We proudly present a scientific paper providing evidence of successful multi-stakeholder collaborationon using AREA 21 pilot areas as cases, published in Sustainability (Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9645; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229645)
Energy-efficiency improvement measures for existing building stock are vital for reaching EU climate mitigation and energy targets, especially in urban areas, which are responsible for a large share of total energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The complex and multi-faceted nature of the energy sector is characterized currently by fragmented planning practices and a lack of cross-sector action to improve resource efficiency. The authors examine a comprehensive multi-stakeholder collaboration model at the district-level as a method to systematically address challenges of energy planning in urban areas while exploiting synergies with local conditions. A detailed description and evaluation of formats for successful collaboration is provided, considering lessons learned by the Interreg BSR project AREA 21 including seven cities from the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The authors propose five main features for stakeholder collaboration in energy planning: inclusivity, intermediate scale, interactivity, mutual benefit, and institutionalization. The analysis provides evidence of successful multi-stakeholder collaboration that resulted in the development of strategies and action plans for energy improvements for the selected urban areas.