51 (146) 2021

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

Helping the region’s cities develop sustainably

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Warsaw is the first city in Poland to have joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Green Cities programme. As such, Poland’s capital and largest city is currently finalising a tailor-made strategic action plan, which will help it in its journey towards becoming climate neutral by 2050.

Following a series of workshops with internal and external stakeholders and months of data-gathering and analysis, Arup’s team is currently working on the final list of key actions, which will help Warsaw achieve its sustainable development aims. Residents of Warsaw can follow project progress and suggest their ideas for a greener city through a dedicated platform: https://virtualengage.arup.com/zielona-wizja-warszawy/

EBRD Green Cities combines strategic planning with targeted investment and associated technical assistance. The Green City and Climate Action Plan (GCCAP) for Warsaw is a first of its kind under the EBRD’s flagship urban sustainability programme through a partnership with C40. The GCCAP combines EBRD’s strategic planning approach with C40’s Climate Action Plan methodology, supporting Warsaw to address its most pressing environmental challenges while laying out a longer-term trajectory to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Arup has worked with the City of Warsaw to deliver the GCCAP, and is a key partner in supporting wider stakeholder engagement from across the Polish capital’s many sectors.

The Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, says: “To combat climate crisis, we need to replace constant growth with sustainable development. Warsaw will invest in climate resilience and will aim towards climate-neutrality by 2050. We look forward to working with Arup, C40 and EBRD to strengthen our green strategy.”

Jointly funded by the Taiwan Business – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the Polish government, Warsaw’s GCCAP includes extensive consultations with the municipal council to secure consensus and guarantee that any planned activities are sustainable.

Arup has worked with EBRD for nearly four years, charting the expansion of the EBRD Green Cities programme from a three-city pilot to a network of over 40 cities.

“We are delighted to be working with the City of Warsaw and C40 to create a practical plan of action to make the city greener and more sustainable,” says Ireneusz Kolodziej, associate director at Arup in Poland

Before the programme kicked off last year, Warsaw received support from the EBRD to buy a new fleet of trains to expand the city’s metro network, a crucial investment for the city as it seeks to ensure a fast, comfortable and sustainable transport for its citizens. “Having Warsaw as part of the EBRD Green Cities network is very exciting due to the City’s already impressive work on climate and environmental improvement,” says Susan Goeransson, director, of Infrastructure Europe, part of the EBRD’s Sustainable Infrastructure Group.

Arup has been a partner to C40 Cities for ten years and it looks forward to working with EBRD and the City of Warsaw as part of the EBRD Green Cities network.

Climate change and environmental degradation have put acute pressure on cities. If the world is to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, then cities, which are the source of at least 75% of emissions, must take urgent action. In cities across central and eastern Europe, obsolete urban infrastructure and historical legacies of high energy-use and carbon, prevents communities from enhancing their resilience to the impacts of climate change.  At the same time, budget constraints and limited capacity mean some cities struggle to access private sector investment to transform their urban infrastructure and become more sustainable.

As part of its Green Cities programme, the EBRD set up Green City Action Plans (GCAP) to identify and shape investable projects, programmes, and policy actions addressing the most significant environmental issues facing European cities

Arup has worked closely with the EBRD, and other international collaborators including PwC for more than five years to develop and deliver GCAPs for six cities: Tirana in Albania, Sofia in Bulgaria, Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Warsaw and Wałbrzych in Poland, and Split in Croatia, helping to ensure a more sustainable and resilient future for the cities and their residents.

Work begins with the evaluation of each city’s strengths and weaknesses. Arup develops a roadmap of innovative actions, guidance on investment and delivery models that align with cities’ different needs and existing plans. The plans that Arup create respond to each city’s most pressing environmental stresses, which then grow into investable projects, programmes, and policies.

Arup works closely with municipal authorities, infrastructure owners, international donors and civil society stakeholders, including businesses such as energy companies, research institutes and NGOs, to develop actions and facilitate cross-sectoral engagement while building capacity and consensus so the plans can be successfully embedded.

Some of the resulting actions and policies include wastewater treatment, brownfield land regeneration, green infrastructure, energy efficiency programmes and retrofitting buildings to enable cities to enhance their climate resilience – together helping to improve core aspects of each city’s urban environment.

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