ALLIANCE CITY CHALLENGES
Cities set the course of the Alliance by deciding the topics and challenges to be addressed. Annual challenge support cycles provide the expertise, partnerships and collaborative space they need to tackle their green and just transition goals.
2022 CHALLENGE SUPPORT CYCLE
Equitable circular transitions: Tools and interventions for a fair and inclusive Circular Turku
City of Turku, Finland
The city of Turku is interested in expanding on the equity recommendations from their 2020 challenge and identifying concrete actions that would increase the social equity outcomes of specific interventions planned in the Circular Turku Roadmap. The city is partnering with the Urban Transitions Alliance and Valonia, an expert organization for sustainable development in the municipalities of Southwest Finland, to engage with local actors and collect best practices to inform the future development of the Roadmap that is structured along the Urban Transitions Alliance equity framework. As the city of Turku aims at being a thought-leader on circularity, the hope is also that the learnings from this process will benefit other cities across world regions and support more equitable design of circular economy plans.
2021 CHALLENGE SUPPORT CYCLE
City-business collaboration to unlock sustainable investments
Yuhua District, City of Shijiazhuang, China
Located in the national economical center of China, the Yuhua district from the city of Shijiazhuang has started its transition toward a greener future. Aiming to become an example of sustainable transition, the local government, companies and citizens in Yuhua are coming together to find triple-win solutions. Convinced that the local businesses can play a leading role in sustainable development, Yuhua’s administration is currently implementing a strategy oriented to harness the resources and commitment from the local businesses to better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An effective City-Business collaboration between the Yuhua government and local business partners will be further explored together with other Urban Transition Alliance members.
Social inclusion and recovery of derelict sites through urban food models
City Council of Glasgow, Scotland
The city of Glasgow is currently transitioning away from its manufacturing heritage of the industrial revolution towards a just and sustainable future. Aiming to become one of Europe’s most circular cities by 2030, Glasgow is committed to reinvent its identity upon a more innovative, fair and participatory economic growth, already included in its Resilience Strategy. As part of its Urban Transition Alliance Challenge for 2021, the City will focus on the development of a circular strategy to repurpose derelict urban spaces incorporating circular models such as urban food systems, support local community building and business innovation.
Leveraging climate action through cross-sectoral financing
City of Essen, Germany
Essen is a city that has been bearing the impacts of its past mining and steel production for many years but has also been striving to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants by transitioning to a greener and more sustainable future. Recognized Europe’s green capital in 2017, Essen is currently tackling the challenge of financing the necessary climate adaptation and mitigation measures. In effect, the impacts of climate change – such as droughts and heavy rains – not only threaten the city’s infrastructure and the quality of public spaces but also the interests and operations of different economic actors. In light of this common interest between the public and private sector, Essen wants to unlock financing opportunities both for climate initiatives and sustainable urban development projects.
Climate Forum Gelsenkirchen: Engaging with local businesses to combat climate change
City of Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Shaped by its industrial heritage, the city of Gelsenkirchen is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve adaptation to climate change. Aware that this ambitious task requires the support of the private sector, the city is working closely with the Science Park to connect and work with local stakeholders. The partners are developing the Climate Forum initiative, aiming to establish a network that connects local companies in knowledge exchanging and seeking cooperation opportunities in the development of climate change projects.
2020 CHALLENGE SUPPORT CYCLE
Climate urgency response – piloting inter-departmental collaboration for integrated city action
City of Dortmund, Germany
To ensure citywide climate protection efforts, the Dortmund city council has committed to consider the climate impact of all decisions and prefer solutions with positive effects on climate and environmental protection. Within the next six months, climate considerations need to be systematically integrated into all areas of local government operations and policymaking. In addition, social equity considerations are to be incorporated in climate protection measures.
Understanding refuge – an equity planning framework for developing Buffalo as a climate haven
City of Buffalo, USA
With abundant access to water, a cool climate and a low risk to be affected by the worst impacts of climate change like sea level rise, heat waves or severe storm events, Buffalo has been rated a safe destination for climate migration. Acknowledging the opportunity of these favorable conditions to revitalize the local economy, Buffalo’s Mayor recently announced Buffalo as a climate refuge and invited migrants to the city.
Workforce development – seeking new employment models to foster the renewable energy transition
City of Pittsburgh, USA
A new energy procurement platform will enable Pittsburgh’s buying cooperative to shift to renewable energy. This will substantially increase shares of renewable power, but also provide local workforce development benefits in the area of solar, wind and hydro energy. A major aspect of this process will be building a workforce in the renewable energy sector as part of Pittsburgh’s economic development strategy.
Inclusive roadmap design – planning a Circular Turku with and for local residents
City of Turku, Finland
As part of the “Circular Turku” project, the city is bringing together different circular economy efforts to collaboratively design an action plan to achieve zero emission, zero waste and a low ecological footprint by 2040. Residents’ engagement activities will play a strong role in the project and the city is interested in learning more about embedding social equity into the action plan.
Zero Waste – The lifestyles and public participation aspects of garbage
E-Town, Beijing, China
As one of 16 zero-waste pilot cities and districts in China, Beijing E-Town is developing a roadmap to control the increase of industrial solid waste, completely utilize agricultural waste and prohibit illegal dumping of solid waste. Public participation will be a key pillar of the roadmap to ensure public acceptance of future zero-waste measures and support more sustainable lifestyles.