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C40 Calls for Public-Private Collaboration to Create Sustainable, Carbon-Neutral Cities

Image credit: Matheus Torrezon

In a bid to accelerate carbon neutral and resilient urban regeneration, 15 C40 cities have launched the C40 Reinventing Cities initiative. C40 and participating Reinventing Cities invite architects, urban planners, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, startups, neighborhood collectives, innovators and artists to collaborate and compete for the opportunity to transform these sites into new beacons of sustainability and resiliency.

The program will be rolled out across 45 underutilized spaces in Auckland, Cape Town, Chicago, Houston, Lima, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Quito, Reykjavik, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and San Francisco, such as several empty plots and abandoned buildings, a former airport, historical mansions, underused car parks and an abandoned incinerator and landfill.

“We are excited to collaborate with C40 on this hugely important initiative. We need to significantly accelerate climate action and foster innovation that can lead to radical transformations in a timely way. That means catalyzing innovation that changes the way we live, joined up and scaled up to help us stay within a 2˚C global warming threshold,” said Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of Climate. “Here we can trial and implement systemic innovation connecting technology, infrastructure, governance and behavior, leveraging the interactions between them to drive zero-carbon change.”

The competition aims to serve as a model for cities around the world, demonstrating the power of public-private partnerships in shaping a future characterized by healthier, more sustainable and economically viable urban development. It draws inspiration from the successful Reinventing Paris scheme launched by Mayor of Paris and C40 Chair Anne Hidalgo. Today, 22 public spaces, covering 250,000 square meters are being transformed across the French capital.

“Think local, act global, is the 21st-centurystate of mind. By launching this global competition, we make this philosophy very concrete celebrating the most vibrant innovative solutions to environmental challenges,” said Hidalgo. “Reinventing Cities will set new standards of sustainability in cities and who better than our citizens to imagine the future of their cities? I am convinced that the winning projects will surprise us all and present innovations we are unable to imagine today.”

The competition’s criteria will favor bids from creative teams that deliver innovative climate solutions in combination with striking architecture and tangible benefits for the local community. The deadline for applications is midnight on April 20, 2018.

“Cape Town is facing one of the worst droughts in recorded history. The long-term sustainability of our city depends on our ability to plan ahead, use innovative technologies and foster and acute awareness of how we use scarce resources,” said Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of Cape Town.

“As such, we are excited to participate in the C40 Reinventing Cities Program. Our application consists of five City-owned sites which will be made available to the private sector for the design and implementation of carbon-neutral development demonstration projects. The future of our city must be built on partnerships between the local government and businesses where we work together in delivering developments that are sustainable and economically viable, while at the same time improving the living standards for all.”

The launch of the program follows the recent commitment made by 25 pioneering cities to develop and begin implementing more ambitious climate action plans by 2020 to deliver emissions-neutral and climate-resilient cities by 2050. Pledging cities include Reinventing Cities participants Cape Town, Mexico City, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Quito, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. 

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