Work package 1: Inventory of community-based initiatives and selection of initiatives for in-depth analysis

Research message

The urgent need to tackle climate change is driving solutions for a shift from a carbon intensive, growth oriented economy towards a low carbon society. Community-based, grass roots initiatives are widely seen as catalysts of this change. Furthermore, a broad policy gap exists between global and national carbon reduction plans, and sustainable, community-based initiatives. WP 1 is ‘mapping’ state-of-art of community initiatives in European partner countries. Mapping will identify initiatives and define their key characteristics, based on personal interviews and data gathering. Community initiatives are being identified in the ‘domains’ of energy, food, transport and waste, as these are expected to be those areas with the most potential for greenhouse gas emission reduction and building community resilience . Based on the mapping exercise, a shortlist of initiatives will be selected for in-depth study in WPs 2-4.

Main aims

The main aim of WP1 is to yield a methodology for shortlisting and evaluating community-based initiatives, and to use this to select key and supportive cases for an in-depth analysis. Additionally, the package aims to objectively compare selected case studies, and undertake a characterisation study for each case study region.

Main outputs

WP1 will produce three main deliverables:

  • The method and the criteria for the selection of case studies – crucial for subsequent research steps;
  • The inventory database of key and supportive case study initiatives, by country – yielding important information on the potential for up-scaling;
  • A description of key characteristics of case study countries and regions – which will provide important contextual information about the conditions required to support successful transitions.

Practical use

The developed criteria and characterisation will provide instruments to community-innovators, decision-makers, NGOs, planners and researchers in their future work in financing, supporting and/or analysing community-based initiatives. Most importantly, initiatives themselves can use this information to assess and improve their performance.