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

4.2 Establish cross departmental links to avoid silo mentality
Inventing new local governance

The problem at hand


Energy and climate are considered as serious topics by local authorities who are now aware of their importance. However, sectoral policies seem to be playing different scores. They sometimes continue to obey their own goals and habits inherited from the past, which act as obstacles, preventing common objectives from being reached.
The natural trend is to seek an optimum within one’s own area of expertise: urban planning, housing, economics, etc. This is perfectly normal, but we can no longer accept such behaviour as the addition of sectoral optima never produces collective harmony. Interactions between areas and the relations between stakeholders are now what matter. We have to work with a more holistic approach and each sectoral policy has to contribute to the energy transition at its own level. This requires new know-how and practices, that is, a new culture.

Proposal

Make the energy transition a cross-cutting objective applicable to all the local authority’s sectoral policies.
Each department – economic, social, urban planning, transport, highways, health, housing, etc. – will have to integrate energy into their strategies. This approach may go against old habits but each sectoral policy will benefit from it in the end. And it can be considered as a success when the whole municipal budget is a transition vector, thus making specific transition budgets unnecessary.

Conditions for success

  • Preparing an energy transition action plan common to all sectoral policies approved by the Council and co-ordinated by the Mayor.
  • Involving the various municipal departments in the preparation of the Plan by getting them to make proposals for reaching the energy and climate objectives.
  • Applying this cross-cutting approach to elected representatives as well as technical and administrative departments with appropriate collective working methods.


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