Public-public partnerships and deep energy retrofits: The case of Porto Region

The metropolitan area of Porto consists of 17 municipalities in northern Portugal which are home to 1.7 million people. Its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) from 2012, drawn up as part of its membership of the Covenant of Mayors initiative, defines its goals as follows: compared to the 2005 baseline, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 25% in 2020, while energy efficiency is expected to increase by 20%. Additionally, renewable energy sources are anticipated to grow by 30%.[i] Like many other local SEAPs, these targets go way beyond the targets set by the European Commission. In order to reach them, the 17 municipalities work together with local agencies to initiate an energy transition steered by public institutions.

The ‘smart’ transformation of a Black Sea metropolis

Burgas has recently been named the ‘Best city to live in Bulgaria’[1] – which ­may just have something to do with its strategy of transforming itself into a climate-friendly city without leaving any of its residents behind. The implementation of the municipality’s action plan 2014-2020, designed to set Burgas on a path towards becoming an inclusive ‘smart’ metropolis, has already changed the face of the city’s residential buildings and upgraded its transport system.