Third EMPIRIAE – Experience Exchange Network meeting: Climate-Neutral | Green Cities
Local government representatives met in Włocławek on 8 and 10 May to discuss challenges faced by towns and cities aspiring to climate neutrality. They also attended a study visit regarding recultivated spaces on the River Vistula.
Tools for cities

In the course of their third face-to-face EMPIRIAE Experience Exchange Network meeting with a focus on Climate-Neutral | Green Cities, participants discussed challenges and issues they have been facing. This time, they met in Włocławek.

Host city apart, the meeting was attended by representatives of Zawiercie, Legnica, Łomża, Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Jarosław, Hajnówka and Rumia. They were received by Vice-President of Włocławek Domicela Kopaczyńska who spoke of key projects and challenges faced by her city today. Moreover, representatives of Włocławek organised a study visit to introduce participants to examples of good practices. The agenda included visits to i.a. recultivated green zones – River Vistula banks; attendants took an electric bus back to town to showcase how public transportation is electrified in Włocławek, and in something of a reference to what Professor Marcin Wołek of the University of Gdańsk said during his presentation on mobility in climate-neutral towns and cities.

How to foster climate neutrality and secure funds to the purpose

Day two of the meeting began with a panel discussion regarding sources of economic transformation (energy transformation included) project funding – from National Recovery Plans, Cohesion Policy (2021-2027), and the Modernisation Fund (2021-2030). Association of Polish Cities representatives then proceeded to speak about sources of funding for Green City projects with a focus on water and sewage grid infrastructure, water supply, climate change adaptation, city resilience, waste treatment and use, circular economy, biodiversity protection, and the Natura 2000 programme.

They further discussed National Recovery Plan assumptions, with a particular focus on components B (green energy and reducing energy intensity) and E (smart green mobility). They recommended model steps towards urban adaptation to climate change.

In closing of the two-day seminar, participants visited the Hydropower Plant in Włocławek, the largest run-of-the-river power plant in Poland.

The meeting was organised by the Association of Polish Cities as part of the “Local Development” Programme, financed under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism for the years 2014-2021.