1. ICLEI Member News
Nijmegen undertakes inspiring construction project to prevent flooding
The Dutch city of Nijmegen is embarking on one of the Netherlands' most impressive and ambitious climate adaptation projects, which will see floodplains widened and a new island created in the Waal River. The project will give residents of the ICLEI member city greater protection from flooding, a perennial threat exacerbated by climate change.
As part of the project, titled ‘Room for the River’, dikes will be moved back, allowing more space for water to pool and lowering the risk of overflow. The island will essentially see Nijmegen construct a new section of its city, with a range of possibilities proposed for the land. Four new bridges will connect the island with both sides of the Waal.
The programme, which is expected to cost €351 million, has become an unlikely tourist attraction, with up to 30,000 visitors coming to see the construction site. As part of the development some residents have had their homes pushed backwards, with the city taking every care to minimise disruption and preserve historic buildings. A frequent dialogue with residents has led to wide-spread acceptance of the measure.
For more information, visit citylab.com.
Image copyright: Image (Room for the River) by "Johan Roerink"
Grants offered to community groups as part of Glasgow’s Green Year 2015
Local community groups are being encouraged to participate in ICLEI member Glasgow’s (United Kingdom) Green Year 2015 by applying for a grant of up to £500 (€680) to improve their local area. The Action Earth campaign is providing funding to local volunteers and groups to get them involved in activities such as protecting and enhancing biodiversity, creating new habitats for wildlife, and planting in green spaces. Hundreds of volunteers across the Scottish city have already taken part in the programme.
Katy McTernan, Senior Operations Manager at Volunteering Matters, the body that runs the Action Earth programme, said: “Anyone can get involved – it’s a great way to get outdoors, meet new people, have fun and help nature. The grants are supported by Scottish Natural Heritage and make a real difference to people, the areas we live in and to wildlife. We’d love to see even more groups using these grants and getting involved in Glasgow’s Green Year.”
Glasgow’s Green Year 2015 has been the city’s first sustainability themed year, celebrating the aspiration to be one of the most sustainable cities in Europe. The 2015 programme has brought communities together to strengthen local and international partnerships, putting the city firmly on the map as a champion of sustainability.
For more information, visit Glasgow’s Green Year 2015.
Image copyright: Photo on Flickr by "dun_deagh", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Ljubljana upgrades park and ride stations to encourage sustainable transport use
The City of Ljubljana (Slovenia) is taking steps to improve its already stellar sustainable mobility record by improving and extending its Park and Ride (P&R) network. P&R stations allow motorists to park their car and complete the journey by sustainable modes of transport, alleviating infrastructural strain in city centres and improving air quality. A new P&R site is being created, while a previously established site is being upgraded.
When finished, the new site will have space for 363 vehicles, 11 tourist buses, and 10 caravans. It will also include six charging stations for electric vehicles and a parking area for bicycles. ICLEI member Ljubljana currently operates a parking fee system that increases as drivers move closer to the city centre, making the P&R stations comparatively much cheaper than completing the journey by car.
The Slovenian capital was awarded the title of European Green Capital 2016 based partly on its impressive sustainable mobility efforts. Already in Ljubljana no citizen is further than 500 metres from a public transport stop. The city is also reallocating space to pedestrians and cyclists, creating a more pleasant and cleaner environment, and is in the process of replacing its old bus fleet with cleaner models, including hybrid, electric and CNG powered vehicles.
For more information, visit the European Green Capital website.
Image copyright: Ljubljana (photo on Flickr) by "Lorenzo Magnis", licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0
EcoMobility World Festival kicks off in Johannesburg
The second-ever EcoMobility World Festival, a month long event designed to offer a vision of a sustainable urban future with an emphasis on walking, cycling and public transport as modes of mobility, began in Johannesburg (South Africa) on 1 October 2015. The event was officially opened by Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau at a press briefing. This edition follows the 2013 World Festival in Suwon (South Korea).
Already two major elements of the Festival are underway: the “Decongest Sandton” scheme and the EcoMobility Dialogues. The “Decongest Sandton” scheme will restrict access for private cars to certain parts of the Sandton Central Business District (CBD), one of the most congested areas of the city. Commuters and residents will be encouraged to walk, cycle and use the wide range of public transport options made available for the event.
The EcoMobility Dialogues are a chance for the world’s leading thinkers on EcoMobility and urban transport to debate key transport issues. Between 300 and 500 people – including high-level representatives of the City of Johannesburg, business experts, thought leaders, practitioners, and academics – are expected to join the Dialogues.
For more information, visit the EcoMobility World Festival website.
Image copyright: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability