The „Transatlantic Urban Climate Dialogue“ aims to strengthen the transfer and application of sustainable energy policies between Germany and North America. This project builds on the work started over a decade ago among communities in Northern Virginia, Ontario, Canada and Germany (Stuttgart, the Ruhr Valley and Hamburg) to make meaningful improvements in energy efficiency, applications of renewable energies, “green” design and transportation. For this purpose the FU Berlin’s Environmental Policy Research Center has started a unique two-year problem-focused, goal-oriented and geographically-targeted dialogue involving North American and German policymakers, governmental and non-governmental technical experts from academia will be initiated. This dialogue seeks to deepen understanding about shared transatlantic challenges with local energy and climate policy development and implementation. The project seeks to inform the dialogue about the development and implementation of meaningful local energy and climate mitigation planning measures in Germany, Canada and the US. Specific themes to be covered over this two year dialogue include energy efficient buildings, building retrofits, district energy systems, renewable energy development and financing and regional restructuring. Furthermore the means to strengthen and formalize the transfer of innovative sub-national energy and climate policies between German and North American metropolitan areas will be explored.
Four workshops were carried out:
The first workshop, entitled “Urban Redevelopment in the Ruhr Region and Integrated Local Energy Planning”, took place from October, 17th to 19th, 2011 in Gelsenkirchen. The meeting concentrated on the urban industrial region of the Ruhr and the role of model energy planning considering the resurrection of industrial areas and their integration in local energy structures.
The second workshop, entitled „Renewable Energies and Implementation Actions in Community Energy Planning”, took place from May 2nd to 4th, 2012 in Arlington/Alexandria, USA. The meeting concentrated on energy and the built environment, maximizing jobs and investment and education/outreach programs.
The third workshop, entitled „Sustainable Mobility” took place from November 26th to 28th in Stuttgart. In expert talks with renowned speakers, an intensive exchange of ideas and methods for integrating sustainable mobility in spatial and regional planning was held. In addition, Environment Minister Franz Untersteller presented the "Integrated Energy and Climate Action Plan of Baden-Württemberg".
The fourth and preliminary last workshop of this series took place between 15th and 17th of May in Guelph, Canada. The topic was communal energy planning.The purpose of this workshop was to assess the practical aspects of implementing community energy plans and in particular the critical issues of financing. In addition, this workshop focused on the international benchmarking and the role of public-private partnerships.