The partner Climate Media Factory is co-organising the international symposium “TRANSFORMATIVE CLIMATE MEDIA FOR URBAN FUTURES”

The partner Climate Media Factory is co-organising the international symposium “TRANSFORMATIVE CLIMATE MEDIA FOR URBAN FUTURES”

Support mechanism to foster the implementation of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) in the Mediterranean

On 24-25 January the international symposium “TRANSFORMATIVE CLIMATE MEDIA FOR URBAN FUTURES” will take place in Potsdam (Germany). The event is co-organised by Climate Media Factory – LOCALISED partner – and Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, hosted by Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften (Hermann-Elflein-Straße 18, 14467 Potsdam).

👉 How can #audiovisual media and digital spaces help #cities and #regions reduce their #greenhousegasemissions and adapt to the new realities of #climatechange – in other words, make #sustainable local #futures imaginable, negotiable, and desirable?

This symposium takes an operative perspective on audiovisual media that are used in transformative processes like urban planning, citizen participation, disaster management, and others. The term transformative climate media encompasses a wide range of media forms and genres that help create shared visions of sustainable local futures and facilitate discussions about how to get there: from scientific visualisations and animated explainers over decision-making tools, games, and XR simulations to documentaries and fictional films. We want to particularly discuss their potential to evoke interactions, create collective images and ideas, and facilitate negotiations about socio-ecological futures. Thus, the focus lies less on knowledge transfer and more on aspects such as meaning-making, narrativity, aesthetics, co-design, urban media and knowledge beyond the ‘smart city’ paradigm.

The symposium aims to initiate a lasting exchange between various actors interested in urban climate media and to establish a transdisciplinary research field of the highest practical relevance. While there has long been a broad academic debate about different strategies of climate communication and their impact on specific target groups and individuals, more systemic approaches and impact strategies as well as the operative use of media forms in transformative processes have often been neglected. And while climate communication research mostly focuses on unidirectional aspects (e.g. framing, target group targeting and corresponding media effects), only a few studies and projects so far emphasise the potential of (not only urban) climate media to motivate interactions, to evoke collective images and imaginations or to foster negotiation processes about societal futures.

The focus on cities is for two reasons: first, cities are already responsible for about 80% of global energy consumption and over 70%of CO2 emissions – and at the same time they’re highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Second, cities are focal points, seismographs, and sites of negotiation and contest around social futures, which makes them impactful beyond their borders in a political, cultural and metabolic sense.

The program is spread over two half days and consists of presentations by invited speakers, project presentations invited via an open call, as well as structured discussion rounds and informal opportunities for exchange. Please note: The event will take place in person and will not be streamed online. 

Laying the Foundation: Elevating Climate Response Planning Through Action-Oriented Analysis

Laying the Foundation: Elevating Climate Response Planning Through Action-Oriented Analysis

It is often said that actions speak louder than words and in LOCALISED we believe an action-oriented approach to climate planning can help regions and communities achieve their climate goals.

Researchers from the Institute for Techno-economic Systems Analysis (IEK-3) at Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) recently presented an approach to modeling regional climate actions at the 17th IAEE European Energy Conference on September 24th, 2022. As past discussions on decarbonization have been muddied by disagreements on what an effective counteractive pathway may be [1], the LOCALISED method looks at the geographic, social, and economic aspects of a region to form an idea of how their climate vulnerabilities may be challenged. These aspects are combined with a counteractive measure database that collects mitigative and adaptive climate actions from literature and climate action plans in the EU. Ineffective or unfit measures for a region are filtered from the database to create a regionalized portfolio of actions and a genetic optimization framework is used to extract best-case measure scenarios. Resources and costs of implementing measures are balanced against their anticipated benefits and the resulting scenarios may be used as a foundation for stakeholders to begin or accelerate climate discussions in their community.

In the project’s early stages, an initial proof of concept tested this approach using a simple measure database to analyze climate actions in Germany. Initial results were positive and once it was determined the method was capable, development of a production version began. Expanded measure sets were introduced and current model iterations are able to analyze cross-sector mitigation measures in EU, NUTS-3 regions to locate optimal pathways or align measures with downscaled national decarbonization pathways. Future iterations will integrate adaptive measures to combat climate impact risks and the full EU results, measure database, and model platform made open access for end users. Following the development stages, an interactive feedback process with the project’s city partners will ensure useful information is ultimately provided to the stakeholders.

Further upcoming talks and papers will be published on the LOCALISED website so stay tuned to keep up to date!


[1] Lowes, R. and Woodman, B. (2020). Disruptive and uncertain: Policy makers’ perceptions on UK heat decarbonisation. Energy Policy, 142, p.111494.

The climate crisis is the topic of the Smart Metropolis Congress

The climate crisis is the topic of the Smart Metropolis Congress

“Overcome the crisis” – this was the motto of this year’s Smart Metropolis congress. For the 10th time, the Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area – LOCALISED partner – organized a conference devoted to the cooperation of cities, villages and metropolises. About the biggest challenges faced by local governments in the face of the energy and climate crisis local government officials, experts, social activists and scientists talked for two days.

How to create a friendly, healthy city that takes into account the needs of all residents, but also responds to climate change and develops in a sustainable way? How to educate about threats to activate young people and not cause depression? We discussed all this during the Smart Metropolis 2022 congress.

“The world is on the brink” – began the journalist and blogger Paulina Górska. – “There are various scenarios, but we must act radically to save our planet. In Poland, the temperature rises by 0.2-0.3 degrees every 10 years, which applies to each of us. To stop climate change, we must start with ourselves. But it is necessary to involve local governments” – emphasized Paulina Górska.

And here a good example is Potęgowo. The commune uses its resources in a sustainable way and promotes low-emission activities. “The heating network built by the commune has significantly reduced the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere” emphasizes the mayor Dawid Litwin.

In addition, photovoltaic panels were installed in the commune on public utility buildings, which, in addition to economic benefits for the local government, increase the use of energy from renewable sources, which has an impact on increasing energy security, improving the energy balance and reducing the burden on the environment.

The accompanying event of this year’s Smart Metropolis was the workshop entitled Climate mosaic. This is an educational game that helps to understand how the world is changing as a result of climate change and what the consequences will be.

Results from LOCALISED presented at the Kick-off workshop of the Municipal Climate Partnership

Results from LOCALISED presented at the Kick-off workshop of the Municipal Climate Partnership

Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Municipal Climate Partnerships initiative has the objective to strengthen cooperation between German municipalities and municipalities in the global South in the fields of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

For the kick-off workshop of the 9th project round in the city of Essen (Germany), Luis Costa from the Potsdam Institute for Climpate Impact Research (PIK) was invited to give a keynote lecture on the current challenges and possible solutions to climate change, with special attention to the local and regional level. During the talk and discussion it was highlighted the need to make explicit the decarbonization challenges at regional and city level that come implicit in national decarbonizations plans. This ties-in perfectly with the objectives of the LOCALISED project of converting the outcome of national decarbonization plans into usable data at regional and municipal level via downscaling.

A further aspect emerging from the discussion was the need to have a more holistic view on what type of effects – beyond GHG emissions – particular mitigation options entails for the habitants of a region or municipality. A case in point was the need to balance the distributional effects of the needs for aggressive energy renovation of buildings in economically disadvantgoues groups.

CMCC and Assolombarda: outcomes of the first workshop on the EU Business Vulnerability Assessment

CMCC and Assolombarda: outcomes of the first workshop on the EU Business Vulnerability Assessment

The first workshop on the EU Business Vulnerability Assessment was held in Milan, Italy on the morning of November 29, 2022. The workshop included participants from 3 LOCALISED partner entities: CMCC, Assolombarda, and T6 and representatives from 7 business members of Assolombarda.

The workshop started by the introduction to the LOCALISED project, its aim, scope, and outcomes. The CMCC team then presented the envisioned procedure for assessing the vulnerability of EU businesses at the NUTS 2 level and presented the draft of a questionnaire designed to solicit information about businesses and their vulnerability along multiple dimensions of energy, workforce, technology, raw materials, output and supply chain, regulations, and finance.

During the Q&A session following the presentations, the participants expressed their opinion about the overall survey and commented on how to improve its reach. In particular, the main comments were concerned about:

  • How to customise survey for businesses in different sectors
  • How to include background information about sectoral vulnerability from other sources
  • How to include more dimensions to vulnerability assessment

The LOCALISED team will follow-up with the business representative for any additional comments and questions to finalise and improve the survey and make it ready for the next phase.