In a proactive move towards sustainable urban development, Alba Iulia recently hosted a capacity building session at the Alba Iulia City Hall conference room.
The event, organized by the Alba Local Energy Agency (ALEA), focused on enhancing participants’ understanding of low emission zones (LEZ) and zero-emission zones (ZEZ) within the framework of the ClimAct CEE project.
The session started by ALEA setting the tone for the discussions by contextualizing the meeting’s objectives within the framework of ClimAct CEE and the climate screening process. Participants were then presented a comprehensive overview of climate neutrality and its significance in urban areas.
A highlight was the presentation of LEZ/ZEZ case studies from across the EU. The in-depth exploration of implementation activities, results, and lessons learned provided a valuable opportunity for participants to engage in meaningful discussions. Notably, the challenges faced by Alba Iulia, shared with other Romanian cities, were mainly attributed to national legislative gaps, particularly regarding air pollution regulations and monitoring responsibilities.
During the discussions, the focus turned to the heating systems in Alba Iulia. The challenge of transitioning to lower-emission systems, given the overwhelming use of gas burners and fossil fuel stoves, raised concerns about the economic feasibility of changing the heating systems with less polluting ones for residents. Transport-related cases were also discussed, emphasizing the importance of local regulations in restricting highly pollutant vehicles within the city.
The session moved towards showcasing methods to overcome obstacles in LEZ/ZEZ implementation, uncovering the lack of available energy-related data and air quality monitoring as significant barriers. Alba Iulia expressed their commitment to addressing these challenges, including potential investments in monitoring sensors for both citizen awareness and identifying air pollution issues.
ALEA shared insights into the ClimAct CEE screening methodology, detailing its functionality and presenting preliminary results at the level of „Dorin Pavel” LEZ from Alba Iulia (pilot area). Participants welcomed the methodology and expressed interest in utilizing it on a broader scale in future projects.
The capacity building session concluded with a presentation on policy frameworks related to LEZ/ZEZ. The focus was on encouraging participants to propose improvements to the regulatory and legislative frameworks at the local level for effective LEZ/ZEZ implementation.
At the end participants exchanged ideas on future projects related to sustainable energy, particularly within low emission zones. The solutions presented were appreciated, with participants expressing support for the upcoming action plan measures to be developed within the ClimAct CEE project.
The event showcased Alba Iulia Municipality’s commitment to environmentally conscious urban planning and its collaborative efforts together with ALEA in shaping a greener, more sustainable future.