Field: Energy efficiency in buildings, Solar power
Global Technical function: Promoting sustainable practices
Technical Function Unit: Benchmarking, Combining activities, Disseminating, Networking, Performance standard, Providing consultancy, Providing support (advise/consultancy), Sharing expertise, Sustainability criteria
Geographic Area: Denmark
Type of actors: Citizens, Policy makers, SMEs

European Green Cities Network (EGCN)

The European Green Cities Network (EGCN) is a forum for dissemination of sustainable urban housing initiatives. It is comprised of a network of cities, organisations and companies focusing on contributing to sustainable development in Europe [1].By providing support to one another and being active in new projects, participants of the EGCN work to promote the right conditions to create sustainable cities in Europe.

The challenge

Climate change and population growth are global challenges, and the construction sector is responsible for a large proportion of energy and resource consumption. Consequently, sustainability concepts in the construction sector are promising targets for eco-innovation. Promoting sustainable practices requires working together collaboratively. Municipalities are complex stakeholder units in this process, which also includes policy makersSMEs, and citizens. The EGCN disseminates the results of eco-innovative initiatives, thus combining activities and giving support to the innovation competences of firms as well as promoting a better understanding of performance standards and sustainability criteria.[1] Focus areas of work have so far been energy efficiency in buildingssolar power[2] and sustainable regions[3], helping to stimulate the use of sustainable energy resources and energy efficient methods in urban and regional planning.

The network

The EGCN was established in 1996 as part of the EU Thermie project European Green Cities. The network seeks to facilitate interaction between innovation projects, including knowledge exchange and benchmarking and/or transferring good practice examples.[4] The EGCN is comprised of members from 14 countries, covering Europe geographically. New members are welcome, and the membership is currently free. The EGCN is a non-profit network and is managed by EGC Aps with offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark. Its main area of focus is the dissemination of knowledge and experiences regarding sustainable urban housing technologies, in order to stimulate market development and help speed up innovation. EGCN facilitates networking, and achieves its goals by providing consultancy and sharing expertise.

The benefits

The managing unit, EGC Aps, a non-profit company, works to improve the conditions for sustainable cities in Europe through managing EGCN and two other related networks: The Association for Sustainable Cities[5] and a network of private consultants consulting planners and building owners on sustainability.[6] The EGCN cooperates with innovation projects, implementing best practice in planning and building projects, education and dissemination. Their activities include arranging seminars, engaging in development projects[7] and editing related newsletters and magazines. For example, June’s edition of the IEE-funded AFTER newsletter written by the EGCN is on recommissioning. [8] Furthermore, EGCN has a network of City Guides who arrange and manage contacts with actors who are members of the sustainability "scene" in the member cities.

Further deployment

Recent development of the EGCN shows implementation of the concept to full-scale, qualifying it for an estimated level 6 on the generic maturity scale GML.[9] The EGCN is committed to remaining a transparent network focusing on delivering valuable knowledge products to its members. With its dissemination concepts and formats the network facilitates the disseminating of knowledge and experiences.[10] By combining project activities with improving the knowledge, skills and attitudes of professional planners within regional authorities, local organisations and national associations, the network will also in future help to promote the important area of sustainable urban development, building and construction.

 

http://europeangreencities.com/about/about.asp


[1] http://www.europeangreencities.com/index.php/project

[2] http://www.europeangreencities.com/index.php/green-solar-cities

[3] http://susreg.eu/

[4] http://www.europeangreencities.com/index.php/networks

[6] “Buildings in Denmark” (www.BeforeBuilding.dk)

[7] http://www.europeangreencities.com/index.php/about

[8] http://www.europeangreencities.com/index.php/news

[9] Generic Maturity Level: indicator for readiness of transfer of a certain process; following the scale of technology readiness (http://www.esto.nasa.gov/files/TRL_definitions.pdf). The given value was estimated by the authors.

[10] http://www.europeangreencities.com/index.php/about