Leuven 2030 vzw was named finalist of the Transformative Action Award by a jury of experts. This European sustainability prize is awarded to a city, region or social organisation that implements plans to realise the socio-cultural, socioeconomic and technological change of their community. As a finalist, the Leuven 2030 climate network will once again be put in the spotlight at European level for its climate approach.
"This European recognition shows once again that we are on the right track, that our approach is truly unique and inspiring", says a proud Katrien Rycken, coordinator of Leuven 2030. "With Leuven 2030, we want to be a forerunner in the urban climate approach and hope to be able to inspire as many other cities as possible to opt for a climate-neutral future.”
Leuven 2030 was chosen as the finalist for the unique model of cooperation used by the non-profit organisation. The climate network succeeds in ensuring that all local stakeholders, such as the local government, Leuven residents, businesses and educational institutions, take equal responsibility for the evolution towards a climate-neutral future.
"We don't just look to the local government to get things done. Everyone has their own essential role, from resident to company to knowledge institution", says Katrien Rycken. "This is a unique approach and shows that the climate ambition is one that is shared by a large part of society". "This recognition is a strong boost for everyone who has contributed to a climate-neutral city in recent years. It is also an extra stimulus to shift into a higher gear in the coming years. This is necessary because there is a lot of work to be done. The plans are in place and it is now a matter of putting them into practice", adds David Dessers, alderman for climate and sustainability. "Becoming a finalist of this sustainability award is yet another recognition of the Leuven approach.
Moreover, the jury was very impressed by the comprehensive Roadmap 2025 · 2035 · 2050, which was developed at the end of 2018 by over seventy Leuven experts. This action plan outlines the path to a climate-neutral future for Leuven and creates a framework for accelerated action to realise that future. In March, important local stakeholders such as the City of Leuven, KU Leuven, Voka Chamber of Commerce of Flemish Brabant, Boerenbond, Fluvius and imec supported this Roadmap. The decisive factor in achieving this place at the European Sustainability Award was that these actions are not only intended for the Leuven city council, but also for private and public actors. A few weeks ago, Leuven 2030 received an initial subsidy of 100,000 euros from the European expertise centre EIT Climate-KIC to enable climate actions and have a social impact. In addition to receiving these funds, Leuven will also end up in a network with other innovative world cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Vienna.
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This exchange of knowledge between European cities is fully in line with the vision of the
European Union. A little while ago, the future President of the European Union, Ursula von der
Leyen, expressed the desire to make Europe the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. A
great ambition that shows that climate and the climate transition have never been as important
as they are today. "We are delighted that Leuven 2030, as the driving force behind the climate
transition within a smaller European city, is receiving this European recognition," says Katrien
Rycken. "We would like to help prepare the path to climate-neutral cities and, as an urban
community, take on a responsibility that extends beyond Leuven's city limits.
Source: Leuven 2030