Workshop on clean energy & e-mobility on islands

Last week, Astypalea hosted a seminar on exchanging best sustainable practices, focusing on e-mobility and the AstyMove initiative.

Organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Greece, Croatia, and Dialogue Southeast Europe, this event is part of the ongoing EcoIslands project, which began last year. Participants included academics, civil society members, and local governance officials from Greece, Bulgaria, and Croatia, who gathered to learn from Astypalea’s pioneering sustainability efforts.

The contributions from Astypalea were not just inspired by the island's rich history and traditional architecture, but also by its path to becoming the first carbon-neutral, sustainable Greek island! The driving force behind this change is a community that is deeply committed to preserving the island's nature and beauty. Astypalea is leading the way in implementing e-mobility projects and advocating participatory planning projects that involve the citizens. These efforts are not just about Astypalea, but about bringing the entire community closer to the 100% RES (renewable energy sources) vision!

Mayor Nikolaos Komineas joined the participants for a presentation about the work of the Municipality of Astypalea and as a speaker in panel sessions, speaking from the experience of Astypalea's ongoing sustainability projects. In his reflections, Mayor Komineas touched on the need for a holistic approach to projects and to understanding sustainability. He illustrated this point based on Astypalea's e-mobility project by underlining that the first step that makes this project a success is the realization that „we need to be walking more“ and for when we need transportation  to rely on different models to supplement our needs, not only by using individual cars but also using car sharing options, e-bikes and e-cars – which is all already offered on Astypalea. In the words of Astypalea's mayor, Nikolaos Komineas: "We are not pioneers in thinking; we don't need to think about this first, but we are pioneers in doing!"

Over the two-day seminar, participants evaluated best practices from similar communities, such as Croatian and Greek islands. They discussed how these could serve as models for larger urban areas on the mainland. While approaches and results varied, the universal need for community engagement was a common thread. Strong connections with the community ensure that sustainability projects meet local needs, gain acceptance from those directly affected and are implemented in a socially just manner. This community-centered approach is crucial for the success and scalability of sustainable initiatives. Moving forward, the seminar's insights and strategies will guide future projects, fostering greater sustainability across the region.

Ίδρυμα Friedrich- Ebert-Stiftung Ελλάδα

Οδός Νεοφύτου Βάμβα 4
10674 Αθήνα

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