18 June 2012. As cities account for 60-80 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), efficient urban mitigation policies are crucial to move towards climate neutrality. In order to promote knowledge-sharing on key measures to reduce GHG in cities, the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), along with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Institut d'Aménagement et d'Urbanisme de la Région d'Île-de-France, organized a workshop on Compact City: A Model for Sustainable Urban Development and Green Growth, in Paris, France, on 14 June 2012.
During the workshop, participants discussed their joint visions and approaches to promoting sustainable urban development through better spatial planning and coordination of actions of different levels of authorities and stakeholders. Key-note speakers at the workshop included representatives of the City of Amsterdam and the city of Paris; Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements.
Furthermore, UNECE presented its newly published report Climate Neutral Cities - How to Make Cities Less Energy and Carbon Intensive and More Resilient to Climatic Challenges. This report addresses relevant thematic challenges and proposes action for five priority sectors. It includes recommendations for: producing low-carbon energy through renewable energy, waste and cogeneration of heat and power; retrofitting existing buildings to be energy-efficient and building new building that are “net-zero” or “plus-energy”; integrated living, working, shopping, entertainment, recreation and green spaces; developing comprehensive bicycle routes; and minimizing waste and increasing recycling. The study seeks to provide with a city roadmap to climate neutrality.
The workshop marks the start of a systematic cooperation between UNECE, OECD and other international organizations on the issues of sustainable urban development. The next workshop on sustainable urban development is planned for November 2012 in Geneva.