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IEA EBC Working Group on Cities and Communities (WGCC)

The WGCC enables information and experience exchange, the identification of bottlenecks that lead to specific research questions and a direct communication with cities on their needs, to enable them to transform their energy systems. The working group is a joint initiative across several TCPs with in-depth participation of technical and non-technical (external) experts.

Short Description

Cities face extensive challenges when it comes to transformation processes of their energy and mobility systems. The generation of suitable decarbonisation strategies and the selection of best-fit solutions for cities' specific and individual prerequisites requires comprehensive skills, knowledge and resources, which are often missing in smaller communities.

In addition, these decision-making and planning processes take place in a dynamic environment with a large number of further requirements with higher priorities. This complexity often leads to uncoordinated decision-making within cities but also within different stakeholder groups. While solutions are often provided at a strategic level, decisions at the urban scale can have substantial impacts on individual approaches and technologies. The "Working Group on Cities and Communities" ("WGCC") intends to improve this situation by integrating these "urban issues" into the IEA TCP research.

The WGCC is a hosted (single-leadership), delegating structure which can share (provide and gain) information across multiple TCPs and cities in a bi-directional approach. The group is linked to existing IEA-Working Groups and Coordination Groups either directly or through the chair of the EBC-program or through nominated experts, and will feed into IEA publications/workshops. As an open working group the WGCC welcomes (nominated) experts from different TCPs and the participation of external experts not affiliated with the IEA, who come together and jointly work on different tasks.

The goal of the WGCC is to contribute to a necessary step towards a full consideration of cities' non-technical needs in IEA TCP research that extend well beyond technical energy solutions.

The WGCC aims to:

  • assess and identify cities' and their actors' (and associated stakeholders') needs,
  • generate appropriate non-technical "on demand" input and service ideas for cities,
  • identify and discuss bottlenecks and barriers for the transformation of cities' energy and transport systems,
  • discuss and provide results and (policy) recommendations on energy and mobility systems
  • close the gap between cities and research
  • connect TCP technical researchers with non-technical experts and city representatives

and is primarily targeting:

  • urban decision makers (administration, planning staff, etc.)
  • intermediaries (local/national)
  • IEA officials and IEA research community

The WGCC is proposed to primarily make use of formats such as workshops and other exchange activities, capacity building and training activities, publications (cross-TCP activities and joint publications or policy recommendations), short term projects and research or additional formats targeted directly to the specific needs of a project, research or city requirements.

Through these formats, the WGCC aims to identify crucial needs of cities, which will be translated into research questions for short-term projects and research within the working group.

Within the WGCC (currently) three subgroups exist which focus on

  • Decarbonisation strategies
  • Integrated planning concepts
  • Data, tools and methods

Participants

Austria (DHC, SHC, EBC), Canada, Germany (EBC, EIFER), Finland, France (EIFER), Italy (SHC), Japan (EBC), Norway (EBC), Netherlands (EBC), Sweden (SHC) Switzerland (EBC), UK (HEV), USA (EBC)

Contact Address

Helmut Strasser
Schillerstrasse 25
A-5020 Salzburg
Tel.: +43 (662) 623455
E-mail: helmut.strasser@salzburg.gv.at

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