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ENERGY CITIES' PROPOSALS FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION OF CITIES AND TOWNS

4.1 Create interface capacities between public authorities and the civil society
Inventing new local governance

The problem at hand

Public, private and associative actors and, of course, citizens, play a vital role in the energy transition of their territories. Inventing a future that does not yet exist requires some sort of support. Local authorities have to act as catalysts, or conductors, in order to accelerate the transition. All territorial musicians must gradually learn to play their collectively composed score.
Local authorities’ administrations are not organised to co-ordinate territorial dynamics and local actor networks, to encourage the co-construction of visions of the future, to support stakeholders or to provide them with advice and information. They lack expertise and practice when it comes to working with the civil society instead of just providing top-down information.

Proposal

Local authorities have to develop interface capacities with the civil society.
This requires specific engineering, like technical and financial engineering. They also have to develop an interface tool with the society, for example a local energy and climate agency. Its mission will be to assist the local authority and other players in their energy transition, to help the musicians take part in composing and playing the territory’s score.

Conditions for success

  • Being convinced of the need for new governance which makes the active participation of stakeholders essential.
  • Considering expenditure generated by the intermediation with the civil society as a capital expenditure that will benefit the success of projects, the local economy and social cohesion.
  • In the case of a local agency, making this instrument an initiative to be shared with stakeholders in order to serve the territory.
  • Getting professionals to co-ordinate meetings with the population on an ad hoc basis.

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