Ten cities for excellence in urban sustainability

Ten cities for excellence in urban sustainability

Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg: "Using innovative local approaches, cities are having an impact on climate change globally". 

Siemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) announced the winners of the inaugural City Climate Leadership Awards at a ceremony held this evening at the Crystal inLondon. The Awards honored ten cities for excellence in urban sustainability and leadership in the fight against climate change. The winning cities and their award categories are:

  • Bogota (Urban Transportation)
  • Copenhagen (Carbon Measurement & Planning)
  • Melbourne (Energy Efficient Built Environment)
  • Mexico City (Air Quality)
  • Munich (Green Energy)
  • New York City (Adaptation & Resilience)
  • Rio de Janeiro (Sustainable Communities)
  • San Francisco (Waste Management)
  • Singapore (Intelligent City Infrastructure)
  • Tokyo (Finance & Economic Development)

"The C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards are dedicated to the idea that cities – by refusing to wait for action from national governments and international bodies – can lead the way in addressing the risks posed by climate change," said C40 Chair, and Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg. "Using innovative local approaches, cities are having an impact on climate change globally. I congratulate the ten award recipients and look forward to seeing their projects progress and then spread across the C40 network and beyond."

"The world's cities are facing similar problems. And taken together they account for up to 70 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. We all know two things: the fight against climate change will be decided in cities. And it is through co-operations that we can tackle climate change. The City Climate Leadership Awards are a prime example of our successful cooperation with C40. It helps cities to optimize their performances and share their experiences. Its value is immeasurable," said Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens' Infrastructure & Cities Sector.

The newly created City Climate Leadership Awards gives global recognition to cities whose performance and expertise in climate action will serve as a platform for learning for other cities going forward. Highlights of the award winning initiatives will be showcased in the Sustainable Cities exhibition at the Crystal and in a forthcoming report. 

The award-winning cities were selected for the following actions:

Urban Transportation award recipient: Bogota for its efforts to green its Bus and Taxi fleets. Transmilenio, the City's Bus Rapid Transit system, launched in 2000 to transport over 70% of the City's population who travel daily by bus, has already achieved emissions reductions of over 350,000 tonnes annually. New efforts to replace the current diesel fleet with hybrid and full electric buses has started with the aim of reaching 100% conversion by 2024. And as a leader in Latin America, Bogota started an electric taxi cab pilot that promises to convert 50% of the city's fleet within the next 10 years.

Carbon Measurement & Planning recipient: Copenhagen for its 2025 Climate Plan, which lays out the path for the City to become the first carbon neutral capital city by 2025. While focusing on all sectors that comprise the City's carbon footprint, the plan sets ambitious targets and details strategies to achieve a significant reduction in building emissions – which comprise 75% of the city's total. All told, implementation of the Plan will reduce City emissions to 400,000 tons by 2025.

Energy Efficient Built Environment recipient: Melbourne for its Sustainable Buildings Program. This comprehensive approach brings together support for building owners and managers to complete energy & water retrofits with innovative city designed and managed property-tax-based financing to improve the energy and water efficiency of private commercial buildings in the City.

Air Quality recipient: Mexico City for its "ProAire" program, has over the last two decades recorded impressive reductions in local air pollution as well as CO2 emissions. The program's elements range from measures aimed at the reduction of industrial and automobile emissions, urban sprawl containment, to public awareness campaigns. Once ranked the most polluted city on the planet, Mexico City proves that long-term determination and a comprehensive approach can make a huge difference in the air quality of a megacity.

Green Energy recipient: Munich for its 100% Green Power by 2025 Plan. Munich is aiming to produce enough green electricity at its own plants by 2025 to meet the power requirements of the entire municipality of Munich — at least 7.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. This would make the capital of Bavaria the first city in the world with over a million inhabitants to run entirely on renewable power.

Adaptation & Resilience recipient: New York for its comprehensive and actionable plan "A Stronger, More Resilient New York,"which focuses on rebuilding the communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and buildings citywide. The 250 initiatives are not only bold proposals that can be implemented immediately: 60 will be achieved by the end of 2013 and $10 billion in funding has already been identified to support implementation.

Sustainable Communities recipient: Rio de Janeiro for its Morar Carioca Program -- a comprehensive urban revitalization strategy, which will invest in revitalization projects throughout the city with the aim of formalizing all of the city's favelas by 2020. With 55 projects already completed, this program is already having a direct impact on the environment, health and welfare of more 200,000 Rio residents, and will ultimately impact the more than 20% of Rio's population that currently live in informal settlements

Waste Management recipient: San Francisco for its zero waste program, which began in 2002 and includes comprehensive waste management reforms, and has resulted in an unprecedented 80% landfill diversion rate. An impressive 300 tons of food scraps are collected per day, and 100 million fewer plastic bags are being used every year, putting the city well on its path to achieving its ambitious "zero waste" goal by 2020.

Intelligent City Infrastructure recipient: Singapore for its Intelligent Transport System, which incorporates a range of "smart" transportation technologies, including one of the world's first Electronic Road Pricing Systems, real time traffic information delivered through GPS-enabled taxis, and a highly integrated public transportation system. These intelligent solutions allowSingapore to enjoy one of the lowest congestion rates of a city its size anywhere in the world. 

Finance & Economic Development recipient: Tokyo for its Cap and Trade Program, which became the world's first when it was launched in April 2010, requiring CO2 reductions from large commercial and industrial buildings. In its first year, the over 1,100 facilities participating reduced emissions by 13%, the following year an additional 10% reduction was achieved bringing total emissions reductions achieved to date to more than 7 million tons of CO2.

Sardinia 2021