written by
Denise Jacobs

What did the FutureproofedCities community achieve in 2018?

Futureproofed update Success Story 3 min read , January 23, 2019

Read this article in Dutch

2018 was a year in which global greenhouse gas emissions reached a new record. But it was also a year in which 20,000 people measured the air quality in Flanders. A year with lots of electrical bicycles. And in Belgium, also a year with local elections... So new opportunities to increase climate ambitions!

Curious which actions put 2018 on the map?

🚍 Offering mobility solutions

Our transport system needs to change! in 2018, lot's of cities and municipalities focused on alternative mobility solutions. Examples are:

  • a successful sharing bicycle system in Hasselt
  • group purchases of electric bicycles in Lanaken
  • the launch of electrical sharing systems such as Partago in Bonheiden
  • a bonus to by an electrical bike for exchanging you number plate in Kortrijk

Investing in infrastructure for bicycles is one of the most cost-effective investments to get people on bikes. One year after the city of Ghent implemented their circulation plan, the amount of bikers went up with 25%!

Next to a modal shift from cars to bikes, cities also prepare for a technological shift. Many municipalities installed electric charging stations in 2018. You'll find an overview of all charging stations throughout Western Europe here!

An overview of all charging stations throughout Western Europe

🏡 Refurbish, refurbish, refurbish

Like in 2017, lot's of actions were focused on houses: saving energy, insulating, installing solar panels... The only question is... How do you get residents to invest in their home to make it comfortable, healthier and more valuable?

Thermographic maps, showing if roof is well insulated, remain a successful first step. Dilbeek quickly counted nearly 4,000 interested citizens after launching. But... unburdening citizens during a renovation is also crucial: that's why cities strongly focus on (mobile) energy offices, energy scans and energy advice. Offering free renovation scans in Bruges is such an example. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of cities, the refusbishent rate is still too low in Flanders... Time for larger actions!

🏭 Companies are installing solar panels

Involving companies is an equally big challenge... Volvo in Ghent set up a successful action this year: they will install 15,000 solar panels on their buildings and employees can participate through crowdlending! More and more companies are getting started, but there is still a long way to go... We'll provide you a guide on how to get them on board here (for now, only in Dutch)!

Volvo in Ghent

⚡️ More green energy

In 2018, all Flemish municipalities together produced 4,359 GWh of green electricity (solar and wind). Good for 7.6% of the total annual demand and electricity for more than 1,200,000 families. It's a starter, but we're not there yet!

In Flanders, energy cooperatives continue to rise in popularity! New cooperatives such as Vlaskracht in Kortrijk or Klimaan in Mechelen offer opportunities for residents to participate in local production of renewable energy and gain money. That's why Bruges decided that new wind energy projects should include at least 35% of citizen participation. The energy cooperation Beauvent raised 250,000 euros in just two hours to install more than 3,500 solar panels on city buildings of Kortrijk!

🧒 Teaching creates opportunities

Recently, it became clear there's a lot of support from the youth for ambitious climate measures... Successful actions such as the lectures by Pieter Boussemaere on '10 climate actions that work' for teachers certainly contributed to this. What are we still waiting for?

💪 City council as an example

Besides facilitating actions, governments can also be an example in the transition! Hasselt showed that sustainability does not necessarily have to be more expensive by building a new, smart and sustainable city hall with the BREEAM label 'Excellent'. Bruges already saved 62% of energy by relighting their city hall. Ostend will save more than € 200,000 and 280 tons of CO2 annually through their Energy Management Building Plan (=insulation, relighting, boiler refurbishments, PV panels and optimised energy control).
Several municipalities took action to make their own municipal vehicles more sustainable: sharing municipal cars or buying electric bikes and cars. Important steps towards becoming a futureproofed city!

A successful bicycle test in Vilvoorde

This was only a selection of all climate actions our FutureproofedCities users implemented in 2018. Moreover, cities and municipalities are also starting to realize there's no time anymore to set up small pilot projects... It's time for large-scale actions!

We can't wait to grow together with you towards more futureproofed cities. Want you join us and implementing more climate actions? 😊💪

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