In 2019, the first “Franco-German Energy Transition Week” took place in 70 cities in France and Germany. A second virtual edition was organized in 2021 by Energy Cities. The project launched the “Tandem” initiative, in which 15 French-German climate action partnerships are now leading local energy transition projects in their cities and communities. The cities of Metz and Worms were elected ‘champion partnership’ in 2019. They developed an Escape Game on climate change and conducted a joint study on heat islands and climate oases.
In 2021, 10 energy transition actions, including a participatory construction site on ecological renovation, were funded with support from the Franco-German Citizens’ Fund.
Following the invitation of EUKI project “Nature-based Solutions (NBS) Poland”, Polish landscape planners, engineers and local government experts visited Berlin’s most creative applications of NBS in August 2020. These range from a university building with a nature-based air conditioning system to Rummelsburger Bucht, Berlin’s “Sponge City”. Impressed by the possibilities, the Polish guests dedicated a session at the international conference “Blue and Green Infrastructure for Urban Climate Change Mitigation 2020” to adopting some of these solutions in Polish cities.
Using the bike cinema equipment provided by the BEACON project, seven bike cinema screenings with around 200 students were held across Bulgaria in Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo and Kilifarevo. By riding 10 bikes that powered a projector showing short films, students learned firsthand how much energy is required to power small devices and do everyday things.
With support from the BEACON team, Polish city Sztum joined the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. As part of their strategic approach to climate change mitigation, the city has refurbished nine municipal buildings including the installation of LED lighting systems and photovoltaics on the roofs. Also, an additional 125 renewable energy systems have been installed in local households. These activities lead to CO2 emission reductions of approximately 485t and 606t per year respectively.
Visitors of Escape Games in Worms and Metz could time travel from the future into 2019 to stop the climate crisis. Film fans enjoyed the green and borderless “Eco 2 Rives” film festival in the French and German neighbouring cities Straßburg and Kehl. These and 16 other actions were implemented as part of the ideas competition of the Franco-German Energy Transition Week; most of them in a cross-border tandem.
20 out of 60 Lithuanian municipalities have taken part in a wide-ranging training programme on integrated local rehabilitation management. 36 municipalities have devised programmes to rehabilitate 113 districts. Project manager Knut Höller of Housing Initiative Eastern Europe (IWO e.V.) says the project ‘serves as an example for other countries in eastern Europe’.