Report Explores Options for Cities to Address Climate Change
the use of horse-drawn carriages to solve public transport shortage in
Bayamo, Cuba, to an emissions trading scheme in Taiyuan, China, cities
around the world are taking steps to address climate change.
The report "Liveable Cities: The Benefits of Urban Environmental
Planning," published by the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), Cities Alliance and ICLEI (International Council for Local
Environmental Initiatives) -Local Governments for Sustainability,
showcases 12 examples of cities around the world. The document explores
various options for sustainable urban development ranging from
practical tools and comprehensive policies to innovative market
"The report contains many 'take home' messages -- environmental
management can boost city budgets, prove a strong marketing tool for
attracting investors and contribute to public health and poverty
eradication," said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner at the Dec. 11
launch of the report at the United Nations Climate Conference in Bali,
The report makes a strong case for the environment as the key asset
for cities, officials said. For example, a 2006 survey of professionals
working in Hong Kong revealed that almost four out of five
professionals were thinking of leaving or new others who have already
left because of the quality of the natural environment, while 94
percent ranked it as the top factor in selecting a place to live.
"Cities today have to be competitive. They operate in a global
marketplace, competing with other cities and urban settlements around
the world for investment. A city cannot compete, however, if it cannot
offer investors security, infrastructure and efficiency. Hardly any
city can offer these elements without incorporating environmental
issues into its planning and management strategies," said Cities
Alliance Manager William Cobbett.
The report can be accessed in PDF format at http://www.unep.org/urban_environment/PDFs/LiveableCities.pdf.