American Cities Lead the Way Amongst 25 Climate Change Projects

Competing to be C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 2017 Winners


C40 announces finalists of annual awards, recognising the world’s most innovative and impactful efforts by mayors to tackle climate change.

Fifth-annual C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards to include special focus on the leadership of US cities on the global stage.


New York City, USA (18 September 2017) – 11 US cities, including Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., are amongst the 25 finalists announced today for the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 2017. These projects represent the most ambitious and innovative efforts by mayors of the world’s great cities to tackle climate change. The fifth-annual C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards, will celebrate the best projects across five categories: building energy efficiency & clean energy; sustainable transportation; reducing waste; climate action plans, and adaptation plans & programmes.


Given the increasingly important role cities must play in driving climate action in the United States, the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 2017 will have a special focus on the leadership of US cities on the global stage. Each category of the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 2017 will have a winner from an American city and a city from the rest of the world.


The winners of the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 2017 will be announced in Chicago, at the North American Climate Summit.


“Congratulations to every city that has been selected as a finalist of the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 2017,” said Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, Anne Hidalgo. “The urgency of the climate crisis facing the world means that we need to be constantly recognising the best ideas in how cities can tackle climate change. Every one of these projects deserves to be closely studied by mayors and city leaders around the world. I wish each city the very best of luck.”


“Mayors around the world are working harder than ever to fight climate change because they understand the immediate benefits of action, and this year’s group of C40 finalists highlights the critical role cities play in speeding global progress,” said UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and C40 Board President, Michael R. Bloomberg. “Nearly half of the finalist projects are in American cities, and they will help ensure that the U.S. reaches our Paris Agreement goal, no matter what happens in Washington. Cities are leading the way on every continent, and the C40 Awards are a chance to highlight great ideas and help them spread.”


“The C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 2017 celebrates dramatic local action on the environment, and I am proud that the winners will be announced here in Chicago,” said Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago will also be home to the first-ever North American Climate Summit, which will convene Mayors from across the US, Canada and Mexico to exchange ideas and strengthen coordination in our common fight for a sustainable future. I look forward to convening leaders from around the world to identify ways to further improve our climate while building 21st century communities.”


C40 received 174 applications from 92 cities, which were assessed by a selection committee of urban sustainability and climate change experts at C40 and Sustainia, to identify the finalists. Sustainia partners with C40 each year to produce Cities100, a publication that showcases 100 of the best urban climate solutions from around the world. An independent jury panel, including experts in climate change, urban development and city government will evaluate each of the finalist projects, before selecting winners in each category. 


C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 2017 Finalists:


Cities4Energy: recognising excellence in building energy efficiency and clean energy


Austin, USA 

 ‘Austin Energy Solar Program’

Austin’s Solar program has expanded solar power within Austin at a massive scale, all while limiting increases in electric rates to no more than 2% per year.

Knoxville, USA

 ‘Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover (KEEM)’

KEEM works to retrofit homes with the twinned goals of providing energy efficiency upgrades and helping lower-income Knoxville families save on their utility bills.

Chicago, USA

 ‘Retrofit Chicago’

Retrofit Chicago partners with countless local organizations to improve energy efficiency and cut costs and greenhouse gas emissions for Chicago's residents and businesses.



Qingdao, China

‘Optimizing the Energy Use Structure of Heating to Achieve the Goal of Clean Heating’

Qingdao's clean energy plan commits to the goal of reducing 215 million tonnes of coal consumed by retrofitting existing boilers and subsidizing new clean energy infrastructure. 

Copenhagen, Denmark

‘Energy surveillance, management and efficient operation in public buildings’


Copenhagen's energy surveillance program makes the city the first in the world to have a completely centralized building monitoring system.

Vancouver, Canada

‘Green Buildings Program’

Vancouver's Green Buildings Programme improved building bylaws to make green housing more practical and affordable, thereby increasing the cities sustainability and resilience.


Cities4Mobility: recognising excellence in sustainable transportation


New York City, USA

‘Cleaner Trucks for a Healthier South Bronx’

The South Bronx Clean Truck Program accelerates the purchasing of low-carbon vehicles, retrofits existing trucks and replaces old vehicles to reduce local air pollutants by 75% per truck.

Los Angeles, USA

‘The Sustainable City pLAn: Electric Vehicle Proliferation and Procurement’

The Sustainable City pLAn pledges that, by 2025, 80% of vehicles purchased by the city will be electric or zero emission – equivalent to taking 430,000 cars off of the road each year. 



Barcelona, Spain

‘The implementation of the Superblocks programme in Barcelona: Filling our streets with life’

The Barcelona Superblocks change traffic flows within the city to create vibrant, walkable spaces and reduce internal traffic by 80-90% without increasing external traffic by more than 5%.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dar Rapid Transit Project (DART)

DART tackles traffic congestion and high levels of local air pollution with a new Bus Rapid Transit system serving 200,000 people every day and adding new, lower-carbon engines to the city’s fleet

Bangalore, India

‘Intelligent Transport System (ITS)’

Bangalore has developed India's first Intelligent Transport System, making it possible for Bangalore's 5.2 million daily riders to enjoy a streamlined transportation system.


Cities4ZeroWaste: recognising excellence in reducing waste


New York City, USA

‘Cross-Sector Strategies for Achieving Zero Waste in New York City’

New York City's Zero Waste Plan works to engage citizens and makes it easier to recycle, re-use and repurpose materials with the ultimate goal of sending no waste to landfills by 2030.

Phoenix, USA

‘Reimagine Phoenix Initiative’

The Reimagine Phoenix Initiative will clean the air and improve public health by diverting 40% of the city's waste by 2020 and reaching zero waste by 2050. 



Hong Kong, China


T.PARK turns sewage sludge into electricity via an incineration process that generated 50 million kWh of electricity in 2016, enough to power some 10,500 households in Hong Kong for a year.

Auckland, New Zealand

‘Auckland Waste to Resources’

Auckland's Waste to Resources program has developed a way to divert 65% of curbside waste to be recovered, re-used or recycled.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

‘Recycling Centre’

Buenos Aires’ innovative Recycling Centre provides five different facilities to process different kinds of waste and repurpose surplus materials for soil stabilizer or compost.


Cities4Action: recognising the most ambitious city-wide action plans


Fort Collins, USA

‘Fort Collins Climate Action Plan’

Fort Collins’ Climate Action Plan aims to reach complete carbon neutrality by 2050, and is already delivering 25% per capita emissions reductions along with a 60% rate of waste diversion. 

San Diego, USA

‘Bold Climate Action in San Diego’

San Diego's Climate Action Plan, commits to reaching 100% renewable energy and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2035 through a uniquely legally-binding structure. 



Oslo, Norway

‘Climate and Energy Strategy for Oslo’

Oslo's Climate Action Plan aims to reduce emissions by 95% by 2030 and has developed a unique climate budget which accounts for every single unit of CO2 emitted by the city. 

Mexico City, Mexico

‘Paving the Way for Climate Action in Mexico City’

Mexico City's Climate Action Program has already delivered on 65% of the city's 2018 goals and has begun work on all but 5% of the cumulative actions outlined by the plan. 


Cities4Tomorrow: recognising the most ambitious adaptation plans and programmes


Washington D.C., USA

‘Climate Ready DC’

Climate Ready D.C. has established a long-term commitment to climate resiliency that will impact the city's transportation, buildings, neighborhood design and policy structure. 

San Francisco, USA

‘San Francisco’s Climate and Health Adaptation Framework’

In collaboration with partners across the City and County of San Francisco, the Department of Public Health has developed a forward-thinking set of solutions to health risks linked to climate change




Rotterdam, The Netherlands

‘The Rotterdam Roofscape’

Rotterdam Roofscape has developed four different kinds of climate-friendly roofs across the city, including vegetation, water collection, renewable energy and recreational infrastructure.

Wuhan, China

‘Wuhan Comprehensive Rehabilitation Project of Yangtze River Embankment River Beach – Wuqing Embankment Section’

Wuhan's plan to rehabilitate and revitalize the Yangtze River embankment will massively reduce localized pollution and make space for walking, cycling, green space and recreation. 

Hong Kong, China

‘Landslip Prevention and Mitigation (LPMit) Project at Mid-levels under LPMit Programme’

Hong Kong's Landslip Prevention and Mitigation  Programme aims to minimize the risk of landslides facing the city to safeguard residents from more severe climate related weather event.


For more information on the Awards and the projects of the Finalist cities, go to:


– ENDS –




About the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

C40 Cities connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 650+ million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens. The current chair of the C40 is Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania. To learn more about the work of C40 and our cities, please visit, follow us on Twitter @c40cities or Instagram @c40cities and like us on Facebook at


About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit  or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

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