Before Covid-19 turned our lives upside down, we met with Geert Vanhorebeek in the Belgium old university town of Leuven. Geert is the city’s sustainable development advisor. You’ll see, he knows how to bring people’s ideas and engagement into municipal action. There is much to learn from Leuven on how to build on strong local communities.
During the conversation, Geert tells the story of how solar energy was boosted in Leuven through a strategic partnership with the energy cooperative EcoPower. The city’s ambition is to become climate-neutral by 2030. Coordinated efforts between all stakeholders of the community, businesses, knowledge institutes, semi-public organisations and the local government itself are considerable. The city is now committed to shifting from ‘doing what can be achieved’ to ‘doing what must be achieved’. The success of community energy in Leuven shows that these aren’t empty words.
Sustainable development advisor