Air Quality

Building on two years of work funded by Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. and conducted in collaboration with BuroHappold, C40’s Benefits of Urban Climate Action research has identified a set of priority actions that cities can take to tackle climate change and air pollution simultaneously, placing the transport, buildings and industry sectors at the top of the list.

The research shows that if C40 member cities combine a decarbonised grid with the ambitious action outlined to clean up the transport, buildings and industrial sectors, the resulting benefits would include:

  • An 87% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;
  • A 49% reduction in PM2.5 levels;
  • Approximately 223,000 premature deaths averted;
  • Up to $583 billion in economic benefits.

To learn more about the air quality benefits research, read the full report, report summary, report methodology and review the case studies below. The air quality benefits tool is available on request.

Urban Heat Adaptation

The impact of extreme temperatures on health and wellbeing is rising up the policy agenda in many global cities. The Heat Resilient Cities benefits tool has been designed to help city planners and decision-makers quantify the health, economic and environmental benefits of interventions that target urban heat adaptation.

Cities can use this information to make the case for investment in urban heat adaptation and prioritise the interventions that are likely to have the most positive impact locally.

Using the tool, city planners will be able to calculate the benefits of specific parks and green infrastructure, bodies of water such as rivers and lakes, and cool and vegetative surfaces. The tool can also calculate the benefits of scaling up investment in these areas across the whole of the city.

Access the resources and case studies below to learn more.

Building Retrofits

How many lives will a single climate intervention save? How many new jobs will be created by a building retrofit project? How will improved standards for buildings affect urban residents’ health, wellbeing and productivity? As the construction sector transitions towards zero-carbon buildings, understanding the impact of taking climate action on health and the economy is critical to making better policy choices and convincing a wide range of stakeholders that the high upfront cost of retrofitting buildings is worthwhile.

To support cities in this process, the Multiple Benefits of Building Retrofits report includes a building retrofit methodology and toolkit to enable cities to quantify the benefits from deep retrofit projects. The report also includes the outcomes from three pilot cities — New York City, Milan and Copenhagen — that have employed this methodology, highlighting the transformative effects on emissions reduction, job creation and improved energy efficiency.

C40 Cities developed the report and toolkit with technical input from BuroHappold and University College London, along with funding from the ROCKWOOL Group.

Access the resources and case studies below to learn more.

Walking and Cycling

The Walking and Cycling Benefits Tool is based on three years of research and technical assistance that was provided to 18 C40 member cities, which aimed to uncover evidence for the health, economic, and climate benefits of walking and cycling.

In collaboration with Novo Nordisk and the C40 Walking and Cycling Network, C40 Cities has translated the outcomes of this research into a cutting-edge, easy-to-use tool that empowers city planners to accurately determine the benefits of walking and cycling in their cities, alongside additional resources and case studies that provide further context on this work.

Access the resources and case studies below to learn more.

A Green and Just COVID-19 Recovery

C40’s Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force advocates for pandemic recovery packages that are consistent with keeping global heating below 1.5°C while reducing urban air pollution and supporting green job creation. “The Case for a Green and Just COVID-19 Recovery” provides decision-makers with more information on how such stimulus packages may affect cities.

The report compares how urban greenhouse gas emissions, health and jobs could fare under a green and just recovery compared with a return to a pre-pandemic, business-as-usual scenario, or if world-leaders opt to spend stimulus funding on a high-carbon recovery.

Access the resources below to learn more.

A Global Approach to Measuring Benefits

C40 Cities, in partnership with Novo Nordisk and Ramboll, undertook groundbreaking pilot research in 2016 to develop and test a standardised approach to measuring the benefits of climate action.

Access the resources below to learn more.