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26 Apr 2019

Green cities around the world - 8 ways Australian cities can go green

Green cities around the world - 8 ways Australian cities can go green

Green cities around the world - 8 ways Australian cities can go green

Global cities are implementing policies to go green. Here are 8 policies Australian cities can follow to help cut emissions

Australia is on track to meet targets for the Paris Agreement. Almost five years earlier than expected in 2025. Per capita, Australia is already installing renewable energy faster than China, Japan, US and EU. In order to continue the progress made, here are 8 great policies that have been implemented by other cities around the globe.

London – Ultra Low Emissions Zone

London has launched a scheme to reduce emissions in Central London. Also known as the Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ, the initiative charges £12.50 ($23 AUD) for any type of vehicle coming into the city centre that does not meet exact emission standards. Money generated from this scheme are invested directly into mass transit improvements. In the 2 years since ULEZ was introduced, London has experienced a 20% decline in carbon dioxide emissions.

Vancouver – New building codes

Buildings account for nearly half of energy usage in cities. Vancouver has rewritten its set of building codes which prioritize energy-efficient retrofits as part of a new energy bylaw for large buildings. The scheme involves getting older structures up to modern standards by adding more trigger points: When any number of different renovations gets done, for instance, owners are required to do energy efficient retrofits that meet the city’s new strict energy standard. While its a significant upfront cost, the added efficiency

Singapore: Tolls

Singapore has utilized tolls effectively since 1975. The city’s electronic road pricing charges a fluctuating rate to each vehicle entering the focal business region on major roadways. The city’s Electronic Road Pricing charges a different rate to each vehicle entering congested business areas, major roadways, during different times of day, which reflects a constant free market activity and immediacy of transportation alternatives.

Amsterdam: Turn off the gas

Amsterdam has committed to a natural gas plan on a neighbourhood to neighbourhood basis to eliminate domestic natural gas use by 2050. It’s part of an aim to cut emissions from the built environment by 80%. To accomplish this, on a Neighbourhood level, authorities are swapping gas head to electrical heat pumps, geothermal energy and waste head. Working on a neighbourhood level, it has made it efficient to design district-wide heating systems that reduce waste.

Paris: Reclaim the street from cars

Paris has banned cars from the quayside of the River Seine in 2016 and subsequently expanded the car-free zone and added in bike lanes around the city. Overall, Paris has reduced car trips by 45% since 1990 and the number of cyclists in the city growing 10 fold. By 2024, diesel cars will be banned and by 2030 all cars that do not use gas will not run be allowed to run in the city. Paris’s bold plan has been 20+ years in the making. It has been made possible by investing in pedestrian-friendly streetscapes and a huge expansion in transit and bike lanes.

Tokyo: Connecting with the countryside

Fitting in a large array of solar panels and wind turbines in a dense urban environment does not usually work. Instead Tokyo has an energy partnership with the nearby mountainous region of Nagano. Nagano has a great potential for solar, wind, and geothermal energy production. By partnering up, Tokyo city can lower its CO2 footprint whilst Nagano can use the money to fund local development.

Freiburg: Turning waste into energy

Freiburg in Germany has one of the lowest rates of car ownership in the country and a high concentration of energy efficient passive homes. The city has a circular loop. Which means gas produced from a nearby landfill has been turned into energy for a neighbourhood in that specific area. Heat generated by an incinerator plant is then used to cure wooden pallets in an industrial park. 

Shenzhen, China: Betting big on electric transportation

Shenzhen, a 12.5 million-person metropolis, with over 16,000 buses made headlines when it became the first city to operate an all-electric bus system

Shenzhen built out infrastructure for charging thousands of buses and opened these charging stations for use by private drivers, making it easy for everyday commuters to follow suit. The city is also near many of the country’s battery manufacturers. The newest technological innovations are inspired by the everyday experiences of Shenzhen locals.

 

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