City-zen roadshow landed in Roeselare

Within our FP7 Smart Cities City-zen project, I, Sarah Bogaert (Project Manager Energy District Design at Vito), consider the Roadshow to be a superb case of implementing the principle “Think Global, Act Local”. After roadshows in Belfast, Izmir, Dubrovnik, Menorca and Sevilla, this week the roadies have landed in my own beloved country, in Roeselare – a small city with big ambitions!

Under supervision of Prof. Craig Martin, the Roadshow adventure always kick-starts with a 2-week visit by TU Delft students, opening up discussions with the city and their citizens, local companies and students on what could be a vision for specific districts to become carbon neutral and zero energy. About 1 month after this preparation phase, the core Roadshow team of about 7 City-zen expert “Roadies arrive in the city for an intense 5-day event, supported by the students as workshop (fun-shops they call it :-)) facilitators.

During that week, everybody is immersed in sustainable urbanism and architecture, carbon accounting, energy potential mapping, efficient technologies and serious gaming, but always in dialogue with the city participants (>300 people joined this week in Roeselare!) – as it is the only way to create maximal societal impact.

“For the ‘City Vision’ or Roadmap should come from, and belong to, the city itself. A city vision developed exclusively by the Roadshow team would physically and metaphorically leave with the Roadshow as it moves on to the next destination – wouldn’it?”

When listening to the results being presented by the Roadies last Friday, I can only be impressed by this co-creation piece of work – in such short time!

Thank you Roeselare for hosting City-zen, for working with us in such open and trustful spirit, for the (very!) active participation by mayor Kris Declercq and the hard work by the city’s climate and energy department team!

A quote of alderman for energy and climate Michèle Hostekint:

“This Roadmap shows the optimal choices to be laid down in Roeselare’s long term vision, and it gives us the robust assessment and the correct perspective that we need to create support for it”

and Roeselare’s mayor Kris Declercq:

“The Roadshow has also shown the importance of cooperation between the various departments of urban planning, ecology, greenery – we consider this an inspiring journey but it is only a starting point – now it is time to make this vision more specific and continue with implementation!”

Some impressions of the week:

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  • The Project

    A city operating entirely on clean energy. In theory, it's possible. But in real life? How to integrate new solutions in existing buildings, systems and people's lives? What are the technical, economic or social barriers? And how to overcome these? That's what we learn by doing in 20 projects in Grenoble and Amsterdam.

  • Our Activities

  • Expected Impacts

    • 20 innovations in Grenoble & Amsterdam
    • 35,000 tonnes CO2 saved per year
    • 76,000 m² renovated residential buildings
    • 10,000 dwellings connected to a Smart Grid