usual (BAU) for most indicators but the performance is significantly improved under PC2050.

This report outlines a series of publications from POCACITO consortium partners that drew from the research and findings of the project. The document highlights four publications in particular that deal with a range of topics, including a roadmap for post-carbon transition in Istanbul (Baycan and Aygün, 2016), a discussion of the German Ökostadt (Döhler et al., 2014) and a typology of mid-sized EU cities undergoing a post-carbon transition (Beverage et al., 2016).

This Deliverable describes the Final Conference of the POCACITO project on “Post-carbon Cities of tomorrow – Building an urban long term vision together”, which took place on 21 October 2016 at CEPS in Brussels. The main objective of the conference was to present the key outputs and findings of POCACITO to local public institutions, European institutions, regional stakeholders and representatives
from the research field, business environment and civil society. In the same time, the event officially introduced the 2050 EU post-carbon cities roadmap as a working document and gathered feedback and suggestions from the participants and stakeholders invited.

This article intends to analyse this transition process towards a post-carbon model in 10 European cities (Barcelona, Copenhagen, Malmö, Istanbul, Lisbon, Litoměřice, Milan, Turin, Rostock and Zagreb) based on a set of environmental, economic and social Key Performance Indicators (KPI). This research work identifies a global trend towards a post-carbon paradigm, besides different urban development stages. Copenhagen and Malmö are at the forefront of this sustainable trajectory. These cities have clear strategic visions in the area of urban sustainability, and are implementing several projects on mobility, energy and climate with positive impacts. Moreover, they are young, qualified and multicultural cities and present a good economic performance in terms of GDP per capita, which emphasises the importance of good framework conditions.

This Roadmap, developed under the POCACITO project, is a stakeholder-driven guide towards the Post-Carbon Cities of Tomorrow, merging climate, energy and social transitions in our cities. The Roadmap outlines visions for post-carbon cities, new insights obtained during the course of the POCACITO project, barriers, challenges and key recommendations. It is directed at national and European Union (EU) policymakers, as well as city-level decision makers. It promotes the approach of POCACITO for consulting stakeholders and advocates its widespread use, not only to develop strategies, but to connect citizens with the future and place them clearly on the path to decarbonisation, changing them from takers of policy into shapers of the urban decision-making process. Secondly, it presents the main messages from the city stakeholders in relation to the common needs of cities and the assistance required at national and European levels to meet these needs.

A number of city-led initiatives have gained momentum in international cooperative action in 2016 ; for example, the Global Covenant of Mayors initiative, the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, and the Habitat III UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. Yet, despite increasing awareness of these developments and an expectation that cities will play a key role in the transition to a post-carbon future, citizens, or more broadly stakeholders, have so far not fully participated in the decision-making process. This paper presents lessons from the POCACITO stakeholder consultation process, which is characterised by visioning, backcasting and quantification, and recommends that the EU, member states and cities focus on adapting governance models, increase support for capacity building, and establish a monitoring and evaluation system to help cities to meet voluntary commitments.

This report outlines research undertaken by the POCACITO consortium in non-EU cities, Guangyuan City in the Sichuan Province of China, Xiamen in the southern Fujian Province of China and Aracaju in Brazil. Insights from Brazil and China entered the POCACITO strategy paper, while Chinese experiences were also presented in a policy brief, a webinar and will be featured in an upcoming publication. Insights from China on technology transfer were further considered more generally in the POCACITO roadmap.

This document presents the modelling and quantification of the post carbon scenarios (PC 2050) and compares the modelled outcome with business as usual (BAU) scenarios. The subsequent aim of POCACITO was to present the gaps in the proposed PC2050 scenarios and develop enhanced local Roadmaps, ultimately leading to a European Roadmap that facilitates the transition of European cities to a post-carbon future. Fundamentally, the project views the move to post carbon as both an opportunity, as well as a necessity, to ensure the three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental and social) are incorporated into the essence of the city, thereby transitioning cities, to low carbon, liveable and equal places where a high quality of life is central.

Utilising urban policies to facilitate transition towards a post-carbon future requires a drastic change of direction in current policies. Yet the uncertainty associated with change can often stifle action. Creating visions of a post-carbon urban future can help generate a positive image of the transformed city in which urban life quality, economic and social vibrancy improve for citizens, while carbon emissions decrease. Creating a roadmap based on such visions and scenarios translates the envisaged and necessary transformations into feasible small-scale actions. Developing a policy programme based on post-carbon visions and roadmaps can transform the ambitious goal of achieving a post-carbon society into manageable and measureable steps of change, without losing sight of the long-term goal. Visions are thus a useful instrument to foster the necessary foresight and consensus to support post-carbon policy changes. The types of policy changes and the sectors to be addressed depend on the specific situation of the city, including the necessity and feasibility of actions.

This report presents the strategy papers developed with the assistance of the city case study stakeholders. The cities involved in the exercise were Malmö, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Zagreb, Istanbul, Milan, Turin, Litoměřice and Lisbon.
This report on strategy transition intends to summarise the key findings from the stakeholder workshops and the recommendations on further steps to bring the cities onto a decarbonisation pathway. The document presents the lessons from the vision and backcasting exercises, offering city authorities clues on how to perform consultations, define visions in line with the views of citizens, fix milestones and plan actions in a long-term perspective.

This report outlines the process, methodology and results of the quantification of 2050 scenarios developed for ten case study cities: Barcelona, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Lisbon, Litoměřice, Malmö, Milan/Turin, Rostock and Zagreb. A series of participatory stakeholder workshops in the case study cities have been central to the project. They have brought together local stakeholders to construct a common post-carbon vision for 2050 (PC 2050) and a set of actions and milestones needed to reach the vision.
Within WP5 two complimentary modelling and impact quantification methods have been performed. The first utilised the information and data already gained during the preceding work packages to focus on the impacts within the city system boundaries (city level assessment). The second utilised the economic based multi-regional input-output (MRIO) approach to enable the consumption footprint of the cities to also be assessed (supply chain and city). This document only reports on the first stage, which is the modelling of the fundamental elements that help to describe the city: population, energy, transport, buildings and housing, GDP/economic development, industry sectors and employment.

Felix Döhler, Max Grünig, Susanne Langsdorf (2014). „Ökostadt - Vision und Wirklichkeit“. In: Simonis, Udo E. (Bandhrsg.) / Leitschuh, Heike (Bandhrsg.) / Michelsen, Gerd (Bandhrsg.) / Sommer, Jörg (Bandhrsg.) / Weizsäcker, Ernst Ulrich von (Bandhrsg.) Re-Naturierung. Gesellschaft im Einklang mit der Natur - Jahrbuch Ökologie 2015. ISBN 978-3-7776-2455-6.

The full article (German) can be ordered from Hirzel Verlag.

The aim of this Pocacito Policy Brief is to give an overview of the rapid urbanisation in China and the country’s planned responses. It shows the strong dynamic in China towards low-carbon urban development. In addition to the low-carbon pilot projects in provinces and cities, China has launched national low-carbon industrial pilot parks, including green transportation provinces and cities, green highways and green ports. Instead of a taking a top-down approach, China is implementing a large variety of low-carbon pilot projects or policies to test different approaches at provincial, city and community levels and then incorporating successful elements into state-level pilots. Insights gleaned from these efforts may be valuable for the EU, especially in those areas where Europe is less advanced, such as industrial low-carbon pilot projects or urban-emissions trading. At the same time, the growing number of pilot projects in China may offer additional opportunities for the EU to transfer know-how or technologies in areas where the EU is a global leader, such as in bio-energy technologies, wastewater treatment or urban logistics. But China can benefit also from the EU’s experiences. More frequent interaction at the city-to-city level will therefore play an important role, with Chinese experts gaining in-depth understanding from the EU’s experiences, which they can disseminate in a way that is accessible to Chinese stakeholders and policymakers.

The roadmap of the project POCACITO 2050 is a document directed at national and EU policymakers, and is made of the information and positions acquired in the stakeholder workshops in case study cities and POCACITO’s own research.

The aim is to bring to the attention of policymakers at the EU and national level the aspects that cities cannot resolve themselves and which need tools that may often be of regulatory nature. The roadmap will highlight the local priorities and the identified barriers to achieve them, listing possible policy solutions.

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