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Sustainable global cities of the future: Warsaw

Warsaw’s mayor shares a few thoughts and lessons about the challenges faced by sustainable cities, the role of European funds and strategic development.

In a think piece for Huffington Post, Warsaw’s mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz shares a few thoughts about sustainable development and climate action. In the past few years, Warsaw’s infrastructure and eco-friendly transportation stock have undergone massive development due, in large part, to the acquisition of European structural funds. Despite the fact that Warsaw is one of the greenest large cities in the world, with forests and parks covering 40 percent of its area, it faces the same daunting challenges as all major European cities when it comes to energy efficiency and environmental consciousness.

The best illustration of the administration’s efforts to tackle these issues is transportation. A sustainable transportation system must be based on the principles of energy-efficiency and passenger safety. Warsaw’s transport accounts for 15 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. The public transportation of Warsaw secures 60 percent of its non-pedestrian travels. It comprises state-owned railways, city-owned subway, trams and buses (as well as private buses running on a combined ticket). The combined ticket offers the possibility to travel throughout the area of Warsaw and its adjacent municipalities, a solution that encourages citizens to use the public transportation system, as does the ongoing extension of the underground system, as well as the replacement of the rolling stock. Through Warsaw’s bus operator, the city is involved in the C40 Low Emission Vehicle Network, and is a signer of the Global Clean Bus Declaration. Additionally, efforts are being made to make Warsaw a more cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly city.

In the coming years, Warsaw’s strategic development will be focusing on public transportation, waste management and waste treatment, energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, municipal buildings (offices, schools and social housing), sports facilities, street lighting and renovation of historic buildings.

Source: Huffington Post

Photo: Madalina Mirea at Flickr

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