News archive of the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission

Three UBC cities active in NonHazCity – minimizing emissions of hazardous substances from urban areas in the Baltic Sea Region since 2016

13.02.2020 - 09:09
NonHazCity project logo with an drawing of a hand and project name
UBC member cities of Riga, Pärnu and Gdansk are participating in an interesting project that aims to minimise the emissions of hazardous substances from the urban areas in our region.  The Baltic Sea environment assessment by HELCOM has shown that hazardous substances (HS) leaking into the marine environment is an issue of major concern. These leaks occur through three main pathways: industrial wastewater, municipal wastewater and stormwater. Consumption-related diffuse sources, including...

CASCADE about to publish it's mid-term review

12.02.2020 - 13:36
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....

The city of Tartu involves 8th graders in mobility project management

12.02.2020 - 11:31
Pupils from Tartu
Involving citizens in the development and planning of multimodal city quarters is crucial for achieving a high level of well-being in a city. In the cities.multimodal project the partner cities are testing different kinds of citizen involvement methods targeting a wide range of citizens. The city of Tartu (EE) has partnered up with the local M.Reinik School (grades 1-9) and three local stakeholders for organising a Mobility Project Management course for 8th graders of the M. Reinik School. The...

Växjö seeks to meet societal challenges and the SDGs with digital innovation

11.02.2020 - 15:44
Picture from Växjö's DIACCESS project
Växjö has been selected as one of the 20 projects in the 4th round of the Urban Innovation Programme (UIA) which is an EU funded initiative geared towards finding world unique solutions for sustainable urban development. The DIACCESS (Digital Acceleration for Medium Sized Sustainable Cities​) project aims on bringing together municipal services with digital innovators to jointly and in close cooperation with citizens and end-users develop highly effective and relevant digital solutions to meet...

Turku and Helsinki take part in the Baltic Sea Challenge - what about your city?

11.02.2020 - 15:20
SDG impact assessment tool of Turku and Helsinki in Baltic Sea Challenge
The Baltic Sea Challenge is a network initiative that invites organisations to commit in protecting the Baltic Sea and their local waters, to building their own Baltic Sea Action Plan and to implementing it. In 2019 there are already 300 member organisations in the network from the countries around the Baltic Sea. Even though the initiative was started by the cities of Helsinki and Turku in Finland, it exists especially owing to and for its member organisations. The preparation for the Baltic...

Linköping will be the first to develop a city wide MaaS-operation

11.02.2020 - 15:02
Vehicles in Linköping
The Swedish Energy Agency has granted six million Swedish crowns for a new mobility service to be launched in Linköping. Eight stakeholders will collaborate to build a user friendly digital platform which aims to increase the use of sustainable mobility services. An app will make it easy for the citizens of Linköping to have a comprehensive view of the supply of both public transport offerings and the available shared modes of mobility. It will also become easier to choose between and pay for...

Kemi - the first Finnish mainland municipality to achieve an environmental certificate!

11.02.2020 - 14:55
Certificate and golden broom
A year has gone by since municipality of Kemi did something different, something that no other Finnish Mainland municipality has done. We got an environmental certificate ISO 14001:2015. The certificate was issued by the Bureau Veritas Certification. We had a goal to go through the entire municipality’s functions from an environmental perspective. The objectives that were set for the quality and environmental system are continuously monitored and measured. We did not certificate the entire...

Call for interest: Host a UBC SCC event in your city!

11.02.2020 - 14:51
Banner meeting formats
It’s a new decade and time to renew ourselves and reactivate our UBC network. The most important element of our network is our members: the cities and municipalities around the Baltic Sea Region. We want to engage you and your city in new ways of meeting and cooperating. Hereby we are launching a call for interest to host a UBC SCC event in your city! Improve your city – Thematic event Cities often struggle with finding pleasing solutions for local sustainability issues and problem areas. That...

Pilot Mobility Management Campaign in Local Schools in Karlskrona

11.02.2020 - 14:36
Children in Karlskrona learning about mobility
As part of their Mobility Management efforts in the Cities.multimodal project, UBC member Karlskrona has carried out the first part of their pilot campaign directed towards the mobility of children. The first part has involved visiting local school classes and informing about traffic rules, sustainable mobility and the importance of visibility when engaging in active mobility in the winter darkness. The most exciting part was of course the competition in which the classes competed to see which...

Turning potato peels to biogas – Jyväskylä now powered by the circular economy

11.02.2020 - 13:43
Biogas bus in Jyväskylä
In 2019, Jyväskylä’s efforts to introduce circular economy practices in the local area were recognised with an Association of Finnish Municipalities, Finnish Environment Institute and Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra circular economy prize. The city’s commitment to using biogas is perhaps the most high profile aspect of the shift towards greater sustainability. A renewable, local and emission-free source of energy, biogas links everyone within the local authority area with the circular economy....

Biochar based filtration improves city storm water quality in Helsinki

11.02.2020 - 11:30
Stormwater filtration site in Helsinki
In Helsinki, population of naturally breeding sea trout has been restored in many streams. Contaminated urban storm waters threaten these populations, and thus,  special attention needs to be paid to quality of storm waters discharged into these streams. City of Helsinki wanted to tackle one special hot spot causing threat to the trout population in Haaganpuro stream. A small industry area discharging its storm waters directly into Haaganpuro stream has caused several dangerous situations, in...

Sustainable stormwater management: addressing the challenges

30.01.2020 - 15:49
rain garden
Due to the climate change, Baltic Sea Region is facing more frequent and heavier rainfalls, heavily affecting densely built and inhabited urban areas. Cities need to deal with the common challenge of stormwater flooding that may lead to environmental degradation, infrastructure damage or risks to human safety. Such challenge requires a holistic, comprehensive and knowledge-based approach to stormwater management in the whole region. Part of the work in BSR WATER – Platform on Integrated Water...

5 tips for organizing a perfect event

22.01.2020 - 12:13
plastic bottle on the shore
During the UBC Talks on marine litter we discussed how four of UBC member cities organize their events for cleaning the coasts and beaches of the Baltic Sea. Participants from Rostock, Saint Petersburg, Tallinn and Turku shared their views. What does it take to organize a perfect campaign and how to involve citizens? Here are 5 tips for organizing the events – even if you’re doing it for the first time! 1. Attract young generation and focus on local communities Tallinn: Raise the understanding...

CDP invites cities to join City-Business Climate Alliance

13.01.2020 - 14:25
City Business Climate Alliance Guide front cover, city landscape and text
The City-Business Alliance is a joint initiative of C40 cities, CDP and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) designed to accelerate climate action through city-business collaboration. Complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) form before 20 January 2020 here. Download the guide for developing successful collaborations here.  The City-Business Climate Alliance is a global two-tier network of cities and businesses designed to create systemic change through data-driven,...

Marine litter campaigns in Baltic cities 2020

10.01.2020 - 12:00
plastic bottle on the shore
Marine litter is one of the most prominent challenges when it comes to the living and recreational coastal areas, be it coast of the Baltic Sea or shore of a lake or a river. Campaigns to address the problem of marine litter are a great way to bring attention to this issue, raise awareness of citizens and boost citizen involvement in the local sustainability actions. These campaigns can also benefit international cooperation through supporting transboundary organisations with local information...

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