Marketplace of ideas

Torres Vedras, Portugal

In European urban areas cars are the major source of air pollutants and greenhouses gas emissions. They are also the main cause of noise and occupy a significant share of the public space. With the objective to reduce the number of cars in the city, Torres Vedras launched a new mobility solution – an integrated public bike-sharing system called "Agostinhas".

Malmö, Sweden

The project “BiodiverCity” was carried out in Malmö in 2012-2014. The project aimed to increase urban biodiversity by creating new products, services and processes for greener cities. The project's goal was to create permanent demonstrations for the dissemination of innovative solutions for urban greenery.

Mexico City, Mexico

The barter market project “Mercado del Trueque” was established in Mexico City in 2012 with the aim to raise Mexico City’s residents’ awareness of the importance of recycling and local consumption. The barter market is held monthly and enables citizens to exchange clean and separated household solid waste for locally produced agricultural food.

Güssing, Austria

In 1990 the City of Güssing decided to put the vision of becoming 100% fossil fuel free and energy self-sufficient into practice. About 15 years later the City generates twice the electricity demand of the city’s private households, public buildings and industries and also about 85% of the heating demand is covered. Both have been achieved via decentralized local energy production using renewable sources available in the region (especially wood, biomass and solar).

Istanbul, Turkey

As a member of ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International Europe) the Turkish Airports company TAV Airports Holding committed to reduce the carbon emissions in June 2008. In June 2009 ACI EUROPE launched the Airport Carbon Accreditation global standard for carbon management at airports. The programme aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via carbon and energy management. TAV Airports Holding is also a member of this Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme. The company operates four airports in Turkey, including Istanbul Ataturk International Airport.

Çanakkale, Turkey

Akcansa is a cement company owned by Sabanci Holding and Heidelberg Cement Mediterranean Basin Holdings. It is the largest cement producer in Turkey. The cement industry is responsible for 5% of human based GHG emissions. 50% of these emissions arise from production processes, 40% from fuel consumption, 10% from electricity consumption and transportation. The Akcansa cement plant located in Canakkale constructed a waste heat recovery plant with 15.2 MW capacity which recovers waste heat as electrical energy.

Hamburg, Germany

The BIQ (Bio Intelligent Quotient) house in Hamburg represents the world’s first pilot project for the implementation of a bio-reactive façade in residential buildings. The bio-reactive façade, called SolarLeaf, absorbs CO2 emissions while cultivating microalgae to generate biomass and heat as renewable energy sources.

Bristol, UK

The city of Bristol has implemented an alternative currency system designed to support Bristol’s local economy and reduce environmental footprints of long supply chains. The Bristol Pound was launched in 2012 as a voluntary system based on the citizen's commitment to support the value of living in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable city.  It is the UK’s first citywide local currency, the first to have electronic accounts managed by a regulated financial institution and the first that can be used to pay local taxes. 

Bogota, Colombia

TransMilenio is Bogotá’s sustainable mass urban transport system based on a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme. It is the BRT with the highest passanger capacity worldwide. The objective of the project is to establish a safe, efficient, rapid, comfortable and effective modern mass transit system that ensures high levels of passenger transportation. 

Malmö, Sweden

Hyllie is the largest development area in Malmö, and is planned to become the most climate smart district of the entire Öresund region, including 9,000 homes when completed. In this district, solutions will be tested that can act as role models and good examples for the rest of Malmö and for other cities.

Wimbish, UK

The Code for Sustainable Homes plays a key role in building a future housing stock which both meets citizens’ needs and protects the environment. It represents the basis for future developments of the Building Regulations in UK in relation to carbon emissions and energy use in homes. The Code is the national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes. A specific case of its application is the development of fourteen homes in Wimbish, near Saffron Walden (Essex), in south-east England.

Denver, USA

The funding scheme of Denver's Arapahoe Protected Bike Lane project was not standard. After acquiring a certain amount of US$ from private sector donors it was decided to collect the remaining amount of US$ for project implementation using crowdfunding. This was decided as crowdfunding has proven to be a very successful way not only for financing but to raise citizen's awareness.

Grenoble, France

The City of Grenoble is actively engaged in the implementation of sustainable development policies and practices. Grenoble took advantage of the realization of an innovative district scaled project finished in 2008, for implementing a monitoring programme which aimed at assessing the effective energy efficiency achieved in an every-day life situation. The De Bonne District in the City of Grenoble was the first urban eco-district in France.

Rostock, Germany

As a district heating network is more efficient and less air-polluting than having single oil-fired furnaces, every household in Rostock has the obligation to connect to the heating network, unless other environmentally friendly heating systems were installed. The Rostock district heating network is currently based on a combined heat and power (CHP) natural gas plant and on waste heat from a bituminous coal power plant. It will change to renewables as soon as the existing plants need to be replaced.

Bogota, Colombia

The Doña Juana Landfill in the District Capital of Bogotá  involves landfill gas capture (LFG), flaring treatment and use for thermal energy production on-site or in nearby industries. The landfill provides a solution for the disposal of around 2 million tons of household solid waste. The technology applied in the project activity is the combustion of the landfill gas captured at the landfill gas network, using different processes like direct flare in burners or gas-to-energy reciprocating engine use for electricity production.

Mexico City, Mexico

EcoBici, Mexico City’s bike sharing programme, was launched in 2010 to increase cycling while simultaneously reducing traffic congestion and transport related greenhouse gas emissions within the city. Bikes placed at several stations are able to be used for transportation within the city when users register and pay a small fee. 

Bologna, Italy

ecoBUDGET, an environmental management tool designed specifically for local authorities, has been adopted by the City of Bologna in 2001. Through the use of ecoBUDGET, the traditional financial budgeting system of the city has been complemented by an environmental budget, which measures natural resources instead of money. The main aim of ecoBUDGET is to keep the use of environmental resources within set limits. 

Curitiba, Brazil

In the first phase of EcoElétrico, in place since June 2014, a fleet of 12 shared electric vehicles and 10 charging stations, demonstrating a pilot e-mobility concept, are used by the Municipality of Curitiba. The fleet and charging stations are connected and monitored via an online mobility and energy management platform (“”). The “” platform continuously monitors all charging stations and vehicle movements and thus allows drawing conclusions on the impact of the new intelligent e-mobility-concept in real time. 

Berlin, Germany

The high-tech prototype Efficiency House Plus with Electromobility is a compact and glazed two-storey house based on the newest energy standards, which generates its own energy for user consumption and vehicle charging. It is the prototype smart building developed within the framework of Germany's new energy-efficient construction program, which intends to test the latest construciton and energy components on buildings in real-world conditions.

Paris, France

The City of Paris, together with the Île-de-France region, was the first major European city, which successfully deployed a public electric car-sharing program. The program started in 2011 with an initial fleet of 250 eco-friendly electric 'Bluecars'. The program today (2015) has more than 3,000 cars operating on the streets of Paris and within the whole region. There are around 860 Autolib stations where users can subscribe, pick up or drop off the cars. As well, there are 4,400 parking spaces and charging points reserved exclusively for ”Bluecars”. 

Rostock, Germany

The Rostock Energy Alliance (Energiebündnis Rostock) was founded in April 2011 by the City of Rostock and nine other municipal stakeholders from sectors such as public transport, housing and waste and water management. Their united goal is a locally based energy supply fully sourced from renewables. While CO2 emissions should be reduced, quality of life should not. The Alliance meets face-to-face biannually to exchange knowledge and experience, as well as to seek synergies for various constituent activities.

Bolzano, Italy

The refurbishment and raising of the former post office building in Bolzano, now used by the South Tyrol state administration, were designed in accordance with “CasaClima” requirements, an Italian energy certification for sustainable and passive buildings. This concretely demonstrates the role that local administration can assume in exemplifying the potential for energy-saving. 

Geneva, Switzerland

The TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) bus planned to be running a full bus route in the city of Geneva takes only 15 seconds to charge during stationing time at a bus stop. In the time that it takes for passengers to get on and off the bus, a laser-guided arm sends 600 kW straight into onboard lightweight batteries with a brand-new flashing technology developed by engineers at ABB, a leading global technology company in power and automation. The charge allows for the propulsion until the next bus / next charging station. Since May 2013, the city is successfully running a pilot and plans to operate the full bus line by 2018.

Milan, Italy

Food waste is collected in Milan in special biodegradable bags and transferred to an anaerobic digestion plant which generates biogas and compost.Thanks to the high involvement of citizens, the current recycling rate of food waste in Milan is already above the EU target of 50% by 2020.

Fort Collins, USA

FortZED (Fort Collins Zero Energy District) focuses on the downtown area of Fort Collins and aims to transform it into a zero energy district. On the path to a better energy future, FortZED combines technology developed by university researchers, city utility experts and businesses. The project offers a testing ground to experiment with new sustainable energy technologies thus supporting Fort Collins in its movement towards a more efficient and sustainable future.