On 28 May, the Horizon Europe Mission on climate-neutral and smart cities organised together with the European Metropolis of Lille (MEL) an online citizen engagement session to discuss how to achieve climate-neutral and smart cities.
Around 100 people living in MEL participated in this online event including Christiane Bouchart, Vice-President of MEL responsible for Sustainable Development and Bernard Gérard, Vice-President of MEL responsible for Citizen Engagement.
The European Commission was represented by Deputy Director-General of Research & Innovation Patrick Child and the Mission on climate-neutral and smart cities by Rapporteur Anna-Lisa Boni.
Ahead of the event, participants were asked the following questions via MEL’s platform
- How do you envisage an ideal future for your city?
- What would you be willing to do to facilitate climate-neutrality?
During the two-hour event, these topics were discussed and looked into further in breakout sessions. MEL residents expressed as their main concern the fact that climate neutrality will require sacrifices but stated also their willingness to adapt to the new climate context if they receive support from local authorities.
To achieve climate neutrality MEL residents believe that the following areas should be prioritised:
- Energy efficiency (especially linked to the building sector)
- Clean mobility (improving public transport & infrastructure for cyclists)
- Circular economy (recycling & repairing devices)
- Sustainable agriculture (local production)
- Education and awareness raising on “green” habits
The input from this event will contribute to the draft report that the climate-neutral and smart cities Mission board is currently working on.
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