News archive of the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission

The bicycle library broadens bicycle culture in Växjö

18.05.2020 - 11:20
Bicycle in Växjö
Fotbroms: a word synonymous with bicycle culture in Sweden. It means “foot brake” and like strawberries to midsommar, fotbroms is a necessary component of the type of bike most commonly sold in the country: “grandma bike” or “city bike”. While the simplicity of the “grandma bike” is attractive for many, the fact is that this bike can be limited when travel extends beyond shorter distances on flat, nicely paved bicycle paths. Factor in heavy shopping bags, children, gravel roads or a retired...

Rostock starts creating a cycle highway network

15.05.2020 - 12:47
First cycle highway inauguration
The first cycle highway in Rostock has been inaugurated on the 8th of May 2020. The first cycle highway (German: Radschnellweg) was ceremoniously handed over with great media attention. When the weather was fine, the Minister for Energy (federal state Mecklenburg – West Pomerania) Christian Pegel, Rostock’s Mayor Claus Ruhe Madsen, university rector Prof. Wolfgang Schareck and Rostock's Senator for Infrastructure Holger Matthäus inaugurated the one kilometre long section. Rostock steigt auf!...

Rostock goes multimodal

15.05.2020 - 12:41
Mobility point in Rostock
Rostock took a big step towards multimodal mobility. On Monday, 11th May, the City celebrated the opening of the first three mobility points, combining car sharing and cargo bike sharing. After two years of concept development and planning, in May 2020 the City opened the first three mobility points, called “mobilpunkt”. Located in the densely populated city centre, the mobility points provide space for car sharing and the brand new cargo bike sharing system HRO-BIKE that was introduced. An...

Sustainable urban mobility in Klaipėda

15.05.2020 - 10:37
Electric bus Dancer
First electric buses joined the public transport system in Klaipėda. There are now two first “Dancer” buses in use, produced in Klaipėda. Dancer can carry up to 93 passengers, it has 32 seats and a designated place for one handicapped passenger. Its body is made of composite materials that include recycled PET bottles. The electricity for Dancer buses is purchased exclusively from wind farms, according to the company.   The City of Klaipėda is very active in both developing urban mobility and...

Upper secondary school students in Turku challenge everyone to eat the Baltic Sea clean

14.05.2020 - 16:35
Baltic Sea Challenge
Turun suomalainen yhteiskoulu (TSYK) Upper Secondary School challenges schools in particular to eat the Baltic Sea clean on Baltic Sea Day 27 August 2020. The challenge was born out of the desire to work even harder for the wellbeing of the Baltic Sea and the Archipelago Sea. The Let’s eat the Baltic Sea clean! challenge is targeted particularly to schools and upper secondary education institutions. Businesses and communities are also encouraged to take part in the challenge for instance by...

The Linköping Initiative – where businesses and public organizations battle climate change together

14.05.2020 - 16:22
Linköping network to combat climate impact
The business community stands for a great amount of the carbon emissions in the world, but also for many of the solutions. In Sweden’s fifth largest city, Linköping, large businesses and other large organizations have joined forces to combat climate impact. The work aims to achieve the municipality's goal of becoming carbon dioxide neutral as early as 2025, but also to reduce the global climate impact overall. The network started in 2018 and when a new agreement for the next two years was...

How can we eat a park? – Urban farming in Kemi

14.05.2020 - 16:01
Urban farming in Kemi
The City of Kemi develops urban farming through a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund. To answer our question in the heading, we do not know yet, either – but we are planning an edible park in Kemi and we aim to discover the possibilities the edible park could offer our townspeople. Our goal is to initiate communal garden activities in the heart of our city. The idea of an edible park is that we grow plants such as vegetables, herbs, and berries in a setting that is open...

Successful water protection measures of the cities of Helsinki and Turku

14.05.2020 - 15:52
Baltic Sea
The Finnish cities of Helsinki and Turku have had a common water protection plan since 2007 within the Baltic Sea Challenge. The challenge encourages all actors and organizations of the Baltic Sea region to create their own action plans to improve the state of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki and Turku have revised their plan twice after the initiation of the cooperation in 2007. The water protection plan has been divided into five waves of action: Clear coastal waters, which aims at reducing the...

Better control of industrial sewage in the Baltic Sea Region – led by Helsinki

14.05.2020 - 15:40
WWTP Leszno
In summer 2018 the biological nitrogen treatment suddenly failed in a large wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Finland, and for almost two weeks excess amount of nitrogen was released to the Baltic Sea. The reason for the failure was a toxic chemical agent discharged to the sewer from an industrial company. Municipal wastewater treatment plants are primarily designed to treat domestic sewage, and therefore, industrial sewage can cause severe problems at the WWTPs unless properly pretreated by...

Returnable cup deposit system introduced in Greifswald

14.05.2020 - 15:34
Local returnable cups with Greifswald design
Greifswald started a returnable cup deposit system in autumn 2018. Today we can say that the deposit system is established and accepted. 24 000 returnable cups are in circulation in the city Trade is convinced of this system. At the start, 10 000 EUR of public money were taken in hand to support the first traders. 18 dealers were convinced of this approach and took part from the beginning. In September 2019, the municipal marketing company (initiator of the deposit system) received the Landtag...

Greifswald launched the first free cargo bike system

14.05.2020 - 15:16
Photo of the start of the free cargo bike system in front of the city hall
Greifswald is a bicycle city and with a bicycle traffic share of approx. 40% leading in Germany. As a city, we want to promote a sustainable change in mobility, and the environmental association can and must be further strengthened. In September 2019 we were able to start the first free cargo bike system in Greifswald with 3 bikes. The new offer was very well received right from the start, also because the loan process is very easy. Simply book on the website, pick up the bike and drive off....

All SUMPs Up for sustainable mobility in European cities! – Final event of the SUMPs-Up project

14.05.2020 - 15:01
SUMPsUP
“See this closing event as a launch to take the results further, to meet the challenges of the society” said Herald Ruijters, director of DG MOVE at the final SUMPs-Up event in Brussels on February 19th 2020. Little did we know what kind of challenge for our European societies was just around the corner. Just before Covid-19 forced the cancellation of all events, we concluded almost 4 years of SUMPs-Up project together with representatives from DG MOVE and INEA, but most important with six...

ECCENTRIC brings the “hot topics” of sustainable mobility to your desk!

14.05.2020 - 14:57
Webinar banner
The project launched a series of exciting topic webinars and will continue with it until the autumn. We started with the topics of Addressing vulnerable groups and gender issues in SUMP and Inclusion of peripheral neighbourhoods in SUMP already last year and continued with “Mobility stations for flexible and sustainable urban transport – the car-free lifestyle” in March,  where the city of Munich shared their experiences and lessons learned on drivers and barriers for mobility stations to...

Always look on the virtual side of life – cities.multimodal converged online

14.05.2020 - 14:53
CMM online meeting
cities.multimodal‘s 5th project meeting was naturally not spared from the unexpected circumstances caused by the current world situation. The project meeting that was planned to be held in Tartu (EST) and Pskov (RUS) was transformed into a virtual two-day project meeting held during 22nd and 23d of April. Despite not meeting in person the cities.multimodal consortium took part in different sessions using a variety of tools and methods. Some presentations that normally would have been given live...

Nutrient recycling from wastewater: developing regional strategy

14.05.2020 - 11:14
Nutrient recycling from sludge
Eutrophication, caused by excessive nutrients accumulated in the water, persistently remains the major threat to the Baltic Sea marine environment. However, while phosphorus is a recognized pollutant for the Baltic Sea region, it is also part of many organic molecules and is vital and irreplaceable for all lifeforms. With phosphorus being an essential and limited resource, its demand and production in the world are steadily increasing as the population grows. This trend influences the need to...

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