Energy Cities proposition 22 - Cross departmental links to avoid silo mentality

Inventing new local governance


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 22 - Cross departmental links to avoid silo mentality

The problem at hand

Energy and climate are considered as serious topics by local authorities who are now aware of their importance. However, sectoral policies seem to be playing different scores. They sometimes continue to obey their own goals and habits inherited from the past, which act as obstacles, preventing common objectives from being reached.

The natural trend is to seek an optimum within one’s own area of expertise: urban planning, housing, economics, etc. This is perfectly normal, but we can no longer accept such behaviour as the addition of sectoral optima never produces collective harmony. Interactions between areas and the relations between stakeholders are now what matter. We have to work with a more holistic approach and each sectoral policy has to contribute to the energy transition at its own level. This requires new know-how and practices, that is, a new culture.


Make the energy transition a cross-cutting objective applicable to all the local authority’s sectoral policies.

Each department – economic, social, urban planning, transport, highways, health, housing, etc. – will have to integrate energy into their strategies. This approach may go against old habits but each sectoral policy will benefit from it in the end. And it can be considered as a success when the whole municipal budget is a transition vector, thus making specific transition budgets unnecessary.

Conditions for success


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