CoLAB-Committed to Local Climate Action Building aims to build a strong coalition of change for a shared vision of a sustainable, climate-neutral city by 2030 by creating a wave of commitment to local action through direct ownership of action in the city community. CoLAB tests innovative non-technical ways of reducing emissions from consumer behaviour that cannot be directly reduced by the city. For this purpose, CoLAB activates all stakeholders, from city administration and politics to urban society and citizens, for a powerful city-wide transition team to set up the Climate City Contract. CoLAB seeks innovative, cross-sectoral ways to reduce emissions from consumption patterns in order to overcome the lack of acceptance, insight or knowledge about the possibilities of one’s own actions towards the 1.5 degree lifestyle in the areas of energy, buildings, mobility, food, and consumption. CoLAB tests the influence of social behaviours and norms, how citizens individually/in groups make decisions, participate in processes, develop solutions to improve individual and collective well-being. It is about closing the gaps between changing knowledge and real action in everyday life and making both actors and actions and their results visible. The relevance of these emissions caused by consumer actions in cities is great; in German cities they account for 30 % in the energy-related areas of buildings and mobility alone. The areas of consumption and nutrition are still little researched; CoLAB wants to provide new insights and describe impact pathways here.
The centre of CoLAB is the transformation model “House of Change”, which connects the city with the urban society as a Local Green Deal platform, inspires and mobilises for real, sustainable action, and closes the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical changes in daily life. The city is a supporter and enabler, the citizens are the owners of the “House of Change”, who designs the spaces according to their needs. Mannheim, Aachen and Muenster participate in the “House of Change” with different pilot activities by co-designing the impact spaces for the Municipal co-creation room(s), the knowledge transfer and exchange room(s), the bottom-up matching ideas room(s), the smart challenges innovation room(s), the cultural change room(s) and the local success room(s). They identify breakthroughs in overcoming entrenched obstacles and explore “tipping points” for changing behaviour from individual to collective action.
The CoLAB cities of Mannheim, Aachen and Muenster have identified consumption-related emissions in the emission areas of electricity and heat consumption, mobility, land use and waste/disposal as the overarching challenge to achieving climate targets and one of the most difficult tasks to solve.
The only difference in this multi-city Pilot is the entry points of the House of Change as testing solutions. These are described below.