Study Visit within the frame of CASCADE Project


User: Primăria Municipiului Timişoara



On the participation of Timisoara Municipality in the study visit organised by the City of Mannheim, in the period September 23 – 25, 2013 within the frame of CASCADE Project, coordinated by the EUROCITIES Association – “Cities exchanging on local energy leadership - Peer-to-peer exchanges between European cities on successful implementation of sustainable energy policies”


The proposal made on behalf of the Timisoara Municipality for two applications within the frame of CASCADE Project, for the thematic areas “Energetic Efficiency in Buildings and Districts” and “Energy in Urban Transport” was approved following the Account registered with no. SC2012-16421 of July 3, 2013, as the Municipality of Timisoara had been selected in the group of 20 European cities that were to participate in the Study Visit. The Local Council of the Municipality of Timisoara, by Decision no. 271/04.12.2012, approved the participation in the CASCADE project as well as the advancement of amounts associated with the visit from the local budget. In this respect, on December 12, 2012, Contract no. SC2012-30654/17.12.2012 was signed.


Timişoara is also partner in the Project “An inclusive peer-to-peer approach to involve EU CONURBations and wide urban areas in participating to the CovenANT of Mayors”  – acronym CONURBANT – cod IEE/10/380/SI2 58 9427 , funded by EU Intelligent Energy Europe Programme . Like the CONURBANT project, CASCADE Project is part of the 5 European projects funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe: LEAP, CASCADE, CONURBANT, Covenant capaCITY and ERENET, which aim at sharing experience in how to address implementation issues in Sustainable Energy Action Plans through diverse approach, based on different methods: peer learning, mentoring, learning through work and training.

On behalf of the Town Hall of Timisoara Municipality the following persons participated in the visit:

  • Mr Adrian BERE - SEMEREDI - Executive Director of Environment Directorate;
  • Mr Mihai COSTA - Executive Director of Schools, Hospitals, Sports Facilities and Cultural Institutions Directorate;
  • Mrs Iudit BERE - SEMEREDI – Councillor of Environment Directorate - CONURBANT Partner - Timisoara Muicipality Project Responsible.

The Mannheim hosts – the Town Hall of Mannheim and the Mannheim Climate Protection Agency – proposed a programme for the visit that, in the first part of each day, consisted in presentations on Climate protection and energy efficiency strategies in Mannheim, in references and methods of achieving the Baseline Emissions Inventory as well as in presentation of examples and results of the actions stipulated in the SEAP of the City of Mannheim, such as:

-       Planning of the new energy efficient “Glückstein-Quarter GQ”,

-       Models of innovative use of district heating in urban quarters of Mannheim City,

-       Refurbishing concept for an urban quarter of Mannheim – Käfertal Centre,

-       Efforts in refurbishing old private houses and in motivating citizens to participate in rehabilitation programmes.

Other presentations introduced the participants to Energy Concepts for the development of former military areas in Mannheim, the Project “blue_village_mannheim” and models of sustainability in urban quarters and plans for BLUE VILLAGE FRANKLIN.

During the meetings that have been hosted in the generous venue of the building situated at “Am oberen Luisenpark 7”, participants could watch PowerPoint presentations as well as two promotion and dissemination documentary films; they discussed various practical aspects of the presented achievements with the German specialists, being encouraged to ask questions and receive answers from specialists and consultants of the Mannheim Climate Protection Agency and the Mannheim Town Hall.


As a consequence of the study visit, the representatives of the Timisoara Municipality Town Hall had the opportunity to see the investments achieved in the area of energy efficiency on-site. Thus, they became acquainted with certain innovative solutions concerning the thermal envelope of buildings, with facades built in an innovative way, new buildings developed in compliance with criteria of energy efficiency.

Mannheim Town Hall supplied the participants with some publicity brochures related to the Contest of Energy Projects “2013 – Mannheim Umweltpreis - Bauen für die Zukunft – Dier Preisträger und ihre Projekte”.

Among the achievements seen on-site we might mention the following:

- PUNKTHAUS LILIENTHALSTRASSE building – in 232, Lilienthalstraße, 68307 Mannheim;

- GEBÄUDEKOMPLEX  EASTSITE, 5/6, Harrlachweg, 68163, Mannheim;

- STATENTWÄSSERUNG, 265, Käfertaler Street, 68167, Mannheim;

- Climate Trees – alignement of sycamore trees planted in the central area of the town by the City of Mannheim with the contribution of sponsors and donors;

- SPEICHER 7 Harbour Hotel building – in 7, Rheinvorlandstrasse, 68159, Mannheim – rewarded with the First Prize at the Contest for Energy Efficiency– Hotel, Services and Offices;

- Benjamin – Franklin – Village, Sullivan Baracks and Funaari Baracks – a project of urban regeneration envisaged to be implemented starting with the year 2015, on a surface of 143 ha, on former military areas. They have been designed to be transformed into residential areas, with buildings having administrative and complementary functions, making up a modern, climate friendly, energy efficient quarter, where innovative electro-mobility systems are to be implemented.

During the tours, participants visited not only the buildings, but also the apartments with their areas of interest (technical basement, common parts), each location being introduced to the guests by the specialists, consultants and architects involved in renovation and design.

One aspect worth emphasizing is that any new investment or new renovation/rehabilitation of a building receives specialized technical advice in terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, too. At the same time, energy monitoring after implementation is likely to highlight the results of investments and the recorded savings of energy. On the other hand, in the exploitation of public and private buildings, energy audits and consumption monitoring revealed mistakes in design, thus corrections were possible for thermal power/ventilation /hot water supply plants. Consequently, operating expenses of the buildings declined and eventually such buildings obtained an increased energy efficiency status.

Issues of interest such as: building passive houses, near-zero emissions in buildings, provision of home heating in an attractive way by means of quarter thermal power station, promotion of energy efficiency among citizens have been discussed. An important aspect highlighted by the organizers was how to disseminate all aspects of energy efficiency in the neighbourhoods by means of  promotional films and brochures. During the study visit, the organizers have also assured access to Luise Park, an area where BUGA exhibition (Bundesgartenschau) was organised in 1975.

For the study visit to Mannheim, the Timisoara Municipality was granted an amount of 2,000 Euros.

The study visit constituted a great opportunity to learn from the experience of Mannheim City and of other cities participating in the study visit - Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Malmö (Sweden), Milan (Italy) and Sliven (Bulgaria) and from the representatives of IFEU Institute Heidelberg in their position as consultants and speakers.

Participants returned to Timisoara Municipality fully aware that, in the future, important advances can be made to accelerate the transition to a city with lower carbon emissions by applying lessons learned during the study visit by:

- Coherent, well structured, public policies, in the field of sustainable energy and energy efficiency, of economic, social and environment development, based on the principles of sustainable development;

- Allocation from the local budget of the amounts required to implement these policies, programs and projects for sustainable development;

- Focusing on developing and implementing impact projects, that should contribute to significant reductions in GHG emissions by including innovative solutions, such as urban regeneration, knowing that institutional and residential sectors can contribute substantially to reducing CO2 emissions; showing interest in the development or conversion of buildings into passive houses, respectively houses with  near-zero emissions;

- The need to adjust the organizational structure of the Municipality of Timisoara to requirements and activities related to the implementation of measures and actions related to sustainable energies, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources;

- Dedicated, enthusiastic and results-oriented staff that are committed to sustainable development, and are supported by adequate communication activities;

- Foundation of an active working group and of a support group of specialists (specialized consultants in all relevant areas and coming from institutions of higher education, research/innovation) in order to select the most appropriate solutions in the area of sustainable energy, energy efficiency and the use of  renewable energy sources;

- Close cooperation between public authority, companies and citizens, as a success factor in the development of public and private projects on a smaller or larger scale, meant to lead to energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions;

- Smart urban planning, where urban regeneration and e-mobility should occupy an important place;

- Integration in each municipal and private project of solutions that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources;

- Acknowledging the importance of monitoring energy consumption and implemented actions in order to know the results and the effectiveness of the implemented measures;

- Acknowledging the importance of diagnostic studies – for the solutions employed and for applying of certain corrections when the respective solutions do not lead to the expected results;

- The importance of communication in all aspects of SEAP implementation sites and of public information regarding the acceptance of energy efficiency measures and actions;

- The organization of municipal competitions for projects promoting sustainable development and good practice – with the aim of awarding prizes to local projects and of disseminating the good practices and solutions, which ensure results in the field of energy efficiency;

- The importance of measures of adaptation to climate change promoted in an intelligent way by involving local stakeholders - institutions, companies and citizens;

The study visit was an experience of direct interaction with international representatives of local governments, politicians, specialists and other local actors to discuss openly about projects completed and planned, about success factors, difficulties encountered and how they could be overcome. The organization of the study tour, both of the presentation parts and of the on-site visits proper, was  excellent, not only in terms of time allocation but also of explanations, which were an opportunity to exchange information and opinions among all participants. The balanced program covered all the topics under discussion and provided sufficient details, while informal discussions during breaks and after the hours dedicated to presentations assured data consolidation, the exchange of ideas and experience among all participants.

The excellent organization, a rigorous conformity to the stated program, and the involvement of hosts from the City of Mannheim has definitely contributed to the success of the study visit.








Adrian – Amedeo  BERE - SEMEREDI



Mihai  COSTA