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Visions and Targets




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Celsius Smart Cities Workshop- 16th September 2015

This interactive workshop will bring together excellence from several advanced European Smart Cities projects that will put forward their expertise and their project results on integrated planning, energy efficiency and district energy solutions, among others.

MSc Global Sustainable Cities Brochure

The Institute for Future Cities (IFC) has published a new brochure for the MSc Global Sustainable Cities.
A sustainable city vision provides a common thread for city leaders, organisations and citizens to work towards. The STEP UP cities have developed their city visions through collaboration and dialogue with stakeholders.

STEP UP City Visions



“Ghent is an open, caring, wise and child-friendly city. It connects all forces to shape the city into a liveable place, now and in the future. In a creative way Ghent wants to be forerunner in the transition to a low carbon city. We build further to an environmentally friendly and diversified economy that brings prosperity for everyone. So we develop us as a community of responsible citizens who can grow and can count on the necessary support.”


European 2020 climate & energy targets have to be realised by 2019

15% of the city’s renewable energy consumption will be produced in Ghent by 2020

The City Council has to be self-sufficient for renewable electricity in 2020

Ghent has to be climate neutral in 2050



Economic growth

A world class city

A sustainable city

A city that looks after its vulnerable people

A learning city


30% CO2 emissions reduction from a 2006 baseline by 2020



In 2050 Gothenburg has a sustainable & fair level of carbon dioxide emissions


By 2020 the emissions of CO2 from the non-ETS sector have been reduced by at least 40% compared to 1990

By 2020 the use of energy in housing should have been reduced by at least 30% & the use of electricity excluding industry & transport) should decrease by at least 20% compared to 1995

In 2035 the emissions of greenhouse gases will not exceed 2 tonnes of CO2e per capita

By 2035 the consumption based emissions of greenhouse gases will not exceed 3.5 tonnes per capita



“Riga – opportunity for everyone” is the long term vision of the city until 2030. The vision focuses on the opportunity to live in a qualitative, harmonious environment; the opportunity for oneself and one’s welfare. The municipality of Riga is entrusted with professionally serving the inhabitants of the city, facilitating their personal growth and the improvement of the quality of their lives.


A reduction in CO2 emissions (from 1990 levels) by:

55-60% by 2020

70% by 2030

85-90% by 2050

Stakeholder Engagement on Visions and Targets

Cities have worked with relevant stakeholders to develop and agree their visions and targets, though different approaches have been taken based on past experiences and traditions, as well as the cities’ new stakeholder engagement plans.

Cities’ visions and targets need to have support from a variety of stakeholders, including politicians, key sectors and citizens. However, the setting of visions and targets is in part a political process rather than a technical or analytical one.

In all four cities, political leaders and other decision makers are prioritising climate and energy issues, and have supported the development of SEAPs in alignment with other city plans and strategies.

However, in the hierarchy of strategic planning documents some cities have given SEAPs a higher priority than others. This highlights the importance of ensuring the enhanced SEAPs are developed in line with other city documents, and are fully accepted and supported by political and other stakeholders.

Recommendations for other cities

Through developing their own city visions and targets, STEP UP cities have identified a number of key recommendations for other cities looking to build compelling visions for their own sustainable city futures. 

  • Cities should build realistic visions and targets that can feasibly be met within the planned timeframes, with an enhanced SEAP to set out a clear plan of action for how these will be delivered and how data will be acquired and analysed so that progress against them can be measured. The achievability of the vision and targets should be tested and they should serve for long term purposes where it is feasible and realistic to do so.

  • Cities should consider establishing targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency where these do not already exist, in line with the European Energy 2020 targets and the longer term European 2030 framework for climate and energy policies.

  • Cities should develop visions and targets for energy in line with wider city strategic planning documents, using an integrated approach to secure support and commitment from a broad range of stakeholders and maximise the potential of reaching the agreed target.

  • Visions and targets should also be developed in line with relevant national and European strategies and targets, including those not specifically related to energy. The Europe 2020 strategy is a good example of where measures designed to meet energy-related targets could also help meet wider targets using an integrated approach, in particular in relation to employment, R&D, education and fighting poverty and social exclusion.
  • Cities should consider, as part of discussions with stakeholders and their associations at the local or regional level, their role in reaching national and European level targets and strategies. This could help local authorities, and national governments, participate further in the debate on the proposal for a European 2030 framework for climate and energy policies.

  • Involving and engaging a wide range of stakeholders should be built in to the whole process of defining and refining visions and targets, and developing and implementing enhanced SEAPs, to consider their interests and resources and ensure their buy in and support.

  • Cities should continue to work to strengthen engagement with groups of stakeholders across the energy, transport and ICT sectors, both for the enhanced SEAPs and to support the cities’ progress towards smart cities status.

  • When setting visions and targets, cities should develop a plan for reviewing, strengthening and revising them at a later date, taking a long term view and recognising that current visions and targets may not remain appropriate with changes to other factors such as the political, economic, socio-cultural or technological environment. This process should involve all relevant stakeholders in order to build shared and well-supported revised visions and targets.  
To find out more about how the STEP UP cities developed their visions and targets, you can download the full STEP UP report, or a short summary, below.

Versions of STEP UP Visions and Targets reports are available to download on the links below.

If you have any further enquiries about this work, please contact info@stepupsmartcities.eu

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