Town of Neumarkt - in the Upper Palatinate (NEUMARKT), Germany

NEUMARKT is situated in the very heart of Bavaria and occupies a total area of 79.01 km². The population of NEUMARKT has been continuously increasing and in 2004 amounted to 42,074 residents. It is an attractive place to work (more than 17,000 jobs) with the unemployment rate diminished (from 6.1% in 2002 to 4.2 % in 2007). A key role to the turn of these statistics was the initiation of the Agenda 21 process in Upper Palatinate, which started as a Bavarian model project in Neumarkt in 2002, adopting a town development programme in order to formulate the targets (quality environment, learning, thinking globally - acting locally) for a town that is well prepared for the future. The objective was to produce a city mission statement with a view to implementation, involving as many citizens and local actors from civil society, associations, clubs and the private sector as possible. The "Day of Visions" on 18th May 2003 was an important step on the road to a city mission statement. This was a large sustainability event that was attended by several thousand visitors.

The town, through the evolution of Agenda 21 procedures, provided sufficient, modern and accessible commercial and industrial estates during the recent years, thus creating ideal conditions for the establishment, expansion, re-location and the setting up of companies. Compared with the national trend, the decline in registrations of business enterprises is smaller in NEUMARKT (more than 450 business enterprises).

Generally, NEUMARKT is a front runner on energy and environmental issues and can act as the experienced community, disseminating “real-life” best practices. In particular, the municipality has already joined the Climate Alliance since March 2008 and has signed the CoM since February 2009. The SEAP contains plan for sustainable usage of energy, energy and CO2 – balance, strategies for achieving the CO2-reduction aims of the Climate Alliance and CoM, as well as climate protection catalogue of measure. Furthermore, the Factor 10 Energetic Programme contains 2 - 3 million euros per year for private measures of building activities with energy saving and energy efficiency (e.g. insulation, solar heating, high energy standards).