How to Use Socially Innovative Policy-Making for an Inclusive Energy Transition

Social innovation should accompany environmental policymaking. Policies will have little effect without the acceptance and understanding of the people directly affected by the changes. Much of the climate change discourse centers on wide-scale economic, social and cultural change – this rhetoric gives people little agency, leaving many feeling alienated.

Policies will have little effect without the acceptance and understanding of the people directly affected by the changes.

Social innovation in the context of the energy transition is a process of change in social interaction and the sharing of knowledge leading to – or based on – new environmentally sustainable ways of producing, managing, and consuming energy that address social challenges. There are many pioneering European cities applying socially innovative approached in local energy transitions with replicable approaches. Based on studies in such cities – the following nine practical recommendations are a red thread for any policy maker to follow when planning and implementing novel energy policies.

Recommendation 1: Build on existing engagement. Pro-environmental dispositions have been found to be important drivers of social innovations in the energy sector. This is the case irrespective of the actor involved, whether a citizen or a NGO. Connecting with individuals or groups with existing environmental engagement or taking a step further and develop environmental engagement in stakeholders is good way to build support.

Recommendation 2:  Welcome resistance. People often demonstrate resistance when faced with ambiguity, such as the financial ramifications of a new energy policy. It is important to acknowledge these concerns as valid and to be transparent about associated risks and costs. Identifying hesitant groups and involving them in trial periods and planning, can help alleviate concerns.

Recommendation 3: Be trustworthy. Trust in the abilities and good intentions of stakeholders and decision-makers is a key factor for the acceptability of new policies. A recent study[1] in France indicated very few people deny climate change (irrespective of their social status), but they do not trust institutions to be able to fix it. Participatory processes are a good way to strengthen trust, especially with disadvantaged groups suffering from energy poverty. Giving people opportunities to express concerns and fostering wider dialogue in order to avoid polarisation of opposing groups is important.

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INTERVIEW: Can Micromobility-Sharing Work in Malaysia?

An Interview with Johan Sammy, Head of Expansion and Partnership, Anywheel

by Jade Chan, The Star Malaysia

Jade: Can you provide the details about the e-mobility project for Bukit Damansara (purpose, implementation, follow-ups)?

Bukit Damansara is a very interesting project for us and will be the first in Kuala Lumpur to provide sustainable urban mobility for first/last mile connectivity and short distance travel to the community. What we aim to achieve here is to create awareness and getting the local community to adopt the new mode of travel instead of driving. Our priority is to connect residents & employees (business district) to the MRT stations, and residents & employees to retail outlets or places of interest in Bukit Damansara. The challenge here will be the road condition, gradients and traffic, so we are still in the midst of identifying the operating zones, connectivity and routes that are safe for users to travel using our scooters. We expect to complete the study by end January and we will present the proposal to DBKL for their consent to operate. We are looking at end-Feb or March to kick start this trial.

 

Jade: I understand Anywheel had several e-scooters available for use at the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum in Penang. How was the reception to Anywheel e-scooters in Penang?

The response was overwhelming with strong support from MBPP’s Mayor and Urbanice Malaysia. We had 70 scooters within the vicinity of SPICE Convention Centre and we had more than 1000 users downloading the app and testing the scooters over the course of the event.

Read more >>>HERE

COVID-19 Recovery: A Game-changer for Sustainable Urban Mobility

Opportunities for non-motorized transport infrastructure

How can we ensure that the COVID-19 recovery phase is a game-changer for planning, implementing, and financing more sustainable urban transport systems instead of losing the momentum and returning to old habits of using individual, fossil fuel-based transport solutions that pollute, contest, and burden our urban spaces?

 

This dichotomy of opportunities and challenges requires customized strategies for realizing sustainable urban mobility systems through:

(a) Sustaining and capitalizing on the new mobility patterns of people and the emergence of dynamic policy-making to expand non-motorized transport infrastructure.

(b) Reinforcing and adjusting investments in public transport and sustainable mobility infrastructure that already commenced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financing solutions and supportive policy frameworks are needed for both strategies, not least because they will promote a sustainable recovery of our economies.

 

Opportunities and how we can leverage them?

To reduce the use of public transport given the infection risks, many city authorities announced and implemented ad hoc measures for repurposing road space and ensuring the safety of people walking and cycling in cities. Examples of this were observed in BrusselsMilanBerlinParisBogotá, Auckland, and many other cities around the world. It is important to build on this momentum of behavioural change and political agility to support the active mobility of people beyond the lockdown phase.

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Indonesia Approves a New Non-Motorized Transport Strategy

The Ministry of Public Works and Housing in Indonesia has partnered with the Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP) Indonesia and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Share the Road initiative to develop a “National Vision for Non-Motorized Transport” document as a practical guide for city governments in planning and prioritizing the needs  of pedestrians and cyclists. The strategy aims to ‘create a safe, comfortable, inclusive, and comprehensive walking and cycling space which supports public transport usage.’

The strategy was developed following extensive consultations including stakeholder meetings with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, business owners and citizens through capacity building workshops.

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How the ‘15-Minute City’ Could Help Post-Pandemic Recovery

A new C40 Cities report touts Paris’s model for putting essentials within close walking or biking distance as an economic boost for coronavirus-ravaged municipal budgets.

 

An international coalition of cities believes that the only path forward for mayors is funding green stimulus plans focused on job creation. The newly released Mayors’ Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery, released July 15 by C40 Cities, an international coalition of urban leaders focused on fighting climate change and promoting sustainable development, was developed by the organization’s Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force. The far-ranging series of plans offers a green prescription for financial stabilization that emphasizes several familiar pillars of progressive urbanism — renewable energy investment, energy-efficient buildings, improved mass transit, and spending on new parks and green space. One core idea: Cities are the “engines of the recovery,” and investing in their resilience is the best way to avoid economic disaster.

One of its recommendations has a more novel ring to it. The agenda recommends that “all residents will live in ‘15-minute cities.’” That term echoes the transformative ambitions of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has doubled down on car-free transit and pedestrian infrastructure in the French capital. Hidalgo made the idea that Parisians should be able to meet their shopping, work, recreational and cultural needs within a 15-minute walk or bike ride a centerpiece of her recent reelection campaign.

Read more >>> HERE