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Local IMAGINE

An increasing number of cities are committing to achieving the European objectives –notably through the Covenant of Mayors. The transition towards low energy cities face several obstacles, one of them being the difficulty for cities, stakeholders and citizens to imagine, evaluate and accept the extent of the changes that are needed.

Energy Cities promotes the organisation of local IMAGINE processes, seeking to guide Local Authorities through the development of a vision for their city which includes the active participation of all relevant local players.

What is a local IMAGINE process?

It is a process organised around the local authority through which a wide range of territorial stakeholders commit to co-building a vision of their territory with energy as the key indicator, thus imagining their “low energy city with a high quality of life for all”.

Why co-building a vision of the territory?

This long-term vision with a time horizon of one generation – that is 2040-2050 – gives local authorities’ present and future actions a timeframe. It also legitimises the measures and decisions that are being made to change the current development course, a process that involves changing habits and mindsets at all levels. A long-term vision also enables local players to commit to – and identify with – a territorial project.

A local IMAGINE process: what for?

A local IMAGINE process helps prepare and be prepared for an uncertain energy future in a positive, constructive and participative way.

The objective of the IMAGINE process is to enable territorial players and citizens – under the co-ordination of the democratically entitled local authority - to imagine a desirable and sustainable future, anticipate changes to come and make sense of existing but dispersed actions by placing them in a proactive position. Beyond this, the objective is also to help them fully realise the scope of the necessary changes and the importance of taking action now so as to significantly change our development trajectory in comparison to what we have known over the last 60 years.

By imagining their territories’ energy future in partnership with key local players, local authorities develop a positive image of their future. Building such a vision will help participants take their aspirations into account, assess their own strategies against the energy challenge and become aware of both their convergences and differences. This should lead to a shared vision of the territory, a positive vision of the low energy city with a high quality of life for all. This exciting and stimulating vision will in turn encourage players to assume and stand up to the responsibilities they have set themselves during the co-building phase.

Energy CitiesINTERREG IVCEuropean UnionConseil régional de Franche ComtéADEME
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