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The EU aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, with an intermediate target of at least 55% net reduction in emissions by 2030. To achieve this, European cities need to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by making sustainable improvements.
Already, we’ve seen countries across the continent attempt to introduce measures to curb climate change, with varying levels of success. Here, we explain why these measures are necessary, and who is leading the pack.
What is a sustainable city?
A sustainable city is a municipality that limits its impact on the wider environment. That can be through the mass adoption of bicycles to reduce car emissions, or even by having a circular economy, where you reuse existing materials and products for as long as possible.
Different cities experience different challenges, but the goal is the same: to reverse climate change and produce cleaner air. For citizens, this means a better quality of life, and an active role in protecting the environment.
Why are they necessary?
Needless to say, climate change threatens our way of life. And it will take the work of everyone to reverse it. That’s why cities and local areas need to be reimagined, so we can take a top-down approach to the problem.
This makes it easier for citizens to be more conscious in their daily lives, and gradually reduce the negative contributions they have on the wider environment. Plus, it adds to the sense of community that brings so many people towards cities in the first place.
Who is building them?
Local governments, city planners, universities, property developers and innovative start-ups. The latter in particular plays a huge role, as other stakeholders often task local businesses with the challenge of improving the community in exchange for grants – as is the case for Antwerp.
In France, changes are more largely driven by central bodies. In particular, Forfait Mobilités Durables. This is a scheme, and one of the key measures of the Mobility Orientation Law, that allows employers to cover all or part of the cost of travel between home and work, on one condition: employees use a ‘soft mobility’ mode of transport.
Be inspired to create sustainable cities of your own
We’ve seen a range of awe-inspiring initiatives outside these countries too, especially just within the Benelux region – each of them designed to help the European collective reach their goal. For city planners and ambitious businesses, these projects are a must-see.
That’s why we’ve collated the most successful improvements in our latest eBook. By downloading here, not only can you take inspiration from what other cities have done, you can also identify the best measures for improving your own infrastructure.