How is Nantes implementing its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP)? How is the city promoting sustainable mobility, and how will it adapt to climate change? These were some of the issues addressed when Venice’s SEAP and Climate Plan manager visited Nantes on 8-10 July 2013 for a CASCADE work shadowing visit. Venice, soon to become a metropolitan area, was particularly keen to learn from Nantes because the French city, which became a metropolitan area in 2001, is a frontrunner in climate mitigation and adaptation.
Nantes Metropole has a very integrated sustainability management structure, with environment, energy and civil protection all belonging to the same department. Work on climate change is mainstreamed across the whole administration. The Nantes Climate Plan coordinator and his team actively participate in the development of any city project that has an impact on climate change.
Discussions with Nantes Metropole’s mobility planners confirmed their dedication to promoting more sustainable modes of travel such as bikes, buses, trams and car sharing. Climate action in Nantes also benefits from dedicated staff for awareness raising and cooperation with citizens and businesses. Cooperation has been crucial in developing projects such as the renewal of the Malakoff district. Awareness raising is also important, for instance informing homeowners about the potential cost savings from energy efficient housing refurbishment.
The colleagues from Venice and Nantes also exchanged ideas and experiences on climate adaptation, carbon storage in biomass and on efficient management and governance of urban climate action.
Venice had discussions with several metropole climate and mobility officials and took part in a meeting between different metropole departments and locals stakeholders. Venice had the opportunity to get a deep insight in Nantes Metropole climate and mobility policies and come back home with fresh ideas. The visit has been beneficial not only for the visitor but for the host as well, and is the start of a close and fruitful collaboration between the two cities.
(Photo: Simone Tola, City of Venice)