LICHT - Leuven

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LICHT Leuven aims to contribute to building a more healthy and sustainable city and to making Leuven carbon neutral by 2030.
Photo by Tobias Cornille on Unsplash

Summary

LICHT Leuven (“Light Leuven” in English) is a partnership developed in the city of Leuven (Belgium) that brings together residents, companies, local authorities, cooperatives and associations for developing different projects related to sustainability. The initiative has been developed by the City of Leuven in collaboration with an energy cooperative and the organisation Leuven 2030. LICHT Leuven aims to contribute to building a more healthy and sustainable city and to making Leuven carbon neutral by 2030. The initiative supports the development of different projects, especially focused on sustainable mobility and renewable energy and all realized with the strong participation of citizens. One of the projects is, for example, to install solar panels on roofs of schools, companies and government buildings with the collaboration of citizens and other partners. Another project is related to sustainable mobility and develops a flexible, collaboration-based system of shared bicycles, cargo bikes or electric cars.

Goals

  • Promote the cooperation between citizens, companies, governments, cooperatives and associations to promote the transition to 100% green energy and mobility;
  • Contribute to the goals set by Leuven 2030 Climate Action Plan to become a carbonneutral city by 2030;
  • Support the development of projects on renewable energy and sustainable mobility with the active engagement and participation of residents and other local stakeholders.

How it works

The project team of LICHT Leuven is the result of the collaboration between Leuven City Authority, the energy cooperative ECOPOWER and Leuven 2030.

All projects run by LICHT are designed and developed with the collaboration and active involvement of citizens. Every interested residents can participate or share ideas by contacting the LICHT team viavia the contact page on the project’s website or by sending an email.

LICHT Leuven promotes different projects:

  • Solar panels on unused roofs: LICHT Leuven identifies large roofs of schools, hospitals, companies and public buildings that are unused and could be suitable for collective solar projects. In this way, residents of Leuven who live in an apartment or rental house can also invest in solar energy.
  • Wind power: LICHT Leuven is investigating whether, despite the proximity to the airport of Zaventem, there are opportunities to install wind turbines along the European E40 route. Consultations are taking place with the airport, the province and the neighbouring municipalities.
  • Sustainable mobility: LICHT Leuven, with the collaboration of the social enterprise Partago, has developed a system of shared electric cars to move from, to and within the city of Leuven. Additionally LICHT Leuven is researching concrete options for electric mobility with electric bike-sharing, cargo bikes and scooters.

Transformative potential

LICHT Leuven represents an innovative energy practice contributing to transform urban governance and supporting active engagement and sustainability awareness of residents. The initiative promotes the collaboration among different societal actors and fosters local empowerment by encouraging residents and local organisations to bring in their ideas and expertise for the development of projects contributing to the sustainable transformation of the city. The model of LICHT Leuven could be adapted and replicated by other municipalities in Belgium and in other countries.

More information

LICHT Leuven’s website (in Dutch)

Ecopower’s webiste (in Dutch)

Partago’s website (in Dutch)

Leuven 2030's website

Photo Credit

Photo by Tobias Cornille on Unsplash

References

LICHT Leuven - An Inclusive Partnership for a Healthier City