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Bologna showcases local innovative LEDS to Steve Tshwete and Recife on staff exchange

A staff exchange program hosted by the Urban-LEDS project has already had a significant positive impact on policymaking in Steve Tshwete Municipality (South Africa). Michael Nkosi, Assistant Director of Local Economic Development in Steve Tshwete, along with Carlos Ribeiro, Executive Secretary of Environment, Recife (Brazil), visited Bologna (Italy) in December 2015 to learn from the city’s experience of transitioning to renewable energy. Steve Tshwete is currently shifting from coal powered energy generation, which motivated their participation in the exchange programme.

The delegates studied Bologna’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan and 2007 Energy Plan, gaining a comprehensive insight into the city’s energy strategies and how these are integrated. Further, the delegates explored how the city has managed public-private partnerships and how innovative technology can improve energy efficiency, such as by stimulating the green economy through the involvement of SMEs. Their visit also enabled them to take part in the final conference of the Cost Adapt project, which focused on climate risk and climate change adaptation.

Towards the end of the programme the delegates visited Kilowatt, a community farming and community development centre project that showcases the European style of cooperative food production alternatives, food security initiatives and citizen involvement. The knowledge gained as part of the visit has already contributed to the municipality’s Local Economic Development strategy.

Photo credits: Piazza dell'Otto Agosto, Bologna © krss. / CC BY