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City of Turnhout

Measure : 2.2 Networks of Towns

Country: Belgium

Partner search deadline: 01/09/2015

Project description

City of Turnhout is looking for minimum 3 other towns, who subscribed the “Convenant of Mayors” to:

  • Learn from each other how to encourage citizens to commit themselves to the climate ;
  • Exchange best practices/methodologies/tools for a plan of approach – Set up minimum 4 new events (workshops, round-table conference, exhibition,…) in all towns in co-creation with citizens and local actors.

With the main expected result of common ownership for future actions in climate change.

The City Council Turnhout want to work out its Climate Action Plan. This plan gives an overview of actions which in the City wants to implement in the coming years to achieve the reduction objective of 20% CO2 reduction by 2020.

The climate action plan was spurred by the signing of the Covenant of Mayors. The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By their commitment, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020.

Within the plan; various actions are planned by the city to reduce energy consumption (f.e. including the installation of solar panels on city buildings, insulating buildings, implement a cycling policy plan, promoting sustainable purchases, inciting SME’s for sustainable production, …) But, not only the city, but every citizen has the Duty working for the Climate, and taking action against climate change. From Little Things (eg. Taking steps into sustainable consumption, …) to large Things (sustainable (re) building, …). In short, there is a real movement needed in Turnhout, where it is necessary that citizens must also do their bit.

One of the challenges within the Turnhouts climate action plan is « to increase social awareness and an effective change of behavior ». “Climate awareness of citizens , SME’s and organizations, active on the territory of the municipality has increased in the recent years. Yet, for certain groups in society, there is still too little information available and there is still a great challenge in creating a common responsibility/ownership.

In the Climate Action Plan there is an entire chapter devoted to « participation ». Yet this remains a challenge. Turnhout wants to share their Knowledge AND getting/collecting Knowledge of other European cities HOW a municipality can mobilize their citizens in their action against climate change. Climate change is a universal element, and every country / community within Europe has the Duty to take action against this climate change. Moreover, the « Covenant of Mayors » is a European element, and Turnhout wants to set up a network of towns with those towns who subscribed the “Convenant of Mayors”.

We are looking for partners with a specific know-how/experience in civic participation on climate change, sustainable growth, convenant of mayors,…
Turnhout prefers a network with minimum 3 other towns which:

  1. have subscribed to the Covenant of Mayors
  2. have a scale of +/- 40.000 – 80.000 citizens
  3. are accessible by public transport. This, we find very important, as we are working on sustainable challenges/issues, as transport is one of this in this project.

Partners searched

1 country in the North, 1 country in the South and 1 country in the East.

Organisation presentation

Turnhout is a small-sized city of 42,000 people with a conurbation of 83,600 . Located in the Flemish-speaking area of Belgium and near to the Dutch border.