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HCU starts analysis of case studies within the IMAGINE project

As an academic partner, HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) contributes to the Imagine project with the development of an Assessment Grid and the analysis of four case studies.

Within the first half of 2013, HCU developed a working paper, describing a theoretical background, research questions and research methods for the analysis of the local situation as regards the energy transition process in the case-study cities.

Theoretical background will be provided by the concept of Transition Management (TM). TM is a rather new approach that can be described as a meta-governance concept (Loorbach & Rotmans 2010) for influencing a transition process into a desired outcome. To date, TM has been mainly applied in the Netherlands, where it was adopted by the Dutch government in 2001 for the transition of various sub-systems, including the energy system (Loorbach & Rotmans 2006; Loorbach & Rotmans 2010).
The Imagine project will apply the TM concept for the evaluation of the energy transition. This allows providing the case studies with helpful guidance on how to improve their energy transitions. The TM can be used not only for managing a desired transition but also for analysing a transition in progress, as well as former transitions. Using the TM as a framework allows influencing activities at different governance levels (strategic, tactical and operational) (Loorbach 2007).

The first two case studies, Munich (Germany) and Modena (Italy), are currently in process. The IMAGINE seminar held in Modena from 5 to 7 June provided a good framework for gathering interviews with local stakeholders as well as experiencing the atmosphere of the local situation. Local climate stakeholders from different sectors were identified and interviewed. Structure, instruments and processes of Modena’s climate and energy policies are scientifically studied.

First insights from Munich and Modena will be presented at the IMAGINE Steering Committee Meeting in Milton-Keynes on 18 and 19 September 2013.

HCU presents final version of Assessment Grid

After presenting and discussing revisions of the Assessment Grid during the 3rd IMAGINE Steering Committee Meeting and 1st Peer Review Workshop in Figueres last February, HCU presented the final version of the Assessment Grid including a guidebook. Finally the Assessment Grid features the following characteristics and supports the following tasks:

  • it provides a common basis/ starting point for discussing the Local Energy Roadmaps 2050 within the project;
  • against the background of a mutual vision, it allows to exchange subjective views;
  • it provides a comprehensive/ broad picture of energy-related sectors with the possibility to include specific aims into the evaluation (broad and deep picture of the energy sector);
  • it allows to conduct a subjective assessment from the viewpoint of the local authority (using a traffic light system for evaluation, a subjective estimation can be made, complementing the given information);
  • it provides a collection of useful information for the energy field like a "cross-sectorial energy database": filled out once, updates can be made through adding new information or through a revised evaluation with the traffic light system (within the on-going process);
  • it provides a flexibility as regards agenda-setting/ goal-setting; it is not restricted to a certain time horizon (can be applied beyond 2020/ 2050).

The Assessment Grid allows to either only evaluate the overall performance for each sector or to go into more details and evaluate specific aims per sector. Both steps are graphically supported by a spider chart (see Figure 1).

© images Fotolia, HCU

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