Sustainable Cities Bulletin 4/2018

Dear UBC colleagues,

When writing this, we are at the same time following the COP24 meeting in Katowice Poland. Discussions on the use of fossil fuels are heating and traffic is a hot topic in many countries. For our cities, this is an important question in building and shaping our cities for the next 30 – 40 years. When the IPCC report from this autumn increased the concern for our common future a lot, it is important to strongly believe in our potential of making an efficient and sustainable change. Let us never fall into fatalistic thinking!

The year 2018 has been successful for the work of our UBC Sustainable Cities Commission. The activity has been hectic but result-oriented. Our projects have produced a lot of tools, methods, reports and events for supporting the development work in our cities. I sincerely hope that You will study and use these products that have been built and tested by experts in our cities.

The year 2019 will be an active year when it comes to events. At the end of January, the IWAMA project will have its final conference in Turku, in 5 – 7 February we are starting a new project focusing in on combining urban smart climate planning with Civil Protection in Hamburg. In 21 – 22 March, we will be present discussing actions for reducing eutrophication of the Baltic Sea in St Petersburg. In 9 – 10 April, several of our projects will be presenting results in the INTERREG Baltic Sea Region Programme Conference in Lubeck. In May,  we will organise our Joint UBC Sustainable Cities Commission and Planning City Commission meeting in Jurmala. In 4 – 6 June, we will meet up in Gdansk for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Summit and later in autumn, we will all meet in the UBC General Conference 15 – 18 October in Kaunas. Also, there will be a vast number of project meetings.

The focus in 2019 will be much on looking into the future EU Policies and funding possibilities, as we need to cooperate and act smart to find solutions for many of our development processes in our cities. Acting together is Smart!

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for your valuable input and dedication during this year in projects and events and in the cooperation and making our Baltic Sea Region better! I Wish You All a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful New Year 2019!


Björn Grönholm
Head of Secretariat 
Union of the Baltic Cities - Sustainable Cities Commission 
30.01.2019 (All day)
21.03.2019 (All day)

The BSR WATER platform project has successfully kicked-off in Riga last week! Three-day event involved careful planning of the upcoming years of platform project implementation based on the expertise of partners, focuses of involved projects and indicated aims to achieve through the platform cooperation.

As an essential path toward more integrated, resilient and sustainable urban development, brownfield regeneration (redeveloping underutilized areas of a city) has the potential to both limit the urban sprawl and promote investment to restore the land that has been contaminated by industrial activity.

Solar boats on the river Ryck – makes electric mobility on water coming alive for inhabitants and guests of the city. This year Greifswald took a new approach with the traditional sailing festival because they had a tradional sailer (climate sailing tour) in Greifswald with young people dealing with climate questions on board.

The cities.multimodal project looks back on a busy first year. The partner cities conducted a comprehensive preparatory analysis incl. interviews with stakeholders, collected statistical data on their pilot area and implemented a survey among their citizens in order to get to know the mobility situation and behavior in their cities. The outcomes are now published as fact sheets on our website– take a look!

Good news for cities developing Sustainable Urban Mobility plans! CIVITAS SUMPs-Up is looking for up to 25 planning authorities to join the 5th SUMP learning programme (SLP) which starts in May 2019.

Climate change impacts cities everywhere. The blazing wildfires, heavy rains that cause large-scale flooding and fluctuating temperatures are some examples of the climate-related risks that need to be anticipated and prepared for in order to reduce their impact on our cities.  As most of the cities of UBC are located in the somewhat close vicinity of the Baltic Sea or a lake/river, the issues regarding sea level rise and flooding are of uttermost importance.

The CIVITAS SUMPs-Up project offers a series of free e-courses to anyone interested in learning more about sustainable urban mobility planning.