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Emmanuel Fontaine

“There were evenings when we almost gave up.”

Emmanuel Fontaine, City of Mouscron

Emmanuel Fontaine is both energy adviser at the City of Mouscron and one of the energy cooperative’s trustees. He told us about the long, but enriching process that led to the creation of this unique energy cooperative. According to this cheerful Belgian, with a clear passion for his work, such a project requires perseverance, tenacity and strong motivation.

Sofie Verhoeven

The magic of trial-and-error to empower citizens

Sofie Verhoeven, City of Ghent

Last December we have met Sofie Verhoeven in her office in the city hall of Ghent. Sofie is in charge of citizen participation in this beautiful and vibrant city in the Flemish part of Belgium. Ghent counts over 500 local initiatives, including one of the most pioneering renewable community neighbourhood.

Michèle Jacobs

Leuven Lessons: High hopes, high risk, and a medieval city as a modern construction site.

Michèle Jacobs, Stakeholders relations Leuven 2030

“I do it for my children and I want to be able to look them in the eye and tell them that I tried and that our family tried.” I am about halfway through the interview with Michèle Jacobs when she says this and it leaves me a bit stunned.

Julia Girardi-Hoog

“We need some really courageous goal setting. Cooperation helps.”

Julia Girardi-Hoog, City of Vienna Housing Department

Crowned the world’s most liveable city in 2018 it is easy to assume that when it comes to cooperation with other cities, it’s more about what they can learn from the Austrian capital than vice-versa – but that’s not the way Julia Girardi-Hoog describes things.

Bo Frank

“The best thing for EU countries to do is to increase the CO2 tax.”

Bo Frank, Lord Mayor of Växjö

His city’s name is unpronounceable, but “Väk-tchö” resonates whenever local fossil-free strategies are being discussed. Bo Frank, its Lord Mayor, is proud of “the world’s greenest city” and explains how their got their and what more still needs to be done.

Stephan Brandligt

Unbreakable Delft – How city and region join forces

Stephan Brandligt, Deputy Mayor of Delft

Stephan Brandligt, Deputy Mayor of Delft, explains the Dutch way of city-to-city cooperation and how this will be crucial for the next XXL district heating system.