Marketplace of ideas

Dübendorf, Switzerland

Forum Chriesbach, a high-tech research and development center near Zurich, exemplifies how “green buildings”, which consume a minimum amount of energy, water, and other resources, need not conflict with unique ambiance, comfort of the users, nor with architectural expression. Forum Chriesbach shows that “green buildings” need not be an exception, but that they can become mainstream, state-of-the-art, contemporary architecture.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

One of the central projects of Rio de Janeiro´s City Government is the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the city. A set of coordinated planning tools has been developed for defining sustainable and low-carbon goals and implementing concrete mitigation actions within the city. Within these strategies, Rio has also prepared a detailed GHG inventory, and developed a basic tool to calculate GHG emissions of a city in a consistent way and to identify the most effective GHG mitigation actions.

Copenhagen, Denmark

In 2008 Copenhagen Municipality implemented a Green-Roof policy programme to tackle challenges such as impacts of climate change, increasing density and the need for healthier neighbourhoods. Green roofs are unique combinations of technical installations and ecosystems enabling cities to benefit from green areas without reducing development sites. 

Guangyuan, China

Guangyuan City, a less developed city in southeast China, suffered great loss in the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake. In the re-construction period, the city has set up the "low carbon re-construction and development" goal and generally found a good way towards sustainable city development. Its experience with low carbon development is especially precious for other under-developed areas.

Milan, Italy

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is changing the built environment through the LEED green building certification program. The aim is to spread the concept of sustainable building and to promote good practices of design and construction. Habitat Lab was built at an existing site, blending renovation and new construction to create a 1,200 square meter facility with the goal of achieving LEED certification standards. It involves some building solutions and technologies to help ensure an optimal combination of operational efficiency, indoor comfort, and sustainability. 

Évora, Portugal

Inovgrid is an innovative pilot smart-grids project that was implemented in the city of Évora (Inovcity). The initiative provides smart meters to the electricity consumers’ resident in Évora, free of cost. These smart meters collect data about individual consumption profiles and collective grid demands. After a few years of data collection this project enables and optimizes the smooth integration of decentralized energy generation, and electric vehicles (charging infrastructure) into the grid. 

Cascais, Portugal

The smart waste management system implemented in the municipality of Cascais combines the use of underground waste containers with a technology of remote fill-level sensors. While underground waste containers reduce visual impacts and maximize the use of urban space, remote fill-level sensors installed in these containers enable to trigger and manage a smart collection when these are nearly full.

Cape Town, South Africa

The integrated waste management facility Kraaifontein was opened in the northern suburbs of Cape Town in 2011. As “first of its kind” in South Africa it constitutes a benchmark for integrated waste management, incorporating various waste treatment facilities at one location. Collected at source, waste is brought to the facility and processed further. Incoming waste is sorted, chipped, recycled, and transported to landfilling, etc. The facility also offers also a public drop-off and is equipped with a conference centre.

Shanghai, China

In order to help China achieve its 2010 commitment to reduce its carbon intensity by 40% and to realise a 15% share of non-fossil fuels in energy consumption by 2020, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced a partnership with China’s cities to implement its Low Carbon City Initiative (LCCI) project. In 2008 Shanghai became one of the first two Chinese cities to join the LCCI project. The project sets its objective on green city development through energy efficiency, renewable energy and technologies that reduce carbon emissions.

Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen City was the first Special Economic Zone and opening-up window of China. In the past 35 years, the city has witnessed a continuous and amazingly fast economic development. Since 2010, Shenzhen has put more and more great efforts into low-carbon city construction. Clear and achievable goals were set up and all kinds of effective measures indented to reach these goals were taken, including the foundation of a carbon trading system in 2013.

Hangzhou, China

China is currently facing the predicament that greenhouse gas emissions are increasing with the growth of the economy. In order to enable transition from the old development mode into a new low-carbon approach, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) started a low-carbon pilot program in 2010. Hangzhou has been selected as one of the pilot cities to implement a “low-carbon city pilot project”.

Manchester, UK

The pioneering shared plan to tackle climate change “Manchester: a Certain Future (MACF)” is an integrated plan that defines the main actions by which Manchester will tackle climate change until 2020.

Istanbul, Turkey

The Marmaray railway public transportation system was opened in 2013 in Istanbul. Transportation has been a major problem for Istanbul for many years, especially transportation between the two sides of the city - Asia and Europe - has been a real challenge. Before Marmaray has been implemented the two sides have been connected only by highways (2 Bosporus bridges) and sea transit ferries. The high-tech construction methods used for the Marmaray project helped creating smart solutions for specific challenges in cities.

Ankara, Turkey

METU (the Middle East Technical University) is located in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. It includes a technopark for R&D companies. The maintaining of open green areas in the technopark and the university is an important issue, which is however costly. In order to decrease the irrigation costs and increase water efficiency, a water treatment facility was constructed at the campus. The operation of this system helps to treat wastewater and to reuse it for irrigation. This system saves 150,000 € annually for the technopark.

Lisbon, Portugal

Driven by the growing dependence on oil for energy and by the huge environmental impact of the use of fossil fuels, Portugal is investing in new sustainable energy models for mobility that aim to improve quality of life in cities. This has led to the creation of the Electric Mobility Network, an integrated network linking various charging stations in Portugal, which enables electric vehicles to recharge, using a specific charging card.

São Paulo, Brazil

Through the campaign Movimento Conviva, the municipality of São Paulo, in partnership with Bradesco Seguros Group, brought the idea of developing temporary leisure cycling ways to the city in 2009, aiming to provide more leisure options for citizens during weekends and to promote respect and integration of this transport mode.

Helsinki, Finland

The on-demand bus service Kutsuplus has been designed in response to Helsinki’s aspiration to make car ownership pointless and to transform the city’s existing public transport network into a new form of a “user-centred mobility on demand” system. Operational between 2013 and 2015, Kutsuplus was an intelligent and comfortable mini-bus service, whose routes were determined by customers.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka has envisioned a strategy for zone-wise waste management through a network of decentralised composting plants and the establishment of successful partnerships with the government, private sector and residents. With its emphasis on recycling and resource recovery, this model has improved the urban environment and the quality of lives of poor people living in slums.

Qingdao, China

Qingdao, China's sailing city has great determination to solve problems as growing population and increasing emissions from transportation and energy consumption sectors. Following the "one industry, one industrial park, one enterprise and one district" concept as pilot promotion the city is progressing steadily on its way to low carbon and sustainable development.

Awutu Senya East (District), Polokwane

Urbanization rates in Africa are the highest in the world, and the delivery of services in most Sub-Saharan countries is inadequate to keep up with increasing needs. Supporting African Municipalities in Sustainable Energy Transitions (SAMSET) is an EPSRC/DFID/DECC funded project that seeks to develop a knowledge exchange framework to support local and national bodies involved in municipal energy planning for an effective transition to sustainable energy use in urban areas.

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco city is implementing an innovative and comprehensive group of policy initiatives along with incentive programs to improve the energy and environmental performance of new and existing buildings, denominated as “Green Building Program”. Under this program, innovative ordinances have imposed green building requirements for residential and commercial buildings newly constructed and for the renovations of the existing buildings. Subsequently, California's Building Standards Commission developed in 2010 the California Green Building Standards Code designated by "CAL Green". 

Singapore, Singapore

Singapore is one of the world’s leaders in urban greenery on buildings. In 2009, the National Parks Board of Singapore developed the Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme (SGIS), which promotes greenery on high- rise buildings, and thus contributes towards Singapore ́s vision of a City in a Garden.

Graz, Austria

To guarantee the broad participation of stakeholders and citizens in the Smart City urban area of Waagner Biro in Graz, a Smart City district management was established in 2013. It is run by StadtLABOR Graz and serves as an information hub between citizens, local companies, the City of Graz and the other twelve consortia members of the project.

Istanbul, Turkey

The SMILE project was the first action addressing electronic waste disposal in Istanbul. Before the project started, the departments of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) were not qualified for waste disposal and the citizens of Istanbul had low awareness on this issue. SMILE supported the implementation process of national electronic waste disposal regulation, which was legislated recently, but not implemented yet. It aimed to collect electronic waste, to repair devices if possible, to create an inventory of collected materials and to determine the pieces that could be recycled.

Barcelona, Spain

The Superblocks project, designed by the Municipality of Barcelona in collaboration with the Urban Ecology Agency, represents an innovative planning approach for addressing urban challenges such as mobility, public space, biodiversity and social cohesion. Superblocks are territorial units imagined as bigger than one block of the dense Barcelona´s urban matrix with strict grid pattern, but still smaller than a whole neighbourhood.