THE CITY OF OSIJEK
One of the focuses of the City of Osijek is the introduction of innovative methods into energy management - energy savings via energy efficiency (EE measures in public and residential and business buildings). Having in mind significant role of energy efficiency management and its impact on environment preservation as well as the expectations regarding its impact on the growth of economy as well as the improvement of the overall quality of life the City of Osijek has been undertaking steps in order to promote energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy sources. A considerable number of projects has been implemented in order to educate and capacitate local governments and businesses for greater use of energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy, and also to stimulate the general public to take steps in this direction. In order to set conditions for greater appliance of EE measures and RES, as well as demonstrating EE activities on demo buildings the City of Osijek has successfully used the EU funds and has undertaken significant measures in order to achieve the goals set by Europe 2020.
One of the projects that had the goal to create conditions for permanent education on EE and RES was the project Zero Energy House – Energy Education Agency as a part of the Cards 2004 program. The project resulted in building zero energy house as a demo building.
Another project that was a sequel of the one previously mentioned was "Energy Efficiency Slavonia" – Establishment of Regional Energy Agency of Slavonia and Baranja as a part of the PHARE 2006 INTERREG ADRIATICO program. Among others this project resulted in a practicum fully equipped for EE education. One of important results of these two mentioned projects was also that they created conditions for carrying out energy audits on public facilities in local self-government entities.
The education and promotion of EE activities continued with the project CHEE - Joint research and development of energy efficiency in cross-border areas (HU – HR IPA CBC). The aim of this project was introduction of innovative methods in energy management – energy savings via energy efficiency and to bring energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in buildings closer to general public and local authorities by promoting these measures and through education on these measures. The project also included the restoration of the envelope (insulation and carpentry) of the building of the Elementary school "Ljudevit Gaj" in Osijek and the energy efficient restoration of this school building continues with the project REC – Renewable Energy in Cities (CBC Croatia – Serbia) through replacement of a 40-year-old heating system by a new energy efficient and environment friendly heating system that uses pellets as burning fuel.
The education, renovation and additionally measurement of results help to achieve following objectives:
- Reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emission;
- Provides a good example to citizens;
- Improves the capacities of the local self-government and of the general public for implementation of EE measures;
- Provides transfer of good practice.
Trough the project CONURBANT (Intelligent Energy Europe program) the City of Osijek became a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors and the major activity is the development of Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The Covenant of Mayors is one of major European movements which includes local self-governments voluntarily dedicated to increase EE and the use of renewable energy sources. The goal of the signatories of the Covenant of Mayors is not only to achieve, but also to go beyond a 20% reduction of CO2 emission by 2020.
One more project stimulating the introduction of innovative energy management is the project FEDRE – Fostering economic development of the City of Osijek and County of Zala through trade development and investment promotion – with a special focus on renewable energy and environment sector (HU – HR IPA CBC). The idea of this project is to combine previous experience in EU projects, EE and RES and in developing business incubators and zones of the City of Osijek and its project partner the County of Zala with innovations in the energy sector in order to create economic benefits for Slavonia, County of Zala and the entire cross-border area. The implementation of this project results in the development of the Industrial Zone Nemetin – The first green industrial zone in Croatia, and it continues with the project CHREN – Croatian Hungarian Renewable Energy Network (HU – HR IPA CBC) which is going to result in establishment of a Scientific Centre for RES within the Industrial Zone Nemetin.
Besides previously mentioned activities it is important to stress out the fact that the City of Osijek is one of the most active cities in Croatia in the project "Sustainable energy management" implemented in co-operation with UNDP Croatia, and so far the city met all the requirements related to the Act on Energy End-use Efficiency. In the near future the intention of the City of Osijek is to become "energy efficient city",
the goal is to reduce energy consumption as much as possible and implement measures of energy efficiency.
ABOUT THE CITY OF OSIJEK
Osijek is the fourth largest city in Croatia with a population of 108.048 according to the 2011 Census. It is the largest city and the economic and cultural centre of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia, as well as the administrative centre of Osijek-Baranja County. Osijek is located on the right bank of the river Drava, 25 kilometres upstream of its confluence with the Danube, at an elevation of 94 metres.
Situated at the intersection of important traffic routes Osijek is well connected with all capital cities in the region by major highway and railway routs, river port and airport, and by cherishing firm and friendly relations with its 10 Sister Cities all over the Europe it continues its tradition of a friendly and open European city.
Since the 19th century Osijek was considered to be the "crest" of the development not only of the Slavonija Region, but also of the entire Croatia. With its favorable geographic position, rich industrial tradition, cultural and historic heritage and with a tradition of more than three centuries of higher education the city of Osijek is considered to be "the city to suit one's needs".
During the Homeland War in Croatia, from 1991 to 1995, the city suffered heavy destruction and sustained considerable damage. More than a thousand civilians were killed during the daily shelling of the town. While some buildings still have mild damage, due to extensive restoration in recent times, most of the facades have been restored preserving the charm of its Austro-Hungarian Baroque architecture in the older quarters of town.
Osijek has a well developed network of public transport, and besides Zagreb it is the only city in Croatia that has a tram network which was established in 1884. During the last five years Osijek has put a big effort into the development of the network of bicycle paths and the promotion of cycling as a healthy and ecological means of transport, as a result of this efforts Osijek is today known in Croatia as the "city of bicycles".
Today the City of Osijek makes considerable efforts in order to develop the economy by investing into development of industrial zones, business incubators, etc. Thanks to its rich historical and cultural heritage, the J.J. Strossmayer University with its 22,000 students, its galleries, museums, Croatian National Theater of Osijek, Children's Theater "Branko Mihaljević" , Art Academy, numerous parks and green areas, recreation areas, quality accommodation, with its festivals like Osijek Summer of Culture (OLJK), Pannonian Challenge, etc. Osijek is evolving as an attractive tourist destination. The development of tourism is additionally supported by the fact that only a few kilometers from Osijek is Baranja with its offer of continental tourism, its net of wine roads and Nature Park Kopački Rit. In addition Osijek is known for its 18th century Baroque citadel – Tvrđa, its beautiful art nouveau buildings as well as by its newly redesigned squares, its promenade along the Drava River as well as for its cuisine and hospitality.