The 2015 C40 Cities Awards ceremony, held in Paris during the landmark COP21 climate negotiations, showcased the best and most innovative climate actions taking place in the world’s cities. Mayors, city officials and thought leaders from around the world gathered to celebrate successful projects and plans, share their stories and knowledge, voice their ideas, and receive global recognition for their efforts.

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Winning cities, including Boston, Johannesburg, Rotterdam and Nanjing each demonstrated exceptional innovation and ambition to build low carbon and climate resilient urban communities. Winners were recognised for a diverse set of world-class policies, projects or programs, including Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan, which sets a roadmap to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, and Wuhan’s ecological restoration of one of the city’s largest landfill sites.

The 2015 Winners across ten award categories were:

Boston, Smart Cities & Smart Community EngagementGreenovate Boston (GB) is an umbrella brand that unifies the city’s programmes in energy, transportation, air pollution, food and solid waste the others and establish a broad platform for communication, community engagement and recognition of achievement. GB links programs in different departments given their often inter-related nature. It simplifies community outreach, because departments can use a common platform for communicating with constituents. GB helps constituents see the relatedness of various programmes, so that residents who may be particularly interested in City Hall’s programmes may become aware of, and participate in, other programmes that are also part of GB. Watch Mayor Austin Blackmon tell us more about Greenovate Boston.


Cape Town, Adaptation Implementation: In 2007, the City of Cape Town committed itself to a comprehensive programme of Water Conservation and Water Demand Management (WCWDM) aimed at minimising water waste and promoting efficient use of water. The WCWDM programme is an innovative multi-pronged initiative that focuses on both technical and behavioural aspects of saving water. The programme includes raising public awareness and the promotion of water use efficiency, the introduction of a ‘stepped’ water tariff designed to encourage water savings, free of charge plumbing repairs for low-income households, training of ‘community plumbers’, the promotion of alternative water sources such as borehole water and recycled water for irrigation, as well as a range of technical interventions to minimise water losses, such as improved asset management, pressure management schemes, pipe replacement programmes, leak detection and improved meter management. Watch Mayor Patricia de Lille tell us more about the Water Conservation and Water Demand programme.


Johannesburg, Finance & Economic Development: In 2008, the City conducted a detailed climate change vulnerability assessment in order to assess the impacts of climate change, which was instrumental in helping the City understand its climate risk to ensure it responds accordingly. The Green Bond was a step in the right direction in creating funding opportunities to assist the City in preparing and implementing integrated inclusive and long-term adaptation strategies designed to reduce vulnerability, thus cementing its commitment. Green initiatives that will receive funding through the Green Bond include the Biogas to Energy project, the Solar Geyser Initiative and dual-fuel buses, as well as other projects that are critical to reducing the City’s GHG emissions. Watch Mayor Geoffrey Makhubo tell us more about the Green Bond project.


Nanjing, Transportation: In January 2014, the central government launched a plan to have Nanjing, Changzhou, Suzhou and three other cities as a city agglomeration in the Jiangsu province for the second wave of New Energy Vehicle (NEV) promotion pilot cities. The Nanjing Municipal government set up the structure to define detailed rules for subsidies and electricity prices for EV charging and to promote the installation of charging facilities. Watch Mayor Huang Lan tell us more about the New Energy Vehicle project.


New York, Building Energy EfficiencyOne City: Built to Last (One City) is a 10-year plan to improve the energy efficiency of NYC’s one million buildings through a combination of public investments in City-owned buildings and new programs to spur private-sector action. The plan includes eight initiatives for public buildings, backed by more than $1 billion in annual funding, which will improve City operations and maintenance and retrofit every City-owned building with any significant energy use by 2025. Watch Mayor Anthony Shorris tell us more about One City: Built to Last.


Rotterdam, Adaptation Planning & Assessment: The Rotterdam Adaptation Strategy (RAS) was formally approved by the city after extensive research and the launch of several no-regrets measures. The process included vulnerability assessments, a societal cost benefit analysis of 40 adaptation measures and intensive stakeholder participation. The RAS aims to secure and maintain a robust city by incorporating adaptation measures in urban development, renewal and maintenance activities. Watch Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb tell us more about the Rotterdam Adaption Strategy.


Stockholm, Sustainable Communities: Stockholm has very high ambitions for sustainable development. Policies such as ‘The Walkable City’ and ‘Fossil fuel free 2040’, are world-leading. To further develop the city’s ambitions, the Stockholm Royal Seaport (SRS) has been pinpointed to test how to incorporate available best practices and become a model for sustainable urban development. Watch Mayor Karin Wanngård tell us more about the Stockholm Royal Seaport.


Vancouver, Carbon Measurement & Planning: Vancouver's Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP) sets out a bold vision to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. GCAP comprises 10 goal areas covering jobs, carbon, the built environment, the natural environment and food, each with specific 2020 targets that address three overarching focus areas: zero carbon, zero waste and healthy ecosystems. Watch Mayor Gregor Robertson tell us more about the Greenest City Action Plan.


Washington, DC, Green Energy: In 2015, the District of Columbia government entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Iberdrola Renewables that will supply approximately 30% of the District government’s electricity from a 46 megawatt wind farm. This is the largest wind power purchasing agreement of its kind ever entered into by a U.S. city, and secures a favorable rate that is projected to save District taxpayers $45 million over the next 20 years through lower electricity rates. Watch Director of Energy & Environment Tommy Wells and Director of Sustainability & Energy for the Department of General Services Mark Chambers tell us more about the Power Purchase Agreement.       


Wuhan, Solid Waste: In January 2009, the city of Wuhan proposed plans of comprehensive control, ecological restoration and comprehensive utilisation for the closed landfill of Jinkou—the Ecological Restoration Project of Jinkou Landfill. In 2012, Wuhan decided to restore Jinkou landfill in an ecological way, and to redevelop the area as the main meeting place for the 10th session of China’s International Garden Expo in Wuhan in 2015. Watch Mayor Wan Yong tell us more about the Ecological Restoration Project of Jinkou Landfill.


Applications are still open for the 2016 C40 Cities Awards. Join the winner’s circle – apply now!  

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