by Brianna Crandall — January 15, 2018 — Ten cities were honored recently in Chicago at the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards ceremony, which recognizes the world’s most inspiring and innovative cities taking major climate action. The fifth-annual awards ceremony took place at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago.
The awards honor 10 sustainability projects from around the globe that represent the most ambitious and innovative efforts taken by mayors to shape the future. Given the increasingly important role US cities must play in driving climate action, this year each of the five award categories has one winner from a US city and one winner from elsewhere in the world.
Five award categories highlight the best climate action policies, projects, and programs: building energy efficiency and clean energy (Cities4Energy); sustainable transportation (Cities4Mobility); reducing waste (Cities4ZeroWaste); climate action plans (Cities4Action); and adaptation plans and programs (Cities4Tomorrow).
This year’s winning cities and projects in each category are:
- Chicago: Retrofit Chicago partners with countless local organizations to improve energy efficiency and cut costs and greenhouse gas emissions for Chicago’s residents and businesses.
- Copenhagen: Copenhagen’s energy surveillance program makes the city the first in the world to have a completely centralized building monitoring system.
- New York City: The South Bronx Clean Truck Program accelerates the purchasing of low-carbon vehicles, retrofits existing trucks, and replaces old vehicles to reduce local air pollutants by 75% per truck.
- Dar es Salaam: DART tackles traffic congestion and high levels of local air pollution with a new Bus Rapid Transit system serving 200,000 people every day and adding new, lower-carbon engines to the city’s fleet.
- Phoenix: The Reimagine Phoenix Initiative will clean the air and improve public health by diverting 40% of the city’s waste by 2020 and reaching zero waste by 2050.
- Auckland: Auckland’s Waste to Resources program has developed a way to divert 65% of curbside waste to be recovered, re-used, or recycled.
- Fort Collins: Fort Collins’ Climate Action Plan aims to reach complete carbon neutrality by 2050, and is already delivering 25% per capita emissions reductions along with a 60% rate of waste diversion.
- Mexico City: Mexico City’s Climate Action Program has already delivered on 65% of the city’s 2018 goals and has begun work on all but 5% of the cumulative actions outlined by the plan.
- Washington, DC: Climate Ready DC has established a long-term commitment to climate resiliency that will impact the city’s transportation, buildings, neighborhood design and policy structure.
- Wuhan: Wuhan’s plan to rehabilitate and revitalize the Yangtze River embankment will massively reduce localized pollution and make space for walking, cycling, green space, and recreation.
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, stated:
Nowadays, our worldwide philosophy should be “Think local, act global.” The winners of the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards are evidence of the stunning innovation and disruptive progress by cities around the world to shape the century ahead. These projects should be considered blueprints that other cities can adapt to accelerate their own efforts.
Michael R. Bloomberg, C40 President of the Board and UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, remarked:
Cities are helping nations reach the goals they set under the Paris Agreement, including in the US. Because cities share common challenges, each of these winning projects has the potential to improve lives around the world — while also improving our odds in the fight against climate change. Congratulations to all the winners.
C40 received 174 applications from 92 cities that were assessed by a selection committee of urban sustainability and climate change experts at C40 and Sustainia, who then identified 25 finalists. Sustainia partners with C40 each year to produce Cities100, a publication that showcases 100 of the best urban climate solutions from around the world. An expert jury panel comprised of former mayors, climate experts, and others, selected the winning urban sustainability projects based on excellence in urban planning and dedication to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving resiliency.
Chicago-based artist Walter Kitundu designed this year’s trophy, which encases air from artic ice cores in a specially designed sustainable glass sphere. For more information on the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards, and photos and information on the winning projects, visit the C40 Cities Web site.