Tag Archive for: green city

Water, circular economy and mobility: Oslo is the Green Capital City 2019

Oslo, the capital city of Norway, won the European Green Capital Award for 2019. The city is surrounded by the Marka Forest, a nationally protected area, and the Oslo Fjord, both connected by a number of waterways.

The city’s waterways have been subject to a new revolutionary strategy which has completely reversed the previous approach of enclosing these channels. They are now being actively re-opened in order to make them accessible for people, to efficiently manage stormwater and facilitate development and restoration of habitat.

Tackling climate change is a high priority for Oslo. The city aims to cut emissions by 50% by 2020 (compared to 1990) and to be carbon neutral by 2050. Oslo has introduced a range of integrated measures to achieve these ambitious targets, for example, by promoting zero emissions transport. The city has become the ‘Electric Vehicle Capital of the World’ with 30% of all vehicles now sold in the city being electric.

Improvements in cycling and public transport infrastructure, the introduction of car free zones, and encouraging the use of electric vehicles, will not only help the city reach its climate goals, it will also greatly reduce air and noise pollution, and enhance the urban environment for its citizens.

Innovation and the promotion of new jobs in the circular economy is a priority for Oslo and the city is at the forefront of circular use of available resources. Biogas produced from bio-waste and city sewage is used to fuel city buses and waste trucks.

Oslo also established the ‘Business for Climate Network’ to foster cooperation between the business community, citizens and NGOs in addressing the impact business operations have on the climate.

In 2016, the city introduced a ‘Climate Budget’, an initiative consisting of 42 separate measures across three sectors: energy and the built environment, transport, and resources. Carbon Dioxide emissions are now being counted in the same way a financial budget would account for funding. The unique ‘Climate Budget’ is one of the main initiatives that the City of Oslo is driving to reach its goal of 50% emissions reduction by 2020.

 

Lisbon, European Green Capital 2020

The Portuguese city of Lisbon has won the European Green Capital Award for 2020. These prestigious titles were awarded by the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, at an awards ceremony in Nijmegen, the Netherlands – the current European Green Capital.

Lisbon receives a 350000 euros financial incentive from the European Commission to kick-start its green capital year.  Commissioner Vella said: “I am delighted to be awarding Europe’s green city awards for the eleventh time to a new champion of urban sustainability, and for the sixth and seventh time to smaller green cities. Globally we are faced with enormous environmental challenges. Climate change, over consumption, plastic waste and biodiversity loss are major threats to our cities and our future. It is heartening and inspiring to see such strong leadership from Lisbon, and other European Green Capital winners. With best practice environmental management, good urban planning, and citizens at the heart of their green transformation, they showed how to turn environmental challenges into opportunities, and make their cities healthy and enjoyable places to stay, live and work in.”

The Expert Panel highlighted that Lisbon is particularly strong in the field of sustainable land use, sustainable urban mobility (transport), green growth & eco innovation, climate change adaptation and waste: Lisbon was the first capital in Europe to sign the New Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy in 2016, after achieving a 50% reduction in C02 emissions (2002-14); reducing energy consumption by 23% and water consumption by 17% from 2007 to 2013;
It has a clear vision for sustainable urban mobility, with measures to restrict car use and prioritise cycling, public transport, and walking. In 2017 Lisbon launched a bike-sharing scheme, with electric bikes comprising two thirds of the fleet to encourage cycling in the hillier parts of the city; It has one of the world’s largest networks of electric vehicle charging points, while 39% of the municipal car fleet is electric; 93.3% of people in Lisbon live within 300 m of a frequent public transport service; 76% of people in Lisbon live within 300 m of green urban areas, and It has a strong commitment to sustainable land use with particular focus on establishing green infrastructure, or connected networks of green space, to counteract the effects of climate change, such as drought, extreme heat, and storm flooding.