NEWS: Cities Footprint Project is voted one of five ‘best urban initiatives worldwide’
The Cities Alliance – a global alliance that seeks to improve the lives of the urban poor in 60 countries – this month announced awards for the ‘five best practices worldwide in the area of urban sustainability’. Among the award recipients is the Cities Footprint Project, designed and co-financed by the Latin American Development Bank (CAF), CDKN, the Agence Française de Développement and Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano. The Cities Footprint Project has been praised for its outstanding achievement in ‘promoting sustainable development effectively’.
Initiated in 2012, the Cities Footprint Project has supported municipal governments in Latin America to measure their carbon and water footprints: to analyse the greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and water wastage, and to take remedial measures. Local authorities are tackling the footprints of their own municipal operations as well as seeking to improve the carbon and water footprints of their cities as a whole.
The project initially started in a small group of cities. Now, the robust, action-orientated methodologies have been adopted by a total of 14 cities : Cali, Cochabamba, Cuenca, El Alto, Fortaleza, Guayaquil, La Paz, Lima, Loja, Quito, Recife, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santa Cruz de Galápagos and Tarija. The cities have all included their carbon and water footprints as governance indicators, have made commitments to reduce their footprints and have integrated climate change into strategic planning across all sectors.
CDKN was involved in supporting the application of the carbon and water footprint methodology in Lima, Peru, Quito, Ecuador and La Paz, Bolivia over a period of four years. As detailed in this Inside Story on Climate Compatible Development , the project initially assessed the footprints of the three cities and their municipal governments, then supported the municipalities to prepare action plans and pilot projects to tackle the most critical issues.
Pilot projects include:
• La Paz: Delivering an integrated system for fertilizer and power generation and wastewater reuse in the “Vesty Pakos” Municipal Zoo, based on the installation of biodigesters. Developing a waste management and urban agriculture system in the Kenanipata district, including solar power.
• Quito: Strengthening the Eco-efficiency Committee and instituting a carpooling system in selected areas. Designing and implementing a water footprint measurement and compensation mechanism for Quito and calculating the TESALIA (beverage company)’s water footprint.
• Lima: Supporting a green schools programme with energy-efficient lighting and developing footprint calculators.
The work has delivered benefits both for climate change mitigation (by reducing emissions) and for climate change adaptation and resilience (by reducing reliance on fossil fuels through energy efficiency measures, and making scarce freshwater supplies go further in drought-vulnerable urban centres).
Cities Alliance says that its award ‘recognises initiatives that nurture global discussions and efforts on how local stakeholders are advancing the implementation of global agendas’. Specifically the award recipients stand out for their ability to align local agendas with the monitoring and reporting required to measure progress against Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreemen, the Sendai Framework and the New Urban Agenda. The other award-winning projects are Monitoreo CDMX (Mexico City, Mexico), #weResilient (Potenza, Italy), Measuring Progress Towards Sustainable Development Goals in Urban Contexts (Cómo Vamos network, Colombia) and Marunda Urban Resilience in Action (Cordaid, Indonesia).
For more about the award-winning project, watch the CDKN film: ‘The Cities Footprint Project: Urban impact’ below:
Image: La Paz, Bolivia, urban market, credit Piero Teardo