Planning authorities generally experience difficulties in disseminating energy efficient technologies in the built environment. Although planning authorities formulate objectives to promote energy efficient build-ings, these objectives often turn out to be declarations of intent, since the authorities fail to mobilise the stakeholders to implement energy efficient technologies in local building practices.
This points towards a need to reframe policy initiatives in order to take the complexity of the challenge of dissemination of energy efficient technologies in practice into account; acknowledging that singular instruments are seldom sufficient to boost a wider transition in building practices, since no simple cause or driver for change exists. The municipal level is essential in facilitating change within energy efficient technologies, since municipals have strong interrelations with practitioners in the building sector at the local level.
The aim of this report is to look into municipal efforts to promote energy efficient buildings to learn from their experiences: What types of challenges are municipalities facing, when attempting to disseminate energy efficient technologies in local building projects through municipal planning practices, and how do they cope with these challenges? The report is based on an in-depth study of proactive planning practices performed by municipal partners in the Class 1 project and a series of experiences, strategies and instru-ments are identified.
The study of municipal planning practices shows that the municipalities make serious efforts to mobilise local stakeholders to implement energy efficient technologies through municipal planning practices, and that they are struggling to cope with the reluctance of these stakeholders to change their building prac-tices. The municipalities experience that the well-established planning instruments are often neither applicable nor effective in order to induce the necessary changes in local building practices. Instead, the municipalities develop custom-designed planning approaches by exploiting their strong understanding of and involvement in local building processes. Through such planning approaches with a strong local contex-tual rooting, the municipalities are capable of facilitating changes in local building practices, leading to the implementation of energy efficient technologies in local building projects.
The conclusion of the study is that the prevailing planning and regulation framework need to be reconsid-ered in order to cope with the complexity of mobilising local stakeholders to implement energy efficient technologies in the built environment:
Existing planning instruments need to become more readily applicable and effective in promoting energy efficient buildings at the local level.
New facilitative planning instruments need to be adopted in order for planning practices to better cope with the complexity of mobilising local stakeholders.
In order to support such a modernisation of planning practices, more proactive planning cultures need to be established (and encouraged) among international, national and municipal planning authorities.
The first part of the report focuses on different policy instruments, while the second describes the cases in detail. The reader wanting to get an overview of the possible planning means may focus on section 2, while the reader wanting to learn more about the implementation processes and the technological details may also study the cases in section 4 and 5. In section 1 the reader can study the background and the frames for the study.
- class 1
- energy efficient buildings