Project Details

Title: IMAGINE Low Energy Cities
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Energy and sustainable transport

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €1,357,038.95
ERDF contribution: €1,026,576.01

Lead partner

Energy Cities
2 chemin de Palente
25000, Besançon

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Stéphane Dupas
      Phone: +49 781 97 066 156
      Fax: +33 (0)3 81 50 73 51

Project summary

Traditionally broached from an economic or technical point of view, energy has gradually become a cultural, citizen, territorial, civilizational and governance issue.

From a territorial perspective, cities are facing great challenges in order to engage in a transition towards a low energy future, while offering a high quality of life for all.

This transition needs the involvement of many stakeholders and the co-creation of innovative and integrated solutions. As well, it requires a cross sectoral approach and a common vision to be pursued in order to give a framework to the joint efforts of all engaged stakeholders.


The IMAGINE project proposes to address these challenges through interregional exchanges of knowledge and experience. In the end, it will enable cities to review and assess their own transition strategy and to elaborate Local Energy Roadmaps 2050 thanks to the engagement of local stakeholders around local authorities (LAs).

IMAGINE aims at contributing to

the understanding of local governance, while focusing on local stakeholder dialogue and the local co-construction process of a long-term vision of the energy future of a city. The outputs of this participative process will then be integrated in the LA’s policies and action plans. It is intended to capitalise on existing local activities in order to evaluate and exchange experiences to get a better understanding of governance mechanisms.

In order to do so, IMAGINE will focus on

- Developing and testing a methodology to assess local energy transition strategies from a governance perspective, as well as from a territorial and multi-stakeholder perspective

- Identify success factors and possibilities to reproduce the activities, but also address challenges

- Identify existing participative tools and methods

The partnership consists of 8 local authorities throughout Europe, a European city network as lead partner and an academic partner.


Practically, a series

of interregional seminars will be held throughout the project in order to focus on local case studies, bring in conceptual inputs and exchange practices. Exchange will also take place during low energy cities workshops, peer review workshops and mayors/political leaders seminars. Each participating city will run a series of local forums in order to progress on its local Energy Roadmap.

Final output will be the “Low Energy Cities Policy Handbook”, including local case studies and participative tools. It will also present workshop and seminars outputs and give policy guidelines.


As results, participating cities will

- have a clear view of their local transition strategy,

- benefit from knowledge and know-how exchanges in order to create local sustainable energy partnerships including relevant local stakeholders around the LA

- have developed a Local Energy Roadmap for 2050 and an approved and shared local vision of the energy future of the city, which will influence local policies.

Project achievements

The IMAGINE project aimed at mobilising pilot cities (Bistrita, Dobrich, Figueres, Lille, Milton Keynes,Munich, Modena and Odense) to develop a local Energy Roadmap 2050. These roadmaps have gathered ideas and desires of citizens and local stakeholders. In order to do so, a shared vision of a Low Energy City was developed in each of the partner city. The IMAGINE project has proved successful in mobilising internal city administration teams, local political leaders and local stakeholders around the concept of a vision of the energy future of the 8 pilot cities.


The project based on the organisation of a series of interregional events. Low Energy Cities workshops took place in Lille, Bistrita and Munich (during the final event), in order to work on the concepts of Low energy Cities and Energy Transition. Three peer-review workshops were organised in Figueres, Milton Keynes and Hamburg, allowing pilot cities to confront their strategies towards a local energy roadmap,

share experiences and experiment collective intelligence and participative methodologies. Two political leaders forum took place in Växjö and Brussels, gathering political representatives and civil servants. Four international IMAGINE seminars have been organised in Munich, Modena, Odense and Dobrich, allowing at the same time to enlarge the project process to other European stakeholders and to have a focus on specific case studies through the host city. These seminars focused on one aspect of the energy transition of cities. At the heart of this concept was the inspiration to understand what is at stake and start a process leading to a transversal approach to the energy transition involving all actors of the territory.


In parallel, an integrated assessment grid was developed by the academic partner, HCU and has been used by all partner cities. HCU also produced case study analysis, based on interviews with local stakeholders. The academic partner set up an analysis

of the cities' situations through the assessment grid, backed up with the concept of transition management. The case studies cover four partner cities: Munich, Modena, Odense and Dobrich.


From all these exchanges, partner cities were able to find inspiration to fuel their own process towards a local energy roadmap. Each city has developed its own way to deal with the objectives of the project. Local participative forums were organised in all partner cities involving citizens and stakeholders, but each city has developed its own local energy roadmap 2050 according to its own context, perspective and situation.


Partner cities all conducted local engagement processes involving citizens and stakeholders. These local forums used different kind of methodologies (theater play, thematic workshops, school competitions etc) to raise awareness and gather new ideas. In this light, all partner cities have their tailormade strategies. While the level of political support varied between partner

cities, situations were also very different, leading to a great variety of strategies to achieve a local energy roadmap 2050. All roadmaps were finalised and four of them (in Bistrita, Dobrich, Figueres and Milton-Keynes) were approved officially by the municipal council.


The project was regularly presented in diverse events at local, regional, national and European level. Communication material, news, newsletters, proceedings and general information can be found on the project website at An ongoing exchange and update of the project was ensured through the steering committees (one per semester) and webinars on top of the project events.


The final event of the project, jointly organised with the World Future Council under the title "Future of Cities Forum" (, showcased results of the project and many highly participative sessions to discuss the future of cities and the concept of regenerative cities.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Energy Cities, Besançon FRANCE Franche-Comté +49 781 97 066 156
City of Munich, München GERMANY Oberbayern +49 89 2 33 4 77 10
Dobrich Municipality, Dobrich BULGARIA Severoiztochen + 359 58 601 203
City of Lille, Lille FRANCE Nord - Pas-de-Calais 00 33 320 49 56 08
Milton Keynes Council, Milton Keynes UNITED KINGDOM Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire +44 1908 252652
Municipality of Odense, Odense C DENMARK Syddanmark 0045 6551 2468
Bistrita Municipality, Bistrita ROMANIA Nord-Vest 0040 263 224 706 /
City Council of Figueres, Figueres SPAIN Cataluña +34 972 032 200
City of Modena, Modena ITALY Emilia-Romagna +39 059 2033547
HafenCity University Hamburg, Hamburg GERMANY Hamburg +49 40 42827 4515


As of 31 December 2015, this website is no longer updated. Follow news on interregional cooperation at