The conference took place in Nottingham (UK), one of three so-called Lighthouse cities in the project, where districts have been trialling new retrofitting models, low-temperature district heating and electric mobility.
Sally Longford, deputy leader for Nottingham City Council (NCC) said in her keynote: "Nottingham aims to become the UK's 1st carbon-neutral city by 2028. But we are aware that there is a strong interconnection between sustainability, poverty, climate change and inequality. A socially just transition has to be assured and collaboration is necessary for the scale of change needed to tackle the climate crisis."
In Nottingham, key partners from both the local districts and the other Lighthouse cities looked at credible decarbonisation pathways for local authorities, how to implement the urban regeneration model (URM) developed during the project, and how to turn the lessons learned into concrete action for other cities.
To illustrate this, Wayne Bexton who is Head of Energy Services at NCC presented some local projects that draw on REMOURBAN principles, including Solar Carport, the Fuel Cell Programme and Vehicle 2 Grid.
The EU launched the first wave of lighthouse projects in 2014 to bring together cities, industry and citizens to work on solutions and business models for smarter, sustainable towns and cities. Now the models from these projects, including REMOURBAN, are informing future EU policy and set to be replicated.
The final conference followed in the wake of a larger joint conference held in Brussels during the European Week of Regions and Cities with fellow Lighthouse projects Triangulum and GrowSmarter. Project coordinators all demonstrated their achievements in energy, mobility and ICT solutions. REMOURBAN coordinator Miguel García Fuentes highlighted the project's mobility solutions and specifically Nottingham's fleet of electric buses, the largest in Europe.
Officials from the five Lighthouse cities from the three projects discussed the EU support needed for successfully replicating the projects' initiatives and models in the future. The consortia have now produced a policy paper drawing on their combined experience and knowledge of 5 years' endeavour towards smart and sustainable cities and communities.