5 climate actions to improve housing in your city

Climate Action Consultancy 3 min read , April 4, 2019

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The Province of Limburg has created a list with tons of climate actions for the entire city council. Do you still have colleagues from the Homes & Property department who are not aware of the advantages of an ambitious climate plan? Discover useful actions and how that can benefit the whole city.

🀫 At the end of the article you will find a link to a lot of inspiring actions from the municipality of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.

Grab a pen and paper, write down your favorite actions, take your shortlist to the Homes and Property department, and turn it into concrete climate actions!

⚠️ Electricity drains and concretion

Old houses are usually very poorly insulated, which results in high greenhouse gas emissions due to electricity use, heating and cooling. Due to urbanization, many areas are paved and there's a high rate of concretion: less place for green and blue spaces in your city.

πŸ† What to do as a city

Sustainable houses ensure a lower energy use (electricity, heating and cooling is less needed), more place for pleasant green and blue spaces (green roofs, building on appropriate sites, ...) and less concretion.

Write down the most realistic actions for your city for each theme below πŸ‘‡

1. Raise awareness on sustainable living and building πŸ“£

  • Encourage setting up an energy-desk for households to provide information on building and renovation according to climate neutral principles.
  • Give premiums for the demolition and reconstruction of an energy-neutral building.
  • Promote the use of renewable energies.
  • Stimulate the use of energy meters.

2. Apply a collective approach 🀝

  • Develop an integral energy approach on district level. When combined, sustainable generation, supply and storage of energy can lead to energy-neutral or climate-neutral districts.
  • Investigate where a heat network can be applied and ensure clear communication about this to the residents / owners involved in such a way that double costs are avoided.
  • Start a project on collective renovation to make economies of scale.

3. Focus on climate-friendly core reinforcement 🌿πŸ’ͺ

  • Work out a location policy (where (not) to build) and a strategic vision on core reinforcement together with the spatial planning and mobility department.
  • Ensure the re-use of poorly located residential land and the transformation of landscape restoration areas.
  • Go for higher building densities, coupled with a minimum green standard. When choosing building densities, make use of a plan that shows size and profile of existing and new buildings, a home type test or a spatial implementation plan to record this.
  • Use vacancy in the city center (ex. vacancy taxes, stimulating living above shops, ...).
  • Develop new construction projects / allotments only in the vicinity of mobility hubs (easily accessible by bicycle, public transport, ...).

4. Focus on sustainable living/building/renovation for disadvantaged groups πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘§

  • Inform disadvantaged groups about energy premiums, free energy scans, ... Discuss the best approach for this with the residential desk, inter-municipal partnerships and centers for Social Welfare.
  • Coordinate with social housing companies about large-scale renovation of social housing and the design of new housing that is as energy-efficient as possible.

5. Focus on urban development aspects πŸŒ‡πŸŒ³

  • Evaluate urban development regulations so that collective living / building, core densification, ... become possible.
  • For each application for an environmental permit, perform the water test, residential test, mobility test, ...
  • Include the installation of infiltration facilities (ponds, wadis, canals, ...) in the urban development regulations for building projects and allotments and impose a maximum percentage of concretion.
  • In urban development regulations, impose measures to prevent flooding.

Finished your list? Schedule a meeting with the Homes & Property department to discuss your ideas. Good luck! πŸ‘

Betting on houses is important for electricity consumption and paving in your city. But involving other city services is just as important to make your city a pleasant place to live and work.

FutureproofedCities allows all different city services to work together in one online tool to realise more climate actions and communicate them to their inhabitants.
πŸ’‘ Check out Sint-Pieters-Leeuw's public page to see how they tackle climate challenges.

(Source: Province of Limburg)

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