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The City of Ostend launches the climate plan “Sustainable Ostend” and aims to be climate neutral by 2050. The city has many assets that can contribute to achieving this goal. “Sustainable Ostend” focuses on three tracks simultaneously: renovation, green energy, and mobility. Transition Stories led the project for the development of this plan.

The City of Ostend is working towards a more livable Ostend and is launching the climate plan “Sustainable Ostend.” The goal? To become a climate-neutral city by 2050 and to achieve as many concrete results as possible by 2030. During this term of office, many measures are already being implemented. Achieving climate neutrality is just one aspect of “Sustainable Ostend.” It also includes other aspects of a climate-neutral and climate-resilient society: sustainable consumption, food strategy, and adaptation to climate change, which is already irreversible. The aim is to create a future-proof and pleasant environment to live, work, and stay in.

Many opportunities in Ostend

Through this ambitious plan, the city aims to seize all policy and technological opportunities available. And in Ostend, there are plenty: a compact city tailored for cycling, a suitable climate for solar and wind energy, sufficient residual heat for district heating networks, and an innovative economic fabric including green hydrogen. This versatility provides the opportunity to start immediately. Keeping options open is a long-term asset for the significant challenges facing our city: the large number of jointly owned apartments, the high number of second homes, and the relatively high poverty rate that complicates extensive renovation efforts. Because Ostend wants to be a warm and social city.

Leefbaar Oostende is an ambitious plan tailored specifically to the city. It was shaped by the Ostend residents themselves. Participation and connection are central here: an intensive participation process preceded with all possible stakeholders being able to emphasize their own priorities. It is not a plan to gather dust. It is a working tool that we will use together with businesses and civil society.

The focus on renovation, green energy, and mobility

There are several combinations of options available to get the CO2 reduction in our city back on track. These have been translated into three scenarios that help to compile a robust set of policy measures.

The scenario focusing on renovation builds upon existing ambitious renovation goals in Flanders and is supplemented with objectives specific to Oostende. This includes measures such as enhanced energy scans for SMEs and the complete renovation of apartment buildings.

The scenario focusing on green energy expands upon the renovation scenario with a partial shift of resources from renovation to green energy. Oostende here emphasizes even more on district heating networks, heat pumps, solar, and wind energy.

The scenario focusing on mobility also builds upon the renovation scenario but with less investment in renovation and more emphasis on sustainable mobility. In this scenario, compared to the other two, there is less reliance on cars, slower growth in truck traffic (+10% instead of 19%), and more zero-emission vehicles on the streets.

The rollout of all three scenarios simultaneously

The city chooses to pursue a comprehensive policy approach by concurrently implementing all three scenarios. This allows for further alignment of the vision with policies at higher government levels (Flanders, Federal, Europe) and enables the city to capitalize on potential opportunities.

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