During the month of April the Vilawatt project has been attending some of the European forums and events on sustainability. The city of Viladecans, a leading partner of Vilawatt-UTM, presented the project at the Energy Cities Forum (link is external)held on 21 and 22 April in Brussels (Belgium). The energy project also attended a panel discussion at the UIA Just Transitions and Climate Adaptation event held in Seville on 27 and 28 April.
Once a year, the European network of cities for energy efficiency meets to strengthen its ties and explore different ways to work together that can help not only fight climate change but also reinvent economies and come up with new policies for the future of cities. This year, the European forum focused on the role of mayors as local leaders and on sharing initiatives and exchanging experiences and learnings to ensure a liveable, sustainable future for cities and citizens. Vilawatt project was presented in the Marketplace Forum on 22 April. Arnau Alarcón, Energy Officer and membre of the Vilawatt Team in Viladecans, got the chance to exchange experiences, and explain and share the project’s key points with the other members of the European network. Participants were particularly interested in knowing how the Vilawatt project is being replicated through the URBACT mechanism; the possible model which will be used to implement energy communities and retrofitting issues.
Vilawatt, a community project that boosts new skills and job opportunities
In the UIA Just Transitions and Climate Adaptation event(link is external), Carles Ferreiro, Director of Business and Innovation Services of Viladecans City Council, presented the Vilawatt at a panel discussion on skills for a green future, in which the cities of Paris and Amsterdam also participated.
Ferreiro highlighted how the transformation process through the sustainability we are currently undergoing in the cities requires a different approach to public policies, not focusing on them as individual projects, but as common long-term challenges. Ferreriro also commented that projects such as Vilawatt, which intends to set up a local energy community -a new axis of work and a key element for the ecological transition- is a challenge in itself, and is making it possible to experiment with other ways of doing things and putting new skills into practice; not only in the field of sustainable construction, or in technical aspects, such as the installation of solar panels, but also in the management of a new ecosystem that integrates very diverse agents who are not usually used to working together.