Photo Tour of the 2016 C40 Award Winners

By Kelly Shultz, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment Team

Last week the Bloomberg Philanthropies Environment Team joined global C40 mayors, policy experts, city officials and business leaders in Mexico City for the sixth C40 Mayors Summit. Together we explored how to accelerate climate action in 90 of the world’s greatest and largest cities — from Austin to Rio de Janeiro to Oslo to Wuhan — and celebrated the boldest urban climate projects from 2016 at the C40 Awards Ceremony.

Hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the C40 Awards Ceremony acknowledged 10 city projects for excellence in climate action. Starting with a pool of 160 projects, the Award winners represent every region of the world. More importantly the 10 winning projects prove that the world’s cities can implement ambitious and effective climate solutions on short timelines and independent of federal action.

Mulugeta Ayene/AP Images for C40
  1. Addis Ababa, excellence in Transportation

Addis Ababa Light Rail Train passes through Ethiopia’s busiest and largest business center, Merakto. The new light rail, the first such project in Sub-Saharan Africa, moves over 15,000 people every hour. The project has also improved car congestion throughout the city, where the transportation sector accounts for almost half of the city’s emissions.

Jens Dige/AP Images for C40

2. Copenhagen, excellence in Adaptation in Action

Drains along the streets in the Gammel Strand suburb send water to a nearby canal during intense rains. Through the Cloudburst Management Plan, Copenhagen is comprehensively revamping storm water infrastructure to respond to intense rains, known as Cloudbursts. Highlighting the co-benefits of this project, Mayor Frank Jensen explained the Cloudburst Management Plan “protects the city against cloudbursts and generates new green urban spaces to the benefit of Copenhageners.”

Rodolfo Buhrer/AP Images for C40

3. Curitiba, excellence in Sustainable Communities

Elementary school students learn about healthy food and agriculture at a class organized by Curitiba’s Urban Agriculture Program. The program transforms vacant lots and abandoned balconies throughout the city into urban gardens and educational centers for the community.

Subrata Biswas/AP Images for C40

4. Kolkata, excellence in Solid Waste Management

A sanitation worker from the City of Kolkata collects refuse from homes in the Uttarpara neighborhood. Recycling and composting rates have dramatically increased since the launch of Kolkata’s new Solid Waste Management Initiative. Following a public awareness campaign and investment in new equipment, recyclables, compost and solid waste are now separated at homes and offices. Before the launch of this initiative, solid waste was often dumped illegally in the River Ganga.

Thibault Camus/AP Images for C40

5. Paris, excellence in Adaptation Planning & Assessment

Low surface planters, designed to mitigate street level heat and pollution, line “Rue de la Citeau” in Paris. The Paris Adaptation Strategy comprehensively addresses heatwaves, urban heat island effect, flooding and droughts. Like most C40 cities along coastlines and river, parts of the Adaptation Plan have already been put into action following the flooding of the River Seine earlier this year.

Greg Wahl-Stephens/AP Images for C40

6. Portland, excellence in Climate Action Plans & Inventories

A mother and daughter use a designated bike lane to cross the street in Portland. Portland’s new Climate Action Plan sets the ambitious goal to reduce emissions 80% by 2050. This will require more than 50% of all trips to be by public transportation, bicycling or walking. Accepting the award on behalf of Portland, Mayor Charlie Hales reiterated Portland will remain a climate leader, stating “We were the first U.S. city to adopt a climate action plan. We were the first to bring back the modern streetcar. Now with our updated 2015 Climate Action Plan and proposed Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments, we’ll be the first to deliberately transition from dirty, dangerous fuels to ‪clean, ‪renewable ‪energy,” said Mayor Hales.

Lee Jae-Won/AP Images for C40

7. Seoul, excellence in Social Equity & Climate Change

Photovoltaic panels installed on residential roofs throughout the Sangol neighborhood. Through Seoul’s Energy Welfare Public Private Partnership Program, the city has retrofitted over 2,000 low income homes. LED light bulbs, energy efficient windows and solar panels save residents’ money and help the city meet its’ climate action goals. Seoul developed the program following findings that low-income families are disproportionally threatened by climate change and rapid urbanization.

Brent NG/AP Images for C40

8. Shenzhen, excellence in Finance & Economic Development

Cyclists on a skywalk in Shenzhen, the first of seven Chinese pilot cities to launch an Emissions Trading Scheme. Shenzhen’s innovative Emissions Trading Scheme allows local companies to trade carbon emissions under the Chinese Certified Emissions Reduction program. To date, the over 600 participant companies have saved over 5 million tons of carbon

Paul Jeffers/AP Images for C40

9. Sydney & Melbourne, excellence in Building Energy Efficiency

The WT Partnership office space in Sydney features daylighting, low flow water fixtures and recycled local materials. Through the CitySwitch Green Office program, Sydney, Melbourne and other Australian cities are actively engaging the private sector to take action on climate. This collaboration is critical, as explained by Lord Mayor Clover Moore, “CitySwitch remains the only program in Australia that brings state and local government together with commercial tenants to improve environmental performance in this most critical sector — and it is one of the great success stories.”

Tomohiro Ohsumi/AP Images for C40

10. Yokohama, excellence in Clean Energy

A woman walks past a monitor displaying the energy use and trends of her office building. The Yokohama Smart City Project, currently piloted in three neighborhood districts, uses data from smart grids to assess opportunities, measure progress and improve energy performance of buildings and transportation. To Yokohama is now working with C40 cities, including Barcelona, Curitiba and Bangkok, export the Smart City Project globally.

Congratulations to the 2016 C40 Awards Winners!

Kelly Shultz is a member of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment Team. We are focused on driving strong, measurable and local action on climate change. Learn more about our work.

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