• Since our region is unsurpassed with regard to the number of people working in high tech jobs, we consider it crucial to stay abreast of the newest developments in research and technology.

SPECIAL - Spatial Planning and Energy for Communities in All Landscapes

Spatial planning has a key role to play in creating urban environments that support less energy-intense lifestyles and communities. Spatial planning and urban planners have a pivotal role in developing energy strategies and actions plans, and the SPECIAL project has been set up to help bridge the gap between climate change /energy action planning and spatial and urban planning.

At the heart of the SPECIAL project is a focus on training and capacity building and the cascading of that knowledge through the professional networks of each partner to reach practising planners at the local level.

The SPECIAL project utilises several different approaches to building the capacity of the profession in the planning and delivering of sustainable energy solutions. These include:
• Training that focuses on learning from good practice in the UK, Germany and Sweden. This includes site visits and practical solutions as well as gaining an understanding of policy and strategy; the role of private sector, investors and communities; political influences and the involvement of national, regional and local levels of government.
• Spreading the knowledge: all partners have up to six ‘multiplier’ organisations signed up to develop and deliver pilot training events for their own members and constituent audiences at the local level.
• Planners attending the training will be set specific assignments for development during the lifetime of the project.
• Multiplier assignments and interests will be matched across the partners to ensure effective exchange of experience.
• Following the development of a portfolio of materials and techniques for each multiplier, the partners will each facilitate the delivery of on-the-ground training pilots with the members of the multiplier organisations.
• The partners will develop five expert paper on spatial planning and energy
• Each partner will produce a High Level Policy Statement on the integration of spatial planning and energy