By collaborating with various civil society actors, Barcelona is engaging residents in developing citizen-led actions that address climate resilience.

The Challenge

Home to a large population located on the Mediterranean basin, Barcelona faces a number of deep rooted problems related to climate change including high energy consumption and vulnerability to rising sea levels. To combat these challenges, the city is employing the power of collective local action to enact necessary changes to reduce emissions and improve resilience.

The Solution

In 2015, Barcelona adopted a bottom-up approach to mitigating climate change through its citizen-led initiative Commitment to Climate Change. The city invited more than 800 organizations including schools, businesses, and NGOs to participate in the process, resulting in the creation of nine citizen-centric projects. It is the city’s goal that these actions, along with city-led initiatives, will help Barcelona substantially reduce CO2 emissions and increase the total urban green area by 1.6 km2 by 2030. The nine citizen-centric plans include a bike-sharing program to encourage people to cycle to work and a mobile application that connects residents who want to swap goods and offer repairs. Another project will employ and train residents to renovate housing with passive and low cost systems to reduce energy consumption. All these projects work in synergy with Barcelona’s strategic measures to address climate change with the hope that the citizen driven process will ensure the city’s long-term commitment to climate action.

Environmental Benefits – The Green Point 2.0 project, which provides spaces for collection, reuse, and sharing of items that would otherwise be tossed, and the door-to-door waste collection and separation project, both initiated by residents, support the city’s goal of cutting waste generation by 10% by 2020.

Economic Benefits – The implementation of Barcelona’s plan could create up to 9,500 jobs in Barcelona and the surrounding area.

Health Benefits – The project’s Safe School Routes initiative aims to reduce the number of children going to school by car by 10% over two years, thereby improving kids’ health by increasing active mobility like walking and cycling.

About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Health
Key Impact
40% reduction in per capita CO2 emissions by 2030, in part through citizen led projects
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