Global Climate action and sustainable development

Climate action: Case studies and resources for local government


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Curated case studies and news from around the globe highlighting some of our favourite climate policies and approaches featured on SmartCitiesWorld this year, as well as some of the more major climate data and reports from recent months.

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Policy innovation and inspiration examples from the local government sector

Australia: Green light rail track trialled in Canberra
The ACT Government in Canberra this year unveiled a new prototype for a green light rail track. Part of the Australian capital’s City to Commonwealth Park project, the 20-metre by 30-metre prototype sits within a bed of specially selected grass and plants instead of the usual concrete, in an effort to counter the heat island effect, absorb more rainwater, reduce glare, and contribute to noise reduction. The prototype is on display to the public in the National Arboretum and will be applied to the final green track design used on Canberra’s Light Rail Stage 2A.

USA: Phoenix creates interactive sim on water usage
The Phoenix Water Services Department has created a new tool to help residents better understand water supplies and the stakes behind water conservation – the Drought Simulation Game. The sim aims to tests residents’ ability to manage Phoenix’s water portfolio, with players assigned the role of water policymaker for a whole city experiencing drought. Players have to resolve water shortages within three years, and have to pick between the best policies that benefit residents but also lower water use. It sets out to highlight what’s at stake each time a water management decision is made, no matter the size.

Norway: Oslo set to reach net zero by 2030 through public procurement
The City of Oslo has set out to use only zero emission technologies by 2030, and is using public procurement as a main driver in this mission. Oslo is part of the European Commission’s Big Buyers Working Together project, which aims to bring public buyers together to pool resources and influence the market for the better. With this, the city has set out to use public procurement to create a zero-emission city, with this plan a key part of its procurement and climate strategies.

USA: North Carolina city deploys movable solar EV chargers
The City of Raleigh, USA, earlier this year deployed new movable solar-powered EV chargers, designed to be temporarily installed in areas of the North Carolina capital that currently don’t have EV charging infrastructure. The scheme aims to reduce the need for expensive electrical installation, and to help planners choose where to install permanent EV charging points in the future. The city hopes that greater charging access across communities will make owning an EV more desirable and practical for Raleigh residents.

Resources on life expectancy and life chances

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Report: Nine solutions for Cities to Cut Carbon Emissions in Construction
This WEF report from April highlights innovative ways cities are cutting emissions in the construction industry. Scalable approaches from Vancouver, London, New York and LA among others are detailed in the report, including adaptive reuse of a mall into a science campus, EV transition, and a material reuse portal, alongside a model policy, city playbook and practitioners guide.

Report: The Sustainable Development Goals report 2024
Published last week, the Sustainable Development Goals report 2024 outlines the progress and setbacks that have been made in achieving the SDGs. Unfortunately, this report highlights how current progress is falling far short of what is required to meet the goals, and in turn ensure a more resilient world that overcomes the climate crisis.

Data release: Four in five UK councils see climate change hitting health
New data published by CDP has found that 82% of UK local authorities believe climate change is directly impacting the health of their residents, with 99% reporting a climate hazard (such as flooding, drought or extreme heat) in their local area. The number of climate actions reported by councils has nearly doubled since 2018.

Report: Too close to home: How we keep communities safer from escalating climate impacts
This report recommends steps for all levels of government in Australia to better protect communities from the impact of climate pollution. These include prioritising the protection and places of people most at risk from climate-fuelled disaster, developing household climate resilience, and backing community-led climate adaption and disaster response. The priorities listed were identified by Emergency Leaders for Climate Action.


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