At its recent annual conference in Oslo, FutureBuilt convened C40 Executive Director Mark Watts, former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan, and other climate leaders to share ideas and knowledge about urban climate action. 

Asking why cities’ are the engines for change in the world today, Mark Watts noted that the knowledge-sharing and collaboration driven by global networks such as C40 are a key reason:

“The way that [cities] compete with each other is a race to the top. It’s to invest more in the city, have better public services, a better cultural offer, to attract the best talent and investment. So it has positive ramifications rather than the negative ones that are associated with the competition between nation states.”

Janette Sadik-Khan, who is now a Principal at Bloomberg Associates, shared lessons learned transforming the streets of New York City.

“In just a few years, New Yorkers have actually become fluent in an entirely new language of sustainable streets. They talk easily about protected bike lanes, they talk about pedestrian plazas…and bike sharing. In a short time our famous “mean streets” have become much nicer.”

FutureBuilt is a ten-year programme, which aims to develop 50 low carbon pilot projects by 2020 including individual buildings and city areas that feature high quality architecture and contribute to a better environment for urban dwellers.

To learn more about FutureBuilt, click here.

To watch videos of presentations from the event, click here for Mark Watts and here for Janette Sadik-Khan.

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