About the programme

The way we’ve been building cities has resulted in the growth of sprawling urban areas with disconnected and single-purpose neighbourhoods. This has led to issues like heavy reliance on cars, causing long commutes, poor air quality, and limited access to essential services in many places. As urban populations continue to rise, it’s crucial to find a better way to design cities that prioritise the wellbeing of both people and the environment.

Worldwide, there’s a growing desire for more enjoyable city living. Cities are transforming neighbourhoods to boost access to local shops, amenities, and services. They’re prioritising nature and people over cars, creating lively public spaces for socialising, playing, and comfortable walking or cycling. ‘Vital Neighbourhoods’ in Bogotá, the ‘15-Minute City’ in Paris, and ‘Complete & Walkable Neighbourhoods’ in Vancouver are some examples of this approach.

These approaches are not just about better living – they also support cities to take impactful climate action. According to the latest IPCC report, adopting urban planning and models like the ‘City of Proximity’ or ‘15-Minute City’ could cut emissions by 23–26% by 2050 compared with traditional urban development approaches.

The Green and Thriving Neighbourhoods programme, led by C40, supports cities to embrace these urban planning and design approaches. The aim of this work is to help cities foster vibrant local life, enhance climate resilience, and improve community health and wellbeing.

The programme is funded by Urban Partners, with close collaboration with Professor Carlos Moreno, co-founder and Scientific Director of the Chaire ETI, and delivered in partnership with UN-Habitat and UNEP.

Programme activities

Cities involved in the programme explore and apply the ‘City of Proximity’ or ‘15-Minute City’ and other urban planning concepts through two main channels:

  • The Green and Thriving Neighbourhoods Forum: This platform connects 40 cities, academic institutions, international organisations and businesses, fostering the exchange of knowledge concerning the 15-minute city and related approaches. The Forum conducts its activities via monthly webinars, regional workshops, and dedicated articles on the C40 Knowledge Hub. Additionally, it collaborates with the Observatory of Sustainable Proximities, developed in partnership with Chaire ETI, UN-Habitat, and UCLG.
  • Pilot projects: 22 cities from around the world have proposed flagship projects at the neighbourhood scale. These projects serve as practical initiatives to test and implement the principles of proximity, with the aim of inspiring transformative changes in their urban planning and design approaches.

Cities participating in the programmes:

Forum: Auckland, Austin, Barcelona, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Cape Town, Chengdu, Chicago, Dakar, Guadalajara, Istanbul, Lisbon, Madrid, Miami, Milan, Montréal, New Orleans, New York City, Paris, Phoenix, Portland, Rotterdam, Qingdao, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Santiago, São Paulo, Seattle, Shenzhen, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Vancouver, Victoria State, Vitoria Gasteiz, Warsaw, Washington D.C., Wuhan, Zhenjiang

Pilots: Austin, Barcelona, Bogotá, Chengdu, Copenhagen, Dakar, Guadalajara, Istanbul, Lisbon, Milan, Paris, Qingdao, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Santiago, Shenzhen, Stockholm, São Paulo, Vancouver, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Warsaw, Wuhan

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