News archive of the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission

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
“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...

UBC Cities in the forefront of climate action

14.05.2020 - 10:44
Sea shore
Cooperation between Union of the Baltic Cities and CDP for the last four years has been able to engage more than 25 of our member cities to consistently disclose their environmental data, demonstrate actions in climate change adaptation and mitigation in our region. Today over 850 cities around the world chose CDP to disclose their climate data and actions. Disclosing environmental data through CDP gives cities a number of advantages, from improved engagement of stakeholders within the city to...

European City Facility application for sustainable energy investments

14.05.2020 - 09:34
European City Facility application
Pursuing for sustainable energy investments? — The European City Facility application opens 25th of May! In line with the Paris Agreement and the 2030 goals for climate and energy set by the European Commission, there is a great need for cities, municipalities and local authorities to invest in sustainable energy and climate solutions. However, many public stakeholders struggle with limited human resources and capacity and overcoming financial barriers. Also, a lack of experience in developing...

Q&A with the cities: motivation, effects of COVID and benefits of green infrastructure

05.05.2020 - 14:20
3 speakers
How to adapt the stormwater system in your city to the climate change - this question was an umbrella for the discussion at the last UBC TALKS: stormwater on 28 April. However, some questions left unanswered: we share an interview with the experts from Copenhagen, Helsinki and Gdańsk on raising motivation for the change, effects of COVID and benefits of implementing green infrastructure in the cities.   — Is there motivation and political commitment to implement new stormwater solutions and...

UBC ASKS and the cities answer

29.04.2020 - 17:29
We are proud to present UBC ASKS, an interview series consisting of interviews with people with various connections to the UBC and the Baltic Sea Region. Along with the personal interviews three thematic videos were also made covering the benefits of being a UBC member city, important sustainable development topics and climate change risk factors. All the interviews can be found on the UBC ASKS page. This spring’s UBC ASKS interviews feature: Ms. Elina Rantanen | UBC Vice President, Chairwoman...

Key tips for CDP reporting from Lahti, Riga and Tartu

26.03.2020 - 09:43
During the third UBC TALKS webinar, we discussed about the possible benefits, obstacles and motivation for CDP disclosure. The city representatives shared their concrete tips for starting the disclosure in 2020 for UBC cities that have not yet disclosed to CDP platform. Since two of the three UBC cities presenting had achieved the score A, there is a lot to learn from their experiences. We encourage any city interested in getting started with disclosure to CDP to contact one of the cities who...

Update: CDP spring workshops will be held online!

13.03.2020 - 10:32
CDP has decided to move all disclosure workshops online this year. This is in response to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) global health crisis. CDP has assessed the situation carefully and decided this is the most responsible action to protect public health. Further details about the April-May 2020 virtual workshop will be announced shortly - CDP is currently devising the most effective virtual solution and will be in touch with all stakeholders, speakers and attendees to provide detailed...

CASCADE's mid-term review is now published

11.03.2020 - 13:26
Picture of a flood
CASCADE – Community Safety Action for Supporting Climate Adaptation and Development project is a unique, innovative project seeking to improve urban resilience in cities and towns, as well as the overall macro-regional resilience. CASCADE brings together civil protection specialists and climate change adaptation experts to jointly fight the impacts of climate change. CASCADE’s aim is to adapt existing risk assessment methodology to the climate change context and tailor it to the local level....

How to kick start the circular transition? Learnings from Circular Turku

02.03.2020 - 11:29
The City of Turku, Sitra and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability are releasing today the report Circular Turku: A blueprint for local governments to kick start the circular economy transition. This publication is a product of the “Circular Turku: Regional collaboration for resource wisdom” (2019-2021) project. With the support of Sitra, Turku and ICLEI are designing  a roadmap to operationalize circularity in the Turku region with the support of regional stakeholders.   Building on...