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The Cooltorise project empowers 540 people thanks to its workshops with volunteers

Citizen empowerment is one of the keys to become more resilient – especially during the warmer months of the year

During the summers of 2022 and 2023 Ecoserveis and ABD have carried out a total of 64 workshops, thus reaching 540 participants.

The workshops have mainly been focused on vulnerable citizens, and for this reason the project team has traveled to the most affected neighborhoods. Activities have been held in Barcelona, l’Hospitalet and other municipalities in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. It has been shown that families living in older buildings (up to 87% of the current housing park) are more vulnerable to climate change as they suffer more from high temperatures. The buildings they live in have little thermal insulation and solar protections – so they tend to be inefficient. The families also have less access to being able to install air conditioning systems.

Some of the workshops have been aimed at sharing tips to deal with heat waves, both at home and on the street; others have been focused on how to better understand energy bills and existing tariffs. The project has also offered complementary activities for families with children to facilitate reconciliation.

One of the main conclusions from the activities is that, even though families have some strategies to cope the heat, they are generally unaware of what services the city of Barcelona (and other municipalities) offer, such as the climate shelters.

As something new, collective mapping activities have made it possible to start building a database extracted from citizen knowledge about public spaces. The main goal has been to identify warm areas, shadow areas, green areas, and points with availability of water, among others. The first results obtained in Hospitalet can be consulted HERE.

Volunteer’s support: The key to the deployment of the actions

A key piece for the realization of the workshops has undoubtedly been the participation of the SEPAs (Summer Energy Poverty Agents) in the project. These people come from various organizations as volunteers, and they were trained so that they could later carry out part of the workshops for citizens. The Cooltorise project has had a total of 40 people trained in the Barcelona area, and they all have enabled the deployment of all the project’s activities. Activities that have been concentrated mainly in the months before the summer, as a prevention resource.

The actions that have been carried out within the framework of the Cooltorise project, focused on summer energy poverty and financed by the European Union’s H2020 program, have been carried out between the ABD and the Ecoserveis Association. For more information on other summer energy poverty mitigation activities carried out by the Cooltorise project all over Europe, you can consult the project website: https://cooltorise.eu/

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