Development of bankable project proposals for sustainable urban energy planning in Southeast Europe

Review of the Planning Workshop held 2-4 November 2021


Nearly 50 people from approximately 10 municipalities across 5 countries of Southeastern Europe (SEE) region as well as from EU and MENA gathered during the Planning Workshop to further the process of their project development.

The Planning Workshop held on 2-4 November 2021, represented a follow-up and a continuation on a learning process started through Dialogue Event in May 2021.

The ongoing COVID-19 situation ruled out meeting up in person. That’s why the workshop was planned as an online consultation event. Rather than travelling to a single location, the teams worked individually on pre-defined ‘homework’ which was later smoothed off during the workshop’s first and last days. Connective Cities team with the aid from mentors, who guided the process, oversaw the proceedings of project outline finalizations. The workshop aimed at supporting the municipalities in fine-tuning their project ideas and developing them further towards bankable project proposals.

The concept and content of the Planning Workshop was elaborated based on the Connective Cities’ methodology and the findings of the pre-workshop interviews that were conducted with the respective municipalities.



A three-day workshop was structured in the manner that allowed participants to fully grasp specific aspects of each umbrella thematic blocks amassing more concrete topics put in focus for each day.  

Thematic blocks:

1. Orientation and Context Setting/Climate Finance

2. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on A Municipal Level

3. Financial Advisory/ Hands on Leaning Experience Day


A panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities for municipalities when taking out loans with representatives of development banks and participants from a municipality receiving a loan was part of the workshop.


The planning workshop was structured thematically.


  • Climate finance landscape for SEE municipalities, access to finance, various climate funds
  • Good practices from municipalities' in climate change mitigation and their role in NDC implementation
  • A panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities for the Municipalities to take loans (representatives of Development banks, participants of a municipality securing the loan)
  • How to write project proposals (this will include a general presentation, as well as a practical elaboration of project ideas, facilitated in the breakout rooms)
  • Peer-learning from local, German, and international colleagues.
  • Presentations on the progress from participating municipalities based on the information they submitted through the virtual whiteboard and in the breakout session on proposal writing


The participants had brought with them an abundance of energy, creativity, and motivation. The workshop provided them with the necessary structure to quickly translate that energy into concrete results. One of the real highlights of the process came on the third day with panel session on financial advisory. Panel brought together representatives of international and local, private or public funding agencies and commercial banks, who provided participants with the most practical and useful recommendations on creditworthiness and the legal environment needed to increase access to finance by the municipalities.

By giving them an outside perspective and practical advice on how to carry out and plan their projects, the experts helped define the next steps for the teams. It was thrilling to see the teams’ plans begin to take concrete form.

Detailed information and recordings of the Workshop can be found on our platform.

Next steps

On November 4th, the Workshop came to a close, yet the planning workshop is only the beginning of the process. Participants who continue developing their projects will get the support of Connective Cities team in further proposal process per their requests. Meanwhile, we will continue to assist the teams along the way through regular check-in calls and best practice exchange. Preparations for the further steps envisioned in the methodology of the programme are already underway; we hope to see the teams there. Possible future activities are evaluation of project ideas, virtual expert missions, study tours and financial advisory sessions.


Detailed documentation of the event:

Sustainable urban energy planning in Southeast Europe

Connective Cities Planning Workshop, held on 2-4 November 2021


Categories: Good Urban Governance Urban budget and municipal finances Integrated urban development Energy efficiency and renewable energy
Regions: Europe Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe Belarus Georgia Kosovo South Caucasus Ukraine

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