EUROCITIES on COP 21: Energy efficiency through participation

  • environment

Malaga involved residents in the energy efficiency refurbishment of Los Limoneros, a housing complex in one of its most deprived neighbourhoods.

A project to refurbish a Malaga social housing complex in one of the city’s most deprived neighbourhoods puts its success down to residents’ participation. Previous attends to deliver energy efficiency measures in the building had met opposition or even vandalism, where the city had failed to properly engage residents. The ‘energy efficiency through participation’ project, completed in May 2014, sought to involve residents in each stage of the process and ensure they fully understood the implications of the measures being installed.

Specific staff were allocated to liaise directly with residents and a group was set up for residents to voice concerns and find out about the plans. This helped generate trust and mutual respect. One installation is a solar thermal and cogeneration heating system for sanitary water. Residents have been invited to workshops to learn more about how to maintain the system, which fosters a sense of ownership.

The city carried out complementary campaigns, for example targeting young people with energy efficiency messages. The city also has plans to improve the wider area around Los Limoneros to make it a nicer place to live.

Find out more about the project, which won a EUROCITIES award in 2014, in our ‘cities in action’ case study, available here.