Enhancing cooperation of local stakeholders is one of the core principles of AREA21 (“Baltic Smart City Areas for the 21st Century”). The project develops new, collaborative approaches to energy planning on district level, an approach that materializes in the so-called “Energy Improvement District” (EID) concept which is being developed and implemented in seven cities throughout the Baltic Sea Region.

AREA 21 follows a systematic approach to build and reinforce mutually beneficial stakeholder networks in the EIDs. A major component of this process is a series of workshops that will be held in each of the seven EIDs.

In our partner city Lublin, the first of at least three local workshops was held on 12 December at the Mayor’s Offices. Representatives of public administration, building stock management, schools and kindergartens as well as the District Council and Heating Company (LPEC) gathered to discuss about the EID concept and its local implementation. The meeting was started by the Head of the Energy Management Office Beata Jędrzejewska-Kozłowska, introducing the context of Lublin City policies on climate and energy efficiency improvement. Later on, project bureau members briefly provided insights into the AREA 21 project and initial goals for the local EID (Wieniawa EID) as developed within the project. The presentations were followed by lively and engaged discussions about these goals, related problems and expectations from multiple perspectives, allowing to take the initial reflections one step further and draw common goals for energy planning on district level in a collaborative manner. The agreed goals go hand in hand with the Lublin City energy policy described in the “Low-Emission Economy Plan”, which calls for a joint effort to save energy, lower carbon dioxide emission values and increase the share of renewable energies. Wieniawa – the part of the city where the EID concept will be implemented – is a central district of Lublin that has been selected as a leading and relatable example for other areas.

All workshop materials and results are currently being analysed by the project bureau, they will feed into both local and project-wide discourses and provide the basis for further steps towards increased energy efficiency through cooperative energy planning.