• The first round of 15 winners of the Reinventing Cities competition have been announced, creating new beacons of sustainable design and construction.
  • Teams in Chicago, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Paris and Reykjavík chosen to transform underused sites in their cities into more sustainable and resilient spaces.

Today, C40 Cities announced 15 winners of its Reinventing Cities competition, an initiative launched in December 2017 for local innovators to transform underutilized urban spaces in their communities into carbon neutral and resilient urban projects.

Supported by Climate KIC, the Reinventing Cities competition helps bring to life pioneering models of public-private collaboration for carbon-neutral development. These innovative and replicable climate solutions will serve as examples for other cities to reimagine urban development and to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of new and existing buildings, which today account for more than 50 percent of emissions in C40 cities.

The 15 winning teams of architects, urban planners, designers, developers, entrepreneurs and innovators were selected by juries in each city, from amongst 82 finalist teams. The winners will transform sites in Chicago, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Paris, and Reykjavik into innovative urban spaces that actively contribute to community health and well-being.

The winning projects announced today at the Urban Futures Global Conference in Oslo are:

  • GARFIELD GREEN (Chicago, Illinois, United States) is a net-zero carbon and net-zero energy residential community that will be located in Chicago’s East Garfield Park area, a neighborhood in need of economic investment. This development will generate 100 percent of its power and process all stormwater on site. The proposal includes a space for healthcare facilities and services, a cafe and restaurant, as well as extensive public green spaces, including an oak arboretum and a rooftop garden.
  • MERCADO HABITADO II (Madrid, Spain) is an ambitious net-zero energy project proposing the reactivation of a currently unused market building in Madrid. The renovation will use certified wood and recycled materials in construction, and the project will encourage sustainable consumption habits, foster healthy lifestyles and local and organic produce, and promote intergenerational and social solidarity.
  • TERCER SONIDO (Madrid, Spain) will reconnect the residential and industrial areas of Villaverde by creating a place for cohabitation and transmission of musical knowledge. Constructed using building materials designed for reuse, Tercer Sonido will include a music factory and student residences, as well as an auditorium and organic store. The project will restore the site by dedicating 45 percent of its total surface area to green space and local food production and aims to achieve energy self-sufficiency.
  • CAMPUS FOR LIVING CITIES (Madrid, Spain) is an energy-positive student hub that will be located on the South Campus of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. The project includes sports and art facilities, housing, and a rehabilitated laboratory that will house urban ecology and sustainability research projects. The design will minimize energy consumption, allowing the site to meet net-zero energy standards, and includes a green corridor to foster greater biodiversity.
  • URBAN BATTERY (Madrid, Spain) is a 4.0 battery plant that will meet its carbon-neutral goals through onsite energy production and storage solutions. Urban Battery is projected to create 100+ green jobs in the development of cutting-edge energy technologies, such as biodegradable batteries for electric mobility and smart device applications and a socially co-managed photovoltaic plant. The project also includes an onsite Compostlab producing high quality compost from local organic waste.
  • L’INNESTO (Milan, Italy) will be Italy’s first carbon-neutral social housing project upon its completion. Located at Scalo Greco Breda, a former freight terminal site, the project proposes an innovative 4th generation district heating system connected to the neighborhood and powered by on-site renewable sources. The project also has a 60 percent green space target, as well as an ambitious mobility strategy that limits space for cars. L’Innesto will instead prioritize bike parking, electric car charging terminals, and a shared neighborhood car fleet.
  • CO-INVENTING DORIA (Milan, Italy) is designed as a living manifesto for sustainable urban reinvention. Consisting of a carbon-neutral hostel and a reimagined Viale Doria, the project proposes solutions to several key environmental challenges. The project will procure a significant share of clean energy through its photovoltaic rooftop and a water-to-water heat pump, and it will also use bio-sourced construction materials, such as wood and natural fibers, in the construction process. The building’s envelope will be an innovative “breathing wall” able to recover energy and provide ventilation.
  • VITAE (Milan, Italy) promotes harmony between public and private life and  illustrates the permeability between nature and urbanity. The building’s signature “Green Spiral” is a path covered by a grapevine pergola and will rise to the top of the building, alternating with terraces, vegetable gardens and seasonal greenhouses. The project includes an overall strategy to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact through a wide range of  clean energy and low-carbon solutions. By forging strong partnerships with local actors, Vitae will serve to promote sustainable lifestyles.
  • TEATRO DELLE TERME (Milan, Italy) is a proposed urban park that will see former historic stables located at Scuderie de Montel converted into a thermal activity center. Conceived to utilize the thermal water springs present in the site’s subsoil, this project will be powered by on-site photovoltaic energy generation and waste-to-energy energy recovery created by connecting to the district heating network. For this project, the team also intends to purchase carbon credits to offset any residual CO2 emissions.
  • RECIPE FOR FUTURE LIVING (Oslo, Norway) is a residential and commercial space with ambitious carbon-neutral and net-zero energy goals. Located at the Fossumdumpa site, the project looks to address the construction industry’s waste problem with an innovative circular economy approach. The project will reduce 90 percent of emissions by upcycling local building components and construction materials. Recipe for Future Living will also host a start-up incubator community to promote ecological living and climate solutions and dedicate 50 percent of the site to green public spaces, including gardens, beehives, greenhouses, aquaponics and orangeries.
  • THE URBAN VILLAGE (Oslo, Norway) is a carbon neutral and energy positive community built to prioritize renewables, car-free space, and green areas, such as its proposed greenhouse for herbs, fruits and vegetables. The Urban Village is designed to produce a surplus of energy by significantly reducing its energy usage and producing energy through heat pumps and photovoltaic panels on building facades and rooftops. The Urban Village has proposed to reach its carbon neutrality target by using local construction materials, such as cross laminated timber.
  • MKNO (Paris, France) is a mixed-use development set to include student housing, residential buildings, hotels, offices, local shops, a kindergarten, a library and food incubator. MKNO projects to significantly reduce carbon emissions over its life cycle by using bio-sourced wood and recycled construction materials and procuring at least 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources and heat recovery. The project also promotes ambitious low-carbon mobility solutions through creation of the “Garage Bleu”, a mobility incubator focusing on low-carbon solutions.
  • ODYSSEE PLEYEL (Paris, France) illustrates the achievements of carbon neutral development by proposing a zero-carbon retrofit of Hall de Décuvage Pleyel, an industrial building located in Paris-Saint-Denis. The project is designed to be  incredibly energy efficient, thanks to the use of hybrid photovoltaic and thermal solar cells and zinc-air batteries. The revitalized space will host science workshops for young people and serve as home to as an innovation studio for start-ups, industrial partners and NGOs to share their clean energy, climate, and sustainable development solutions.
  • LIFANDI LANDSLAG (Reykjavík, Iceland) is a zero-carbon, mixed-use building that harnesses PassivHouse standards and objectives for energy efficiency. Located at the Ártún, Malarhöfði site, the project will be Iceland’s largest wooden building upon its completion. Lifandi Landslag, which translates to Living Landscape, will pursue an ambitious biodiversity plan by dedicating 75 percent of the site to green space, including a large central garden and green roofs. The project also aims to expand low-carbon mobility by expanding walking and cycling infrastructure and allocating 50 percent of parking spaces to electric vehicles.
  • FABRIC (Reykjavík, Iceland) integrates co-living and co-working spaces into a low-energy hub contributing to better, healthier, and greener cities. Constructed with low-carbon building materials, including wood and locally produced stone wool, Fabric takes an ambitious circular economy approach set to result in 95 percent of waste being diverted from landfills. The project will also promote biodiversity with green walls and roofs, greenhouses, and a thermal winter garden that will function as a both a wind shelter and social space.

After issuing a call for participation in the Reinventing Cities competition, C40 received more than 230 Expressions of Interest from 1,200 companies and organizations, including some of the biggest names in architecture and engineering. Selected from a second-round pool of 82 teams, today’s 15 winners will have the opportunity to take their projects from concept to reality.

Additional winning projects will be announced in other cities, including Auckland, Montreal, Houston, Rio de Janeiro and Vancouver in the near future.

Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, Anne Hidalgo: “Congratulations to everyone involved in these 15 winning projects of Reinventing Cities. More than 1,200 architects, urban designers, community groups, artists and engineers submitted proposals to participate in this unprecedented competition. Together they have raised the bar for what sustainable urban design looks like, including a multitude of solutions for zero carbon buildings and more sustainable ways of living in our cities. I look forward to seeing these projects become reality and I am certain they will inspire others to match their ambition.

“Architects, developers, engineers, creative minds and citizens, this is just the start! We need to deliver the city of tomorrow, today. We need to act fast and scale up these solutions to create a new standard of sustainability in our great cities. New winning projects will be unveiled in more cities soon and I am pleased to announce that C40 is already preparing the next edition of Reinventing Cities. Be ready!”

Governing Mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen: “I am very pleased with this recognition of our work to promote climate-friendly solutions for how we build and live in cities. This year Oslo is the European Green Capital. Changing how we live, travel and build is important to reduce our emissions. We are very pleased that our two sites, Fossumdumpa in Stovner and Bygata in Furuset, have been recognized by C40. This is important for Oslo, to help us communicate to our citizens that the transformation we are seeking is not just happening here, but worldwide.”

Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala: “As a Mayor, I am very pleased and, at the same time, proud of the results of the Reinventing Cities competition in Milan. Pleased, because the winning projects demonstrate that a new model of urban renewal, based on carbon-neutral, socially sustainable and economically viable innovative solutions, can be realized in our cities today. Proud, because the high quality and quantity of project proposals that we have received confirmation that Milan has the proper skills, resources and vision to take on the challenges of climate change and urban development. Reinventing Cities is a great opportunity both for the participating cities and other municipalities around the world, as it provides a broad range of groundbreaking projects from which to draw inspiration for the design of a resilient urban environment.”

Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena: “In a world in which more and more people live in urban places, Reinventing Cities is an opportunity to promote a new urbanism that demonstrates that there are other ways of understanding and wanting cities, always putting the emphasis on environmental sustainability, innovation and collaboration with all social agents. Only then can move towards cities tailored to people, and recover areas in decline to turn them into poles of activity and regeneration.”

Mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson: “Climate change is the biggest issue the world faces today and cities should and need to become a part of the solution. A competition like Re-inventing cities is truly inspirational, showcasing how we can really make a difference. How cities can become more sustainable, with new methods of building, social engagement and economical benefits. The chosen sites in Reykjavík are situated in key locations within the urban context and that showcases how these issues are put in the forefront in the development of Reykjavík. The colloborative spirit and methods introduced by the competition really enhances the quality of each submitted proposal and each project is a good example on how we can rethink and reshape our cities, introducing a new and a better way of life.”

Former Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel: “From investing in electric vehicles and public transportation, to reducing electricity usage in our buildings, to updating streetlights across the city, Chicago’s communities are showcasing to the world the impact that cities can have on climate change for their residents. Garfield Green will be a place to live, work and play, proving reinvention is a part of Chicago’s DNA.”

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