There is a pressing need to identify effective policy solutions to inspire locally driven low-carbon transitions in EU cities. UIA has led a two-year policy review (2021-2023) to explore a sample of projects run by cities to support just transitions so that no one is left behind. The Just Transition Report on "Making the Transition Affordable and Accessible for all" has recently been published and includes the challenges green cities face in ensuring green spaces are accessible, and affordable for all of the population. It also includes insights for inspiring case studies from 4 areas (climate-friendly urban planning, sustainable energy, sustainable, housing, sustainable mobility). Getafe and the EPIU project is one of the case studies together with Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prato, Ghent, Umea, Toulouse Metropole, Viladecans, Mataro, Kerkrade and Viladecans.
Outputs from the Just Urban Transitions Report
The analytical approach that defines how cities can facilitate the just transitions so that no one is left behind is available in the inception report, jointly written by UIA experts Eddy Adams, Marcelline Bonneau and Birgit Georgi.
One of the outputs is a roadmap for cities wishing to embark on designing and implementing relevant policies and projects. The report emphasises five interesting practices: Integrating just and green strategic dimensions in local projects, identifying the needs of vulnerable groups, collective infrastructure for green transitions, tailored solutions for individual households and enabling financial models.
The need to include all citizens in green transitions: the role of cities.
Cities are key to ensure that everybody can access and afford green and innovative services and technologies. Dense cities are in many ways more resource-efficient than suburban developments, and they have tended to be the hotbeds of many important socio-technical innovations that lead towards further efficiency in the use of ecological resources. The objective is to bring about a resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities, while emphasising inclusion and affordability. At the cross-roads of affordable and accessible green and innovative services and technologies, municipalities have designed specific actions for targeted groups on: energy transition, housing, mobility, climate adaptation, sustainable land use and urban poverty. Within this report, an initial analysis of the 86 UIA-funded projects identified four main areas (climate adaptation, energy, housing and mobility) in which UIA cities had been the most active in ensuring that green and innovative services and technologies are accessible and affordable to all groups of society.
Getafe and EPIU as a case study in the Just Urban Transitions report
Getafe is a city beneficiary of an UIA project, EPIU. It has participated as a case study in the Just Urban Transitions’ report in the area of sustainable housing together with other cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prato, Ghent, Umea, Toulouse Metropole, Viladecans, Mataró and Kerkrade.
Getafe focused its contribution on identifying the needs of vulnerable groups and tailor-made solutions for households and buildings. Practices that, together with other initiatives such as the integration of fair and green strategic dimensions in local projects, collective infrastructures for green transitions or financial models, have managed to constitute a roadmap for cities that wish to embark on the design and application of the policies and projects needed to ensure that everyone participates in just energy transitions.
Representatives from EPIU’s team participated as speakers at the event "EU cities act for a just transition and adaptation to climate change" held in Seville on April 27th, 2022 exposing the basic ideas of the project.
The core solution of the EPIU project is the sustainable and fair use of energy which is in line with the approaches found in the Just Urban Transition report. Ensuring affordable energy access and reducing the energy demand of residential dwellings in Getafe are behind EPIU’s innovations.
The most valuable contributions of EPIU Getafe in this report have been its data analytics system, the Healthy Homes Office and the definition of tailor-made solutions based on the profile of the beneficiaries of its calls for in-kind aid to improve thermal comfort in homes, buildings and public space.
For the city of Getafe, leaving no one behind and carrying out a fair and affordable energy transition for all is a priority, understanding the figure of the City Council as a solid leader and recognizing the need for its departments to coordinated work to identify the needs of all citizens with a specific focus on those suffering a situation of vulnerability.