The Energetic Citizen; An Interdisciplinary Research about the Organisation and Information and Communication Structures of the Energy Transition in Amsterdam
by Marilise Boeve
Driven by the political goals and societal attention of mitigating the effects of climate change the municipality of Amsterdam set itself the goal of being natural gas free in 2050. In order to reach this goal, Amsterdam started in 2005 with facilitating district heating networks as an alternative for natural gas. But, the current organisation of these networks is causing dissatisfaction under citizens which is leading to a trend towards decentralised civic initiatives that aim to develop alternative heat supply systems themselves.These decentralised initiatives are raising issues of organisation, governance and acceptance and different perspectives on these issues result in a complex organisational challenge. Therefore, this research aims to answer the following research question: “What kind of organisational structure is needed in order to implement an alternative heat supply system in Amsterdam and what is the role of information and communication in this organisation?”. To find out, a literature review has been done to understand urban heat supply and to understand the role of civic participation and transition theory. The eight, in this research identified, involved stakeholders have been questioned by nine semi-structured interviews about (1) the organisation,(2)theirperspective,(3)the concept civic participation and (4) on the information and communication structures in order to define the problems of organisation, governance and acceptance. As a result, it appears indisputable that a civic initiative is significantly important during the organisation of this process. Therefore, an entity, consisting of a professional network operator in collaboration with a civic initiative such as a neighborhood cooperation, will result in positive effects in terms of time, efficiency and civic acceptance. To streamline this process it is of paramount importance that the involved parties demarcate the information and communication structures, to enable transparency and good collaboration.
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