Municipal energy consultancy  | Smart concepts and methods

Living Lab Net Zero – Climate Strategy of the City of Thun

Application of a participatory approach to the development of the climate strategy of the city of Thun

ENCO AG supports the city of Thun in the participatory development of the climate strategy, on the basis of a living lab and with two pilot projects. Innovative approaches and co-creative processes are applied and bridges are built to other European Frontrunner cities.

The city of Thun, certified as an eea city (Energiestadt) since 2010, has decided to develop a climate strategy based on a “smart” approach. This is intended to bring the city to its goal of “net zero by 2050” through the networking of key sectors and actors as well as their active participation.

This entails the use of co-creative approaches in the development of the municipal climate strategy. These processes involve the active participation of all stakeholders, especially the population. These stakeholders are actively incorporated throughout the design, solution finding, planning and implementation processes. The establishment of a living lab, including three “sounding boards”, enables this development process and facilitates the networking of sectors, fields of action, actors and data. Networking takes place physically through participation in participatory sessions and meetings, but also through innovative information and communication forms and tools.

In order to test and optimise the LL in practice, it is applied not only in the development of the climate strategy, but also in the design of two implementation projects:

  • Needs-based cluster approach to heating system replacement:
    Urban areas were divided into clusters with similar conditions and challenges based on various data bases, for which specific proposals for renewable heating systems were defined.
  • Climate-Idea Thun:
    As a pilot test, the city of Thun plans to conduct a participatory project call. Interested citizens can submit concrete climate project proposals, the implementation of which will be decided by Thun’s population in a public vote.

Our activities:

  • Planning and preparation of project proposals for submission to the SFOE’s (Swiss Federal Office of Energy) funding programme
  • Coordination with project partners and with the EU-funded project 2iSECAP
  • Planning and implementation of the participatory process in the development of the city’s climate and energy strategy
  • Conception, organisation and moderation of the “Sounding Boards” and the “Climate Forum” with city-internal and external stakeholders
  • Delivering inputs for the development of an action plan for climate protection incl. a roadmap.

The city of Thun received funding from the SFOE for this project in the “Frontrunner” programme. The project is part of the international EU-funded 2ISECAP project under the Horizon 2020 programme.

You can find an introduction to the topic of participation in municipalities and the processes in Thun in the brochure „Kompass Partizipation für Städte und Gemeinden“ by SwissEnergy for Municipalities/Smart City in German language.


9/2021 – 12/2023


Stadt Thun

Project Location


Our Partners


Contact Person

Laura Pfund
Project leader
T. +41 61 965 99 00

Project team

Laura Pfund

Project leader

Valentin Pfäffli


Caroline Huwiler

Project leader

Nina Dausch

Project Manager

Find out more about projects from other areas we work in.