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Ten Cities Tackling Climate Change

The inaugural City Climate Leadership Awards by the C40 City Climate Leadership Group (C40) and Siemens kicked off on 4 September, with 29 cities and 37 projects shortlisted. The awards recognize city innovation that accelerates city action to combat the sources and impacts of climate change. The winning cities were selected by an independent, seven member judging panel consisting of former city Mayors, architects and representatives of the World Bank, C40 and Siemens. The winners are:

  • Bogota (Urban Transportation)
  • Copenhagen (Carbon Measurement & Planning)
  • Melbourne (Energy Efficient Built Environment)
  • Mexico City (Air Quality)
  • Munich (Green Energy)
  • New York City (Adaptation & Resilience)
  • Rio de Janeiro (Sustainable Communities)
  • San Francisco (Waste Management)
  • Singapore (Intelligent City Infrastructure)
  • Tokyo (Finance & Economic Development)


Urban Transportation award recipient: Bogota for its efforts to green its Bus and Taxi fleets. Transmilenio, the City's Bus Rapid Transit system, launched in 2000 to transport over 70% of the City's population who travel daily by bus, has already achieved emissions reductions of over 350,000 tonnes annually. New efforts to replace the current diesel fleet with hybrid and full electric buses has started with the aim of reaching 100% conversion by 2024. And as a leader in Latin America, Bogota started an electric taxi cab pilot that promises to convert 50% of the city's fleet within the next 10 years.


Carbon Measurement & Planning recipient: Copenhagen for its 2025 Climate Plan, which lays out the path for the City to become the first carbon neutral capital city by 2025. While focusing on all sectors that comprise the City's carbon footprint, the plan sets ambitious targets and details strategies to achieve a significant reduction in building emissions – which comprise 75% of the city's total. All told, implementation of the Plan will reduce City emissions to 400,000 tons by 2025.


Energy Efficient Built Environment recipient: Melbourne for its Sustainable Buildings Program. This comprehensive approach brings together support for building owners and managers to complete energy & water retrofits with innovative city designed and managed property-tax-based financing to improve the energy and water efficiency of private commercial buildings in the City.


Air Quality recipient: Mexico City for its ?ProAire' program, has over the last two decades recorded impressive reductions in local air pollution as well as CO2 emissions. The program's elements range from measures aimed at the reduction of industrial and automobile emissions, urban sprawl containment, to public awareness campaigns. Once ranked the most polluted city on the planet, Mexico City proves that long-term determination and a comprehensive approach can make a huge difference in the air quality of a megacity.


Green Energy recipient: Munich for its 100% Green Power by 2025 Plan. Munich is aiming to produce enough green electricity at its own plants by 2025 to meet the power requirements of the entire municipality of Munich — at least 7.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. This would make the capital of Bavaria the first city in the world with over a million inhabitants to run entirely on renewable power.


Adaptation & Resilience recipient: New York for its comprehensive and actionable plan ?A Stronger, More Resilient New York?, which focuses on rebuilding the communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and buildings citywide. The 250 initiatives are not only bold proposals that can be implemented immediately: 60 will be achieved by the end of 2013 and $10 billion in funding has already been identified to support implementation.


Sustainable Communities recipient: Rio de Janeiro for its Morar Carioca Program - a comprehensive urban revitalization strategy, which will invest in revitalization projects throughout the city with the aim of formalizing all of the city's favelas by 2020. With 55 projects already completed, this program is already having a direct impact on the environment, health and welfare of more 200,000 Rio residents, and will ultimately impact the more than 20% of Rio's population that currently live in informal settlements


Waste Management recipient: San Francisco for its zero waste program, which began in 2002 and includes comprehensive waste management reforms, and has resulted in an unprecedented 80% landfill diversion rate. An impressive 300 tons of food scraps are collected per day, and 100 million fewer plastic bags are being used every year, putting the city well on its path to achieving its ambitious ?zero waste? goal by 2020.


Intelligent City Infrastructure recipient: Singapore for its Intelligent Transport System, which incorporates a range of ?smart? transportation technologies, including one of the world's first Electronic Road Pricing Systems, real time traffic information delivered through GPS-enabled taxis, and a highly integrated public transportation system. These intelligent solutions allow Singapore to enjoy one of the lowest congestion rates of a city its size anywhere in the world.


Finance & Economic Development recipient: Tokyo for its Cap and Trade Program, which became the world's first when it was launched in April 2010, requiring C02 reductions from large commercial and industrial buildings. In its first year, the over 1,100 facilities participating reduced emissions by 13%, the following year an additional 10% reduction was achieved bringing total emissions reductions achieved to date to more than 7 million tons of CO2.

- All images courtesy of City Climate Leadership Awards.