Action for Cool Cities - Pathways for carbon reduction in buildings and improvement of outdoor thermal comfort.

Connective Cities Kickoff Event of the Learning Process


As the first step of the learning process ‘Action for Cool Cities- Pathways for carbon reduction in buildings and improvement of outdoor thermal comfort’, the kickoff event was held on 30 Nov - 1 Dec 2022. During this event, good practices were showcased on the reduction of carbon emissions in building stock and improving outdoor thermal comfort as well as examples of faltering implementation in these key spheres of action. Participating municipalities engaged in peer learning and group discussions to observe and understand contextual considerations shaping municipal practices and projects related to climate action.


The kickoff event consisted of two virtual sessions in which more than 35 participants representing 27 municipalities and 10 countries from Southeast Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the MENA region and Germany. Good practices and projects were presented from six cities to showcase examples and incite group discussions.


Day 1 (30th Nov): Opening and Good Practice presentation

Following the opening remarks by Barbara Baumbach (BMZ), an introduction of the learning process and an overview of the program expectations was presented by the Regional Coordinator Dr. Muna Shalan. The key input on technoeconomic carbon reduction pathways for existing buildings was presented by Prof. Christoph Reinhart (MIT), Prof. Tea Žakula (University of Zagreb) as well as the vice Mayor of Zagreb who elaborated on the application of the UBEM tool in his city.This was followed by an interactive panel discussion led by three municipal representatives from Amman-Jordan, Rietberg-Germany, and Kisumu-Kenya, who showcased some examples from their respective cities on municipal practices of mainstreaming climate action.

Presentations and Recordings of Day 1


Day 2 (1st Dec): Interactive Session- Group Discussions and Peer Advisory

The second day was an interactive session that aimed at observing and understanding contextual considerations shaping municipal practices and projects related to climate action. Within interactive breakout rooms, the participants discussed and identified contextual drivers of mainstreaming action for climate in municipalities including strategies and institutional frameworks, steering structures, processes for planning and implementation as well learning and innovation. In addition, Prof. Shady Attia (Sustainable Building Design Lab - University of Liège) delivered a presentation on local governance challenges and opportunities for mainstreaming climate action measures in municipalities, taking Brussels as a case study. Furthermore, Leila Youssef (Senior Urban Specialist - Irbid municipality) also shared insights on planning and implementing green corridors and infrastructure through a brief input.

Presentations and Recordings of Day 2


With the launch of Connective Cities learning process on carbon reduction pathways and improvement of outdoor thermal comfort, municipal actors and urban experts from Germany, Southeast Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and the MENA region will be engaging in peer learning, technical advisory and capacity transfer to devise local solutions that align the stakeholder’s needs with what is economically and technologically feasible. The kickoff event marked the first step of this process, during which the participating municipalities identified key factors influencing ongoing practices and projects for climate action. The discussions highlighted four main areas for intervention and development of solutions. Most participants shared similar challenges in existing strategies and steering structures and agreed that changes in steering structures and communication strategies were highly needed to improve status quo, as well as implementing/enforcing relevant laws and regulations. Furthermore, participants highlighted the need for awareness campaigns and skill development workshops, as well as engaging different sectors into the process. Moving forward, the Connective Cities learning process aims at supporting the participating municipalities in devising solutions via peer learning and tailored technical advisory to achieve their desired goals of carbon emission reduction in their building stock and improving outdoor thermal comfort. These include both hard and soft interventions.


The next major workshop is envisaged to take place in-presence in March 2023. A final report will be given upon completion of the learning process.


Categories: Integrated urban development Energy efficiency and renewable energy Public space Cities and climate change
Regions: Africa Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe Middle East

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