Osnabrück: Achieving goals through cooperation between city and surrounding area

Osnabrück: Achieving goals through cooperation between city and surrounding area

© District Osnabrück

Published by Stefanie Roth on 31/01/2014

Both the City and the District of Osnabrück can already look back to many years of commitment to climate protection. Currently, the City and the District of Osnabrück, together with the District of Steinfurt and the City of Rheine, participate in a project named the “100 % Climate Protection Master Plan”. This aims to show how cities, in cooperation with their surrounding area, can successfully lower their carbon emissions by 95 % and their energy consumption by 50 % by the year 2050, compared with 1990.

Cooperation of this kind between city and hinterland has numerous advantages for both sides, both with regard to the development of renewable energy and also above and beyond this. Cities cannot fully meet their energy needs for the foreseeable future with renewable energy within their own areas, which are available to them only to a limited extent, but on the other hand they do frequently possess the necessary know-how and have sufficient capital for investments from citizens who are willing to invest or from city works. Districts, by way of contrast, mostly have at their disposal large areas with the potential for renewable energy production, where there is room not only for their own investments but also for participation from cities. In this way, cities and communities can mutually complement each other in their work. The districts/communities give priority at first to developing renewable energy, while cities focus on energy saving and efficiency, climate-friendly mobility and exploitation of the potential for PV roof units. Since for climate neutrality all fields of activity must be tackled, the cooperation between city and district offers the chance to profit from the partner’s experience.

Moreover, with the overall planning and implementation, backing is given to a broad participation of citizens, associations and economic enterprises from the region (e.g. regional energy cooperative nwerk) so that the acceptance for energy projects on site is guaranteed and both the regional community and regional identity are promoted. Together with a renewable energy supply, the foundation stone is laid for a sustainable regional development whose future is assured and because of which all involved become more capable of acting and competing.