Two winners were announced in each of the five award categories–a US city and a non-US city–to emphasise their efforts on climate change despite President Trump withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. Categories included energy, mobility, reducing waste, climate action plans and adaptation.
“I think that what was interesting [about this year’s submissions] was real comparability across the different localities,” Mark Watts, C40’s Executive Director, told Cities Today. “It gets harder and harder to pick winners each year because there are so many great projects.”
The awards not only promote the winning action plans but serves other cities worldwide as a reference point for projects to learn from, remarked Watts.
New York City won in the Mobility category for its programme of accelerating the purchase of low-carbon vehicles, retrofitting existing trucks, and replacing older vehicles to reduce local air pollutants.
“It is now more important than ever that cities step up and provide leadership on climate, filling a void left by the federal government,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Chief Resilience Officer, New York City. “We know collaboration is crucial if we are to deliver for New Yorkers and our planet, and we look forward to continued partnerships with fellow cities in the US and around the globe.”
Mexico City was recognised in the Action category for having already delivered 65 percent of its 2018 climate goals.
“[It has] set an incredibly strong example of a global south city that put together a really comprehensive action plan in place,” said Watts. “The specific focus on women is, I think, relatively unique but I expect it to be copied in many other cities.”
The winners for each category included:
Cities4Energy: Chicago and Copenhagen
Retrofit Chicago partners with a number of local organisations to improve energy efficiency and cut costs and greenhouse gas emissions for Chicago’s residents and businesses.
Copenhagen’s energy surveillance programme makes the city the first in the world to have a completely centralised building monitoring system.
Cities4Mobility: New York City and Dar es Salaam
The South Bronx Clean Truck Program will reduce local air pollutants by 75 percent per truck.
In Dar es Salaam, a new Bus Rapid Transit system–using new, lower-carbon engines–serving 200,000 people is tackling traffic congestion and high levels of local air pollution.
Cities4ZeroWaste: Phoenix and Auckland
The Reimagine Phoenix Initiative will clean the air and improve public health by diverting 40 percent of the city’s waste by 2020 and reaching zero waste by 2050.
Auckland’s Waste to Resources programme has developed a way to divert 65 percent of curb-side waste to be recovered, re-used, or recycled.
Cities4Action: First Collins and Mexico City
Fort Collins’ Climate Action Plan aims to reach complete carbon neutrality by 2050, and is already delivering 25 percent per capita emissions reductions along with a 60 percent rate of waste diversion.
Mexico City’s Climate Action Programme has already delivered on 65 percent of the city’s 2018 goals and has begun work on all but 5 percent of the cumulative actions outlined by the plan.
Cities4Tomorrow: Washington DC and Wuhan
Climate Ready D.C. has established a long-term commitment to climate resiliency that will impact the city’s transport, buildings, neighbourhood design and policy structure. Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington DC said: “Like many large cities, [DC] is challenged by the fact that we have a limited supply of available land on which to deploy clean energy infrastructure. However, through programmes like Solar Works DC and other innovative green workforce development programmes, we are increasing our city’s solar capacity, reducing energy costs for our residents, and training our residents for 21st century jobs.”
Wuhan’s plan to rehabilitate and revitalise the Yangtze River embankment will reduce localised pollution and make space for walking, cycling, green space, and recreation.
C40 received 174 applications from 92 cities which were assessed by a selection committee of urban sustainability and climate change experts at C40 and Sustainia which then identified 25 finalists.
Image: C40 climate action awards 2017
Source: Cities Today
This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.