New initiative helps industrial cities transition to sustainability

The Urban Transitions Alliance, managed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and funded by Stiftung Mercator, presents an opportunity for industrial and former industrial cities to become global leaders in sustainable urban development.

The Urban Transitions Alliance, officially launched at the TWINS Conference Ruhr in Essen, will bring forward a process of defining shared challenges and co-creating solutions for industrial and former industrial cities.

The global climate transition requires all – nations, businesses and cities – to redefine their development. Pushed by forces beyond climate, many industrial cities around the world are currently doing just that. They set out to turn the challenge posed by fading industrial activity into an opportunity to become hubs of clean energy, innovation and sustainability.

To stop climate change, a planet-wide low-carbon transition needs to happen. Cities like Pittsburgh, the former Steel City of the USA, and Essen, a major coal mining hub, have been experiencing first-hand what such a transition entails. These cities had to create new visions for their future and, ultimately, to define their own paths towards more sustainable economies.

The Urban Transitions Alliance now brings together a group of such cities, including the following cities from the United States, Germany and China:

• Pittsburgh, PA, USA
• Cincinnati, OH, USA
• Buffalo, NY, USA
• Essen, Germany
• Bottrop, Germany
• Beijing, Economic-Technological Development Areas (E-Town), China
• Beijing, Huairou District, China
• Shijiazhuang, Yuhua District, China

These cities will be sharing their stories and commitments at COP23. The initiative will be represented at the official COP23 side event Cities in transition: Industrial legacy for a low carbon future by Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh, USA, Deputy Mayor Simone Raskob of Essen Germany, and Deputy District Mayor Jian Cai of the People’s Government of Guangzhou, Huadu District, China.

These key leaders are stepping up, creating vibrant, green economies and leading the way toward a sustainable future for their cities and residents.

Learn more about the Urban Transitions Alliance.

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