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Mannheim is one of the three participating cities in the ALLIANCE project

Three EU cities will scale down the European Green Deal

Three EU cities will scale down the European Green Deal

Espoo, Mannheim and Umeå are cooperating in the ALLIANCE project to create a prototype that makes the grand plan more workable for cities

There is a new EU-funded inter-city project, called ALLIANCE, whose long-term ambitions go much further beyond the immediate concerns of any given city. Its aim is to create a working and viable prototype for Local Green Deals (LGD) - scaled-down, tailored versions of the European Green Deal (EGD) that can be applied to the local level.

Three mid-size European cities are partnering in the project – Espoo (Finland), Mannheim (Germany) and Umeå (Sweden). Led by ICLEI Europe, it is now their task to create a replicable model that can transform the EGD from a policy framework into a mindset and a way of doing life.

ALLIANCE is an on-the-ground rendition of the consistent push for sustainable transformation which is increasingly taking over all spheres of life. The aim to make our continent climate neutral by 2050 and to decouple economic growth from resource exhaustion is imperative, however, high ideals often meet the reality on the ground. Case in point, the unexpected side blows provided by the COVID pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mapping out Local Green Deals

The three cities will create a platform to exchange good practices, challenges and learnings that can be replicated in other cities and towns around Europe. These include innovative and collaborative models for the green transformation of business and SMEs, green infrastructure, local sustainable value chains, green and social procurement, innovative urban governance, and stakeholder engagement.

The cities will start by mapping key actions for stakeholders to contribute to a Local Green Deal, to secure their commitment and engagement. This will lead each city to an LGD roadmap.

Once the mapping is finalized, the next step will be organising and implementing a Knowledge Exchange sprint. The latter is an event where cities and stakeholders will share practical experiences to develop an LGD-driven approach to transformation.

Within sprint workshops, concrete examples and best practices will be shared, roadmaps will be drafted, and Memoranda of Understanding will be concretizing – these are the actual “deals” for action.

The ALLIANCE project will conclude in 2024. Its findings and conclusions will be distilled in a recommendations paper and good practices booklet, which will serve to inspire other cities and towns.

The European Green Deal is meant to outlive the current European Commission’s mandate and radically transform the way people work, study, travel, produce and consume. This can only be possible through a wholesale horizontal and vertical integration of such policies by converting them into something more than simple technocratic top-down procedures.

Cities are inescapably located at the nexus of this integration and, thus meaningful green transition is impossible without their active participation. Together with national government institutions, they can add components to their deal, allowing them room for experiments outside current legal framework conditions – in order to pioneer solutions.

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