Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TOMORROW (TOwards Multi-stakehOldeRs transition ROadmaps With citizens at the centre)
Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-02-28
TOMORROW aims at empowering local authorities to lead the transition towards low-carbon, resilient and more liveable cities by engaging citizens and stakeholders in the development of 2050 transition roadmaps.
When kicking-off TOMORROW project in September 2019, the European Union was developing a 2050 long-term strategy, adopted some months later in March 2020, which enshrined the objective of “achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050”. Besides, the European Commission was to propose, in December 2019, as part of the European Green Deal, a European Climate Pact.
This clearly demonstrates how strategic and timely the TOMORROW project was from its start.
Since then, the Covenant of Mayors Europe has entered into a new phase of its development with the recent launch, on 21 April, of the Covenant of Mayors for a fairer, climate-neutral Europe. As part of the new political commitment, European cities and towns endorse the vision that “we will all be living in decarbonised and resilient cities with access to affordable, secure and sustainable energy”. Besides, Signatories of the new Covenant commit to “ENGAGE our citizens, businesses and governments at all levels in the implementation of this vision and in the transformation of our social and economic systems”.
This clearly shows that the Pilot Cities of TOMORROW are aligned with the new requirements of the Covenant of Mayors Europe and that TOMORROW project can inspire and support Signatories to the new Covenant to engage their communities in their journey towards climate-neutrality.
This favourable political context in Europe has obviously been counter-balanced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which stroke Europe in March 2020. At the time of writing this report, Europe is still very much impacted by the pandemic and local governments are obviously at the forefront of the sanitary and socio-economic crisis.
Overall, TOMORROW partners are satisfied by the ongoing implementation of the project and by some impressive results achieved in the different pilot cities.
- The first phase of the project was focused on reflecting on the actions to be implemented. Inspiration was sought through lighthouse city visits and a research on existing city energy / sustainability roadmaps. In the meantime, the methodology guidelines were started.
- After some months, the pilot cities were supported in delivering a workplan detailing how they would develop their transition roadmap (i.e. the why and the how, including the governance)
- Towards the end of the reporting period, the pilot cities have launched the engagement phase that aims at steering a participation process in order to involve local stakeholders and citizens into designing the roadmap as well as implementing the transition.
These first steps have been shared with other city representatives through the organisation of the first learning relay and its capacity building programme.
Our consortium has used all communication channels to promote the progress of the pilot cities as well as to engage other cities to join. Beyond the use of the website where regular blogs are posted (https://www.citiesoftomorrow.eu/) it is worth mentioning the growing Communuty of Practice on a dedicated LinkedIn group and the promotion of the projec in several European events (e.g. Covenant Investment forum in 2020 and European week of region and cities in 2020).
1. In the Pilot Cities
Through the TOMORROW project, pilot cities are defining an individual and specific path on how to develop a shared roadmap and drive their climate and energy transition.
We expect those roadmaps to be endorsed at the highest possible level within the municipalities to ensure the full political support to those profound changes of governance within the local communities.
2. Among other European cities
The outcomes of the first learning relay as well as the interest generated by the journey of TOMORROW pilot cities, demonstrate the upcoming potential in terms of mobilising other European cities in the long-term roadmapping process.
Considering the recent policy developments at European level with the adoption of the European Green Deal, the launch of the European Climate Pact and of an upgraded Covenant of Mayors for a fairer, climate-neutral Europe, we can expect TOMORROW to provide a substantial contribution to those initiatives with a group of Pilot Cities showing the way forward.