Climate neutral urban development

For green, inclusive and socially just urban development

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, access to urban green spaces proved to be an important source of recreation and stress reduction, contributing to the physical and mental health and well-being of urban residents. Rarely has the importance of accessible green space been more relevant than in times when social distancing became an important measure to fight the spread of the virus. As a result, voices grew louder to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a starting point for sustainable urban transformation. Post-COVID urban transformation plans offer the opportunity to prioritize aspects of green urban development to help reduce CO2 emissions and achieve our climate goals, as well as strengthen the multiple social, health, economic and environmental functions of urban green space. These functions include increasing urban biodiversity, strengthening resilience to future climate-related risks, and reducing the vulnerability of urban populations. Urban greenery has a positive impact on the health and well-being of residents from all social groups. New smart technologies and innovative solutions can support green infrastructure planning. Participatory open space planning and concepts such as urban gardening and the greater integration of accessible green spaces in densly populated cities offer opportunities to raise awareness of the importance of public open and green spaces. In addition, green investments create jobs and make an important contribution to improving urban economic performance.

Another area where the COVID-19 pandemic led to fundamental changes is urban mobility. In response to the pandemic, many governments imposed lockdown measures to limit circulation, which resulted in an unprecedented surge of non-motorized travel, including cycling and walking. As opposed to that, the usage of public transport plummeted due to the potential risk of contagion. Having experienced reduced traffic and improved air quality, the motivation to promote more sustainable urban mobility has grown among local governments. Investing in sustainable travel systems, including active mobility infrastructure, safer and more accessible public and low-emissions transport can have a range of urban environmental, economic and health benefits.

Municipal actors worldwide have found innovative solutions to promote green urban development and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The task now is to strengthen these initiatives and discuss existing approaches and develop new ones through a fruitful exchange of knowledge and expertise.

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Photo (above): jamesteohart | shutterstocks

News & events

News

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Pop-up bike lanes: long-term opportunities for green urban development after the Covid-19 pandemic?

Pop-up bike lanes: long-term opportunities for green urban development after the Covid-19 pandemic?

02.09.2021

Invitation to an expert exchange as part of our event series "Insight Sessions: Post-COVID Urban…

Climate proof urban development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Climate proof urban development in Sub-Saharan Africa

01.09.2021

Review of the virtual meeting of the working group on climate change/climate-proof urban development…

Faster, more intense, with more devastating impacts: New IPCC report lays out the scientific basis of the climate emergency

Faster, more intense, with more devastating impacts: New IPCC report lays out the scientific basis of the climate emergency

13.08.2021

This ICLEI blog post gives it a good summary of the IPCC report, including comments from the ICLEI…

Early warning systems and disaster preparedness to protect against forest fires and preserve biodiversity

Early warning systems and disaster preparedness to protect against forest fires and preserve biodiversity

06.08.2021

Invitation to the virtual kick-off event of the Biodiversity and Environmental Protection Working…

Events

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Good practices and learning experiences

Good practices

Local Development Program for the City of Agadir in Morocco

06/12/2020

Agadir municipality has pursued ambitious policies aimed at enhancing the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants,…

 

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Waste Management in Vushtrri, Kosovo

Waste Management in Vushtrri, Kosovo

09.06.2021

An effective system even during the Pandemic

Streets for all – Glasgow's new avenues

Streets for all – Glasgow's new avenues

18.05.2021

More space for cyclists and a greener center in the Scottish capital

 

Reviews of virtual events

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Climate proof urban development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Climate proof urban development in Sub-Saharan Africa

01.09.2021

Review of the virtual meeting of the working group on climate change/climate-proof urban development…

Covid-19 and Urban Mobility

Covid-19 and Urban Mobility

05.08.2021

Impacts of the pandemic and prospects for a post-pandemic future.

Successful launch of the event series "Insight Sessions: Post-COVID Urban Futures"

Successful launch of the event series "Insight Sessions: Post-COVID Urban Futures"

30.07.2021

Review of the kick-off event on COVID-19 Recovery & SDG 11

Connective Cities' COVID-19 programme 2021

Connective Cities' COVID-19 programme 2021

27.07.2021

Urban practitioners working together on the municipal pandemic recovery

 
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