Second phase: Social experiment implementation and study tour in Vilnius

In recent months, the SHARED GREEN DEAL social experiments on efficient home renovation have evolved significantly. The different strengths of our local partners have been key to overcoming the challenges posed by the recruitment of network members and the organisation of events.

While the approaches in Zaragoza and Nógrád County allowed to build on established partnerships with households in energy poverty, in Mayo County and Vilnius, the experiences of local partners have facilitated the involvement of local renovation professionals. However, this also led to the other target group being more challenging for the partners to reach and taking more effort to integrate into their networks. Regarding women’s participation in the network, all partners succeeded in involving at least 60% of women, with an overall tendency to reach fewer women being renovation professionals and more women being residents. In this context, it is important to highlight the general difficulties when scheduling joint meetings with residents and professionals, as the first group is mainly engaging during their free time (mostly in the evenings) and the latter during their working time (mostly from 9am-5pm). Additionally, individuals who carry out care responsibilities are further restricted in their time availabilities. Another challenge, particularly for the local partners in Vilnius and Zaragoza, was related to unfavourable climatic conditions. On the one hand, Vilnius experienced extremely low temperatures in the winter months, which hindered attendance, while Zaragoza on the other hand had to cope with warm temperatures during December, which made the planned use of thermal imaging cameras difficult.

Against this background of different strengths and challenges, our central study tour in Vilnius brought all partners together and promoted the debate on renovation measures and their social components. As discussions turned to the future, a shared commitment emerged to maintain momentum beyond the Shared Green Deal project, emphasising the shared vision of inclusivity and lasting collaboration.




What did happen during the study tour?

All local and consortium partners met for the second time in February 2024, this time in Vilnius, for the planned joint study trip. The 1.5-day meeting took place in a building of Vilnius Municipality and provided an overview of the city, whose renovation measures and programmes were the focus of the meeting. We discussed some case studies that Let’s Renovate the City had prepared and shared with us, highlighting the renovation methods and materials used, the time and funding spent on them, and the social challenges and communication barriers that came to the fore in each case. In a group of engaged actors with a lot of personal experience and expertise in the respective contexts, the first day revolved around sharing common struggles and best practices as well as responding to each other’s individual experiences during the social experiments of the Shared Green Deal project. Short presentations from each local partner on the current state of the experiment, but also on the political circumstances in each country and region in which they operate, provided an excellent framework for developing understanding between all parties participating in the study tour.

On the second day, the question of “How can the network be continued and how can interested parties be kept on board?” was discussed in detail. As all four local social experiments receive a lot of positive feedback from the participants in their Knowledge Network and in most cases also from the municipalities in which they operate, all four locations want to continue the network. As the first phase of recruitment and establishment as a well-known renovation group forms the basis for further efforts, the social experiment can be reopened to new, interested participants – both residents and professionals – after the end of the cooperation with the Shared Green Deal project.

What is next?

In May, we will reflect on the key challenges, achievements and lessons learnt from each of the local experiments over the past months and lead a discussion on what sharing know-how can bring to efficient renovation in the EU. Join our webinar, on 03 May 2024 (11-12.30 CEST) and register here.