Alliance project sets out to develop platform to facilitate Local Green Deals

9 November 2022

Alliance project sets out to develop platform to facilitate Local Green Deals

The cities of Espoo  (Finland), Mannheim  (Germany) and Umeå  (Sweden) have joined forces in ALLIANCE, an EU-funded project, coordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. It aims at accelerating the transformation towards sustainability through Local Green Deals. The cities’ common ambition is to develop a new approach for delivering sustainable change, based on the principles of good governance, policy integration, partnership with local stakeholders, and action. 

Recently, the partners gathered in Mannheim for the first of three Alliance “Knowledge Exchange Sprints”. The two-day event focussed on the development of a “House of Change”, a digital platform to coordinate and communicate between the city and local stakeholders and to connect online and offline activities. In a co-creative workshop, project partners collected their advanced experiences and framed the challenges of developing LGDs. In a second phase local SME organisations, social economy partners as well as observers from seven cities from across Europe were invited to comment and generate new ideas. Finally, these ideas were “tested” from different perspectives (dreamers, realists, critics) to ultimately reflect on their feasibility, based on the Observer cities’ experience. 

In total, there will be three sprints, each of them taking place in one of the participating cities. The outcomes of this first Sprint and the further development of the online platform will be shared via the ALLIANCE project towards the end of 2023 together with other good practice examples from the Espoo and Umea Sprints.  

A great additional value of the work in ALLIANCE lies in the opportunity to explore the interlinkages between the EU Cities Mission and its Climate City Contracts (CCCs) and the ICC’s Blueprint and LGDs. The reason for that is that all three partner cities are among the 100 Mission-Cities and they are developing their CCC in parallel. As stated elsewhere (cf. ICLEI briefing paper), both approaches can be seen as closely related and to some extent a product of a co-evolution. The clearest difference aside from political-economic support in place to date, is the sectoral focus of the two approaches. CCCs are clearly focused on carbon reduction measures, whereas LGDs are open to any of the 8 action fields of the European Green Deal, which again links to the 17 SDGs. Therefore a LGD could also focus on gender equality or biodiversity without a link to carbon. The discussion is at the beginning, but the risk of trapping into a “carbon tunnel vision” could be overcome with the LGD’s broader perspective. This and more will be worked on, inter alia in the coming ALLIANCE Sprints. 

Image (ICLEI Europe)

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This project is co-funded by the European Union's Single Market Programme SMP-2021 under grant agreement No. 101074047. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EISMEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.