Above, Councilor Patricia Plantamura visits the brown coal mining district near Cottbus, Germany.
SEMINOLE – Councilor Patricia Plantamura toured several German cities in October to exchange best practices on issues of local governance. She was one of four Americans selected through the nonprofit and nonpartisan American Council on Germany for its McCloy Fellowship in Urban Affairs.
This people-to-people exchange allowed Plantamura to learn about economic development and sustainability strategies in German municipalities. She met with hosts from the German Association of Cites, and local government and nongovernmental organization leaders in the cities of Cologne, Dusseldorf, Oldenburg, Berlin, Munich and Cottbus, which is in former eastern Germany near Poland.
Plantamura witnessed the mining of brown coal, viewed North Sea wind turbines, and heard plans for subway construction and BMW manufacturing, learning that environmental sustainability is a major factor in Germany’s energy goals.
“The country is clearly in a massive energy transition,” Plantamura said. “Germany is on track in its plans to become one of the most energy-efficient, and environmentally sound economies in the world. This even while maintaining competitive energy prices, along with a high level of prosperity for its people.”
She plans to speak about her time in Germany at the March meeting of the Seminole Discussion Group on Recycling and Sustainability, which meets at the Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St.