Revipower: Energy and resource efficient neighbourhood revitalisation in Polish cities

View on Bydgoszsz, Poland

Under the European Cohesion Policy, Polish municipalities will receive around PLN 25 billion (almost six billion euros) in structural support for revitalising national and regional programmes between 2014 and 2020. Those investments – due to their scale and complexity – create a unique opportunity to enhance the energy and the resource efficiency of Polish cities and deliver a substantial reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants in Poland.

Although sustainable development, incl. energy- and resource efficiency, is defined by the Partnership Agreement signed between Poland and the European Commission as horizontal criteria for every investment conducted under the current structural funding (2014-2020), so far, revitalization projects have mainly followed a socio-economic goal only. The low-emission transition, air pollution challenges, and energy efficiency are mentioned in major Polish strategical documents; yet these aspects are not included in the section on revitalization. This, in turn, sheds uncertainty on the local revitalization implementation processes. In the long term, the lack of prominence and concrete provisions for energy- and resource efficiency may lock Polish cities in unsustainable development patterns and infrastructures.

REVIPOWER addressed this discrepancy: The overarching objective of the modular training was to exploit the cross-sectoral transformative potential of neighbourhood renewal by strengthening the sustainability component, and to counteract isolated solutions. Specifically, REVIPOWER aimed to

  • inform selected Polish municipalities and key actors for the implementation of the revitalisation (see target group) about the added value of resource-efficient revitalisation,
  • raise awareness of environmental, social and economic risks and opportunities in energy- and resource-conserving neighbourhood renewal,
  • make innovative training contents and methods available through an "open source" approach to the popularisation of sustainable neighbourhood renewal in Poland, and
  • support Polish municipalities and other key actors in meeting the criteria of the EU Structural Funds and the objectives of the EU Cohesion Policy.

In a discussion paper, adelphi and the Polish Instytut Spraw Publicznych (IPA; Institute for Public Affairs) first examined the added value of resource-efficient revitalisation. adelphi then developed in cooperation with an expert group the REVIPOWER model training in five thematic modules. Three workshops were organised in Polish cities to develop and test the training modules with the participation of German and Polish experts. Based on the results of the workshops and the consultations of the working group, adelphi produced a toolkit of training materials consisting of PowerPoint presentations and handouts for the group exercises, a checklist, and a trainer's guide.

The project partners Polish Network Energy Cités (PNEC) and the Initiative Wohnungswirtschaft Osteuropa e.V. (IWO) not only provided technical support for the project, but also made the REVIPOWER training accessible to further municipalities.

The project was co-funded by the Deutsche Foundation for the Environment (DBU) and the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), a new project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

Publications of this project