Energy Cities proposition 14 - Make better use and share what already exists instead of always buying more

Knowing our territories’ resources and flows


Energy Cities

Energy Cities is a network of more than 1,000 cities in 30 different countries. Convinced that energy transition is more than a question of renewable energy or advanced technologies, Energy Cities proposes to use resources in a reasoned way, to strengthen local participation and to improve the quality of life in a democratic Europe. In 2014, the network presents 30 proposals for the Energy Transition of Territories.

They are a source of inspiration to think and act differently. To finally turn the page on unsustainable practices that lead us into energy, climate and perhaps economic and social dead ends.

To download : cahier_short_jan2014_en.pdf (6.8 MiB)

Energy Cities proposition 14 - Make better use and share what already exists instead of always buying more

The problem at hand

Is having a car a necessity when it is used only 2 to 5% of the time? Should we not rather rent a car when and where we need one? Is travelling alone really judicious when car-pooling is possible? Do we really have to buy a bike when bike rental services are available in our city? Is building new public buildings and facilities really necessary when existing ones are underused?

Here is the paradox. We have needs in terms of mobility and space that we satisfy by buying cars and building new public facilities. The advantages are well known: we have guaranteed availability of the goods we own. But the drawbacks are beginning to outweigh the advantages in a number of areas, both for individuals and the community: in cities, owning a car has become a source of annoyance and involves a significant outlay both for its acquisition and maintenance, whilst the energy and raw material used are disproportionate to the services provided.


Doing more with what we already have means giving use the priority over ownership.

The so-called functional service economy consists of replacing consumption of commodities (such as energy) by their intelligent use, that is, optimising the use of the building stock rather than building new facilities, anticipating and facilitating emerging changes in citizens’ lifestyles through car-pooling, car and bike-sharing and community gardens, and encouraging the pooling and exchange of goods and services between citizens.

Conditions for success


To go further