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Rethinking local policies: Modern green districts

By Platform
Woman on stage

On 31 May and 1 June 2023, the Policy Learning Platform organised 'Rethinking local policies' in Ghent. Throughout the two days, we explored local sustainable development through integrated approaches.

The event had four workshops running in parallel, one of them being Modern green districts

What was the workshop about? 

The workshop focused on the redevelopment of derelict industrial areas into comfortable, sustainable, and low-carbon districts.

These are intended to provide a stronger sense of community, overcome car-centric urban design, enable active mobility, integrate renewable energies, and enable the circular economy.

For this, several sectoral policies had to be combined:

  • energy and mobility,
  •  environment,
  • waste management,
  • sustainable housing.

The event included a study visit in the Oude Dokken neighbourhood, under the insightful guidance of our host, Agnieszka Zajac.

On the second day, the workshop explored sectoral solutions at the district level via work in groups. We looked at shared mobility, shared electricity production and consumption, and renewable district heating, with a particular focus on citizen-owned solutions.

The workshop concept and overall moderation were ensured by Katharina Krell and Simon Hunkin, Policy Learning Platform thematic experts.

The workshop looked at three inspiring case studies of territorial transformation.

Stockholm Royal Seaport (presenter: Christina Salmhofer) - one of Europe’s largest urban redevelopments, the seaport area has been redeveloped in a collaborative and holistic manner and is 100% fossil fuel free.

It is designed with a ‘five-minute city’ concept, so all key amenities are available with sustainable modes of transport. The district has new low-energy houses, with integrated renewables, and a sophisticated waste management system.

Presenter: Bart Claassen – The new district in Utrecht will be of around 6,00 houses, built to be sustainable and climate adaptive.

The district will be car-free, with limited parking spaces, clustered logistics, and an intricate bike and pedestrian network to encourage active transport.

Presenter: Agnieszka Zajac – Gent’s old docks have been redeveloped to become a citizen-focused district, with sustainable housing, businesses, schools, and public space.

The district has integrated renewables, a district heating system, biomass boilers and circular waste management.



Urban development