Spanish national SmartEnCity Network - a status quo

15 Sep 2020

Strategic Planning in Vitoria-Gasteiz; picking up the tent just before the storm! Vitoria-Gasteiz municipality officially started its Energy Transition strategic process with a city diagnosis in 2019, leading to a 2020 crucial year in terms of Strategic Planning.

The year started with the preparation and celebration of city visioning workshops in February, gathering all key local stakeholders of the city (municipality, industry, knowledge institutions, neighbour associations, NGOs) around the energy transition desk. An intense debate of all stakes followed by the co-development process of

• the city master scenario 2030;

• the city vision of Vitoria-Gasteiz 2030;

• sectorial proposals to fulfil the city vision 2030;

were setting the background for Vitoria-Gasteiz Energy Transition Plan. The coordination team of the Energy Transition Plan was able to fulfil the first co-development part of the Plan before sitting on the back office to start drafting the actual Plan; and just before the COVID-19 outbreak came into our lives! This perfect timing with the participation process enabled the coordination team to keep progress from our new telematic reality, developing the Energy Transition Plan according to the timeline.

Spanish SmartEnCity Network; this is a different story…

Aligned with the Energy Transition Plan of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the national Spanish SmartEnCity Network was planning a spring full of activities, leveraging the Strategic Planning process in Vitoria-Gasteiz to exchange knowledge with other cities, inviting them to join our Energy Transition crusade. A co-learning process among regional cities was designed, where Vitoria-Gasteiz’s energy transition diagnosis and planning process was meant to be presented to the cities, and where Lighthouse and Follower cities from the region were summoned to present their plans in this matter. It was designed as the kick off of a regional initiative, a Sherpa-group intending to lead the Spanish climb towards carbon neutrality.

Suddenly, the COVID-19 outbreak emerged strongly in the world and the country, frustrating all our plans as well as society’s freedom of movement, in addition to taking the lives of more than 30.000 people nationwide. A huge stumbling block in our lives, and in the Spanish SmartEnCity Network first steps.

At present (fall 2020), it is still difficult to push new face-to-face initiatives keeping social distance, however, we are continuing the work despite the COVID-19 pandemic and soon the Spanish SmartEnCity Network will be established; in an alternative format but same strong proclimate-action spirit! But this will be another story!