Last year, the City of Križevci, together with the Green Energy Cooperative, entered the European project “Future Cities of South East Europe” with 5 more cities, some of which are the capitals of their countries – Skopje, Sarajevo, Nis and Maribor.
The “Future Cities of SEE” project is part of a much larger process carried out by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT Climate-KIC) called Deep Demonstration, which is designed to address multiple societal challenges in an integrated and holistic way to create a network of 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030. With this, the city of Križevci has become one of the 15 most important cities in Europe (along with the cities of Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Krakow, Madrid, Milan, Vienna, etc.) which will receive expert assistance to transform the city into a sustainable and climate neutral city. Thus, these cities will become one of the best cities in Europe for living, working and visiting by 2025. This will ensure that the cities involved in the project by 2025 provide citizens with the foundations of a good life in the areas of housing, health care, education, energy, mobility, food, water, green public spaces, general security and good employment opportunities.
Green Energy Cooperative has been cooperating with the city of Križevci for several years on various projects, the most famous one being the project “Križevci Sunroofs”, also an example of innovative business models of civic financing, which was recognized by the EIT. “.
The project will form a “Yes team” that includes a wide range of different stakeholders – from citizens, city administration, public and private companies and various non-profit organizations that will propose and implement various projects and programs to achieve the vision of a climate neutral city.
To achieve this vision, “Yes Team” has set several goals:
- new “climate-neutral” innovative models will be developed through the project
- social innovation will be encouraged by combining “bottom-up” and “top-down” approaches with active involvement of citizens in creating a sustainable and climate-neutral city (one of the activities that leads to this is participatory involvement of citizens in developing a new city strategy for 2021-2030 .)
- building a community of young change-makers who will work to achieve the vision by surviving political instability and change
- monitoring change and progress through the process
- attracting investments with the aim of establishing self-sustainable and climate-resistant city districts and establishing Eco District certificates, implementation of Climathon for the purpose of co-creation of a new financial and organizational model of the city as a path to climate neutrality
The cities that are part of the “Future Cities” project will collaborate through the project, learn from each other, exchange ideas and work together to find solutions to their problems, which is one of the main features of this project.
Križevci will thus become a leader among small towns in Europe (with less than 50,000 inhabitants) and show how and in what way both small towns and citizens can fight climate change.