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Decisive orchestrating role of the municipality in the transition to natural gas-free neighbourhoods

27 May 2020

Manage, steer or navigate? As a local authority, what’s your role in making decisions on the challenging transition to 'natural gas-free neighbourhoods'? The G4 cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht), TNO and Platform31 have been cooperating for a year on new decision-making building blocks for the transition to natural gas-free neighbourhoods. The conclusion is that the way municipalities orchestrate things is decisive for a successful decision-making process and constructive cooperation with transition partners (and residents). In concrete terms, three orchestration models have been developed that can be used by every municipality in the Netherlands.

In concrete terms, three orchestration models have been developed that can be used by every municipality in the Netherlands.

The transition to natural gas-free neighbourhoods is high on the municipal agenda. After all, the Climate Agreement stipulates that the built environment must be completely free of natural gas by 2050. In addition, local authorities have a major administrative role to play in the implementation. Making decisions about this transition is a challenge for many municipalities. After all, who will take what decision, on what matters and at what time? And when is what knowledge required to lay a sound foundation? In the publication 'Innovation in decision-making towards natural gas-free neighbourhoods', the G4 cities, TNO and Platform31 share insights, with the municipal organisation as a starting point.

Managing top-down, steering in a more bottom-up way or navigating as a municipality by setting frameworks and guidelines – any orchestrating role in the transition to natural gas-free neighbourhoods can be successful (and even vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood), if explicitly chosen. It is important for the municipality to find a good balance per situation between its (political) decision-making process, the legal frameworks (such as the Environment Act and the Heat Act) and the position and interests of different stakeholders,” according to Hanneke Puts and Alexander Woestenburg of TNO. From the SA&P unit they had a leading role in the design and supervision of the joint knowledge and learning process.

Learning together continues

In 2020, the G4 cities, TNO and Platfom31 will continue their joint exploration of decision-making in the transition to natural gas-free neighbourhoods. In addition to transition in decision-making, the subjects of policy towards investment and energy fairness will also be addressed.

More information

Please find more information on this topic in the publication ‘Innovation in decision-making towards natural gas-free neighbourhoods’.

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Innovative solutions for sustainable cities and neighbourhoods

TNO supports municipal boards and other stakeholders to arrive at a innovative solutions together for the transition to more sustainable, future-proof and smart cities. National and European targets have... Read more
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