"Use the knowledge from Wageningen for a concrete climate plan"
Wageningen is a fontrunner in the field of sustainability with its knowledge and experience. By setting up a team of professionals and enthusiastic citizens and students, we can use the knowledge generated by Wageningen city and Wageningen University & Research to create smart, sustainable and financially viable plans. These can form the foundations for a sustainable transition in Wageningen. Subsequently, other municipalities will follow Wageningens' example and come to us for knowledge and advice on how they they too can move towards climate-neutrality. In this way, expenses can be returned which can result in extra income.
Connect Wageningen believes that everyone should take their responsibility in climate change, including ourselves and the municipality. For example, we have chosen to bank ourselves at Triodos Bank, one of the most sustainable banks in the world. The themes that the municipality holds are: energy use of municipal buildings, existing buildings, new buildings, climate adaptation, companies, mobility, sustainable energy and indirect emissions. Especially on indirect emissions, there is room for improvement. Wageningen is not an industrial intensive city, which makes it easy to portray ourselves as a sustainable city when we import to a large extend. Therefore, we find indirect emission important.
About € 7 million of the € 93 million goes to housing in Wageningen. That is 7.5% of the total. In addition, sustainability measures are also included in many other programs. Our plans will greatly increase these investments in the first few years, but returns will be generated by a steering group. The financial means come from the capital without destination. See chapter 'finances'.
Priorities further explained
Include more knowledge and people from Wageningen University & Research for a climate-neutral Wageningen in 2030
At the moment we see that the municipality rarely makes an effort in involving all social groups in order to make Wageningen more sustainable. Wageningen University & Research has thousands of employees and young minds who think about how they can keep the world livable. The university has no more than 15 student organizations who are actively involved in sustainability. These have never been approached by the municipality in the last 4 years. The municipality of Wageningen can use this potential by forming a living lab, where there is room for experiments in the city. In addition, we want to promote initiatives such as 'trash-dating', so that neighborhoods can get to know each other better.
Actively including young people and teaching how our city innovates sustainably
Only with a proactive attitude from the municipality and a consistent collaboration with the university, Starthub Wageningen and the Wageningen business community, the city can become a climate pioneer. The knowledge is out there and there is a will among ambitous young Wageningers, but there are too few connections and opportunities to realize it. What lacks is the municipal entrepreneurial spirit to create physical and financial space. This investment can pay for itself if other municipalities hire our expertise agency to make their municipality climate neutral. Connect Wageningen therefore sees the sustainability file as an opportunity to stimulate the local economy.
Form a steering group to lead Food and Climate platforms
Connect Wageningen sees best how young talent can be challenged to apply their studies in practice. Nijmegen, the sustainable European capital of 2018, has successfully demonstrated how to "crowd-source" sustainability challenges. Wageningen can take an example here by forming a "Climate Team" and "Food Valley Team" that has a strong profile in the city and online. With such a steering group, different platforms (Wageningen Energy Alliance, GAN, Wageningendoet, Wageningen Duurzaam, Duurzaamwageningen etc.) build a stronger network in the city; the ordinary student and citizen are included, and the municipality will be included and familiar with initiatives at an early stage.
Our plan for Wageningen is therefore not focused on short-term changes in legislation and regulations. Instead it is to upgrade the 'SustainableWageningen' brand to a provincial and national level. We see the growth of the university here as an opportunity to ‘boost’ the municipality of Wageningen as a green city. With this mentality, Connect Wageningen wants to translate words into action. The elaboration of this program can also be read in the economic chapter. This is because climate and economy are strongly interconnected.
Encourage stores to sell local products
Because food is one of the biggest contributors to indirect emissions, we believe it is important that more attention is paid to this. Although it is sometimes very unclear where food comes from and municipalities are still very limited with regulations, we as a municipality can encourage local food.
"Trash-dating" for a cleaner and more social Wageningen
If you ask people why they chose to live in Wageningen, one reason that frequently arises is that Wageningen is a beautiful green city. Trash-dating is an initiatives where you can meet locals while cleaning the city. By making waste pickers and waste bags available to walkers they can easily meet each other, keep the city clean and enjoy walking. We have already had several trash-dates. Don’t hesitate to invite us!