UBC Sustainability eBulletin 1/2016

Spring and summer expectations – focus on positive next steps

Dear UBC colleagues,

We are approaching summer again. More light, longer days and new projects describe the current atmosphere in the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission. During the last months, we started new projects with new and old partners. Our latest cross-border projects are focusing on integrated planning and partnership models, integrated storm water management and urban wastewaters. Recently, we also received information that our Horizon 2020 applications were successful. More about these projects later.

The last months have been inspiring when it comes to many UBC cities’ plans to reduce their carbon emissions. This fits in the global agenda, as the implementation of the Paris Declaration – taken at COP21 of the Paris Summit 2015 ­– puts a lot of pressure on our cities’ energy and mobility performance. Many UBC cities are already taking actions to become fossil-free or carbon-neutral in near future. We will do our best in supporting our member cities in this work. Our Commission had the first Advisory board meeting in Gdansk where much focus was put on Climate Smart Baltic Cities.

Important meetings will take place during upcoming months. The EU Commission will host the next European Maritime Days in Turku, 18–19 May. This is the main annual conference on Maritime policy in Europe.

UBC Sustainable Cities Commission will arrange a joint UBC Commission meeting together with two other UBC Commissions in Slupsk-Ustka, Poland, 15–17 June. The meeting will focus on Sustainable Safe Cultural Events (Festivals, Conferences). Expertise and experiences of member cities will be elaborated and hopefully lead to Good Practice Guidelines of Sustainable Cultural Events. We hope to see you in Slupsk-Ustka in June.

In between, we look forward to hear news from the member cities. We are interested in cities’ activities and achievements, political or practical, as well as in the possible challenges you hope to find solutions to. Take contact!

Björn Grönholm

18.05.2016 (All day)

The UBC Sustainable Cities Commission had the first Advisory board meeting in Gdansk 16–17 March. Ten members of advisory board came together to decide and discuss how our Commission will implement the UBC Sustainability Action Programme 2016 – 2021 and how the advisory board will work in the upcoming years.

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Three new UBC SCC proposals were granted funding last autumn: Baltic Urban Lab and iWater from the Central Baltic Programme and IWAMA from the Baltic Sea Region Programme. The last months have been busy in our office in getting started with these exciting projects.

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The key outputs of the CH4LLENGE project are available for download in 9 European languages! The SUMP Kits are available at CH4LLENGE project and Eltis websites.

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The European Green Leaf is a new European Commission prize that rewards small-sized cities for their commitment to sustainable urban planning. Winners of the European Green Leaf receive official recognition and are promoted across Europe as forerunners and role models for other cities.

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The City of Vaasa in Finland aims to be carbon-neutral by 2035. The vision of the City is “Vaasa, the Energy Capital of the North”. On 1st February 2016, the City Council approved the ambitious Energy and Climate Programme, which forms the basis of Vaasa’s climate actions. The city becoming carbon-neutral is one of the targets of this Programme, and this means that the city will give up fossil energy and replace it with renewable sources and emit only as much carbon dioxide as it binds into the atmosphere.

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CDP runs the world’s largest climate change reporting system, with more than 5 500 companies, 300 cities, and 60 states and regions reporting data annually. The UBC Sustainable Cities Commission encourages the member cities to take part in the reporting.

Cities are advised to use the CDP’s Online Response System (ORS). The system is open for cities' responses until 15th of May 2016.

Participating in CDP will provide value to your city in a number of ways: 

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