Green light for climate neutral cities
Europe aims to have 100 climate neutral cities by 2030, as part of the continent’s EU missions strategy to “solve major societal challenges”.
It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, up from around 55% today, so making these urban centers climate neutral is a ‘must’ for policymakers around the world. Europe, which is striving to become the world’s first net-zero continent, is leading the way with its plans to reach 100 climate-neutral cities by the end of the decade. Reaching the goal will be a major achievement, with the transformation journey these cities pursue as signposts for others, as the top 100 become repeatable centers of innovation and experimentation.
“Cities are the place where decarbonization strategies for energy, transport, buildings and even industry and agriculture coexist and intersect,” says the EU mission page on Cities. “The climate emergency must be addressed within cities and by involving citizens who are not only political actors in a governance structure, but also users, producers, consumers and owners. Through a multi-level and co-creative process formalized in a City Climate Contract, adjusted to the realities of each city, the Mission is fully anchored in the European Green Deal Strategy to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.
Action will be the driving force behind every EU mission, with ‘research projects, policy measures and legislative initiatives’ mobilized to support the ambitions of measurable goals, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals. and the European Green Deal.
Preparing the cities of tomorrow
In an article for Innovators Magazine, Richard Mullane, Environment and Communities Manager for Hassell, San Francisco, introduced us to the green city revolution; specifically a project in the San Francisco Bay Area of South City implemented by the Rockefeller Foundation. The architect and urban designer believes collaboration is essential to unlock resilience opportunities for connected urban centers.
He said: “Working with community collaborators and other specialists, as part of an international design collective, the one-year program in the Bay Area has combined creativity, knowledge and the experience of local, national and international residents, officials and experts to develop inventive community-based solutions – seeking an alternative approach to harsh engineering interventions, such as protective concrete barriers, that have already failed in the region.
At the start of this United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration from 2021 to 2030, Mullane said architects, designers and town planners must focus on “exploring the potential of architecture and design to address emerging global challenges and preparing cities for the future. ‘.
“This revised approach calls on architects, designers and planners to engage local communities more than ever before, building on local knowledge and local understanding of long-standing ecosystems, and empowering local communities to ensure delivery. successful stewardship and continued stewardship of the local environment they know so well – urban or natural. Rather than focusing our attention on instantly constructed outcomes, ecosystem restoration presents the challenge of developing and evolving socially sustainable solutions over time. of time, from the ground up.
This approach echoes the findings of a recent report by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and McKinsey Sustainability, which presented a list of 15 ‘high potential’ adaptation actions that can work in ‘many types of cities’.
“The impacts of the climate crisis are already being felt in every city around the world and mayors are taking the urgent action needed to prepare for a rapidly warming world,” added Mark Watts, executive director of C40 Cities. “The Targeted adaptation Research published by C40 and McKinsey will help mayors and city leaders make better decisions about where to invest and which projects to take. This will ultimately mean the city’s residents will be safer, healthier, and better prepared for the future. “
Innovators Magazine is a media partner of next month’s CIVITAS Forum, which focuses on accelerating “smart roads to climate neutral cities”. It is a platform where citizens, cities, policy makers, projects, NGOs and academics can connect and advance the ‘mission of the European Commission to create 100 climate neutral cities here. 2030 ”.
“What is the role of mobility and transport in achieving this 2030 target?” What is the link between smart mobility and climate neutral mobility? And what do local authorities – the private sector, the European Commission and each other – need to create the smart, climate neutral cities we need? The event’s website says.
The CIVITAS Forum in Aachen, Germany will be held from October 20-21. The tentative schedule is available now, and there are a limited number of in-person spots available due to covid – but it will be a hybrid event. Register for the item in person.