The challenges related to urban energy transition are going to define the agendas of the European cities in the coming years. In this sense, the most recent plans on a global scale are already designing integral and transversal approaches among various axes on the objective of mitigating the effects of climate change and promoting the decarbonisation of cities. In a local context, the City of Bilbao is working on a new Strategic Plan that is based on a decarbonisation approach, electrification of transport, moving forward a climate-neutral city, etc. This is a flexible strategic plan that is being continuously updated according to citizen’s demands and requirements as well as urban deployments of the different neighbourhoods.
Precisely, a workshop on “The added Value of Information” aimed to gather and understand the perception of citizens about the added value of information in the context of energy transition. The event was jointly organised by The Council of the City of Bilbao and the University of Deusto and was held on 10 June via a video-conference service. The citizens of Bilbao were represented by the Consejos de Distrito of the eight districts of the city. The Consejos de Distrito are neighbourhood associations that are officially recognized by the City of Bilbao. They have clear and organised governance structures as well as continuous and regular participatory mechanisms. The workshop was attended by 11 participants.
This workshop had a double purpose: on the one hand, it tried to understand the current knowledge and perception of the citizens about Bilbao’s energy transition’s main pillars; on the other hand, it made a reflection on the value of information and asked about what type of information would be most useful to citizens.
The session started by explaining the main concepts behind the transition towards greener and cleaner energy paradigms and some of the plans that the City of Bilbao has already in place. This introduction led to some interactive questions asked via the online Mentimeter tool. The participants identified the increased use of renewable energies and the energy efficiency in buildings as the actions with the greatest impact on energy transition.
The subsequent content was divided into three main blocks: The challenge of digital transformation, Zorrotzaurre as an Urban Lab area and Systemic cities as main transformation axis. The topics were presented by employees of the City Council in plenary session and then moved smoothly to four parallel rooms. The participants showed their commitment to the energy transition and shared many ideas that were collected by the online Ideaboards tool and also enriched the collaboration between citizenship and public administration.