Cities are at the frontline in the fight against climate change. Europe is an urban continent, and three out of four Europeans live in towns or cities. International agreements at the UN will be vital to addressing the challenge of global warming, but actually implementing these agreements in practice will require national governments to support and cooperate with municipalities and local governments.
Local and municipal governments are also going to be forced to cope with the impact of climate change, from flooding to heatwaves and other extreme weather events. How can Europe’s towns and cities adapt to a more sustainable future? What part can technology play in this transition, from public transport and renewable energy to AI and new ways of organising society?
Want to learn more about how cities are using technology to tackle climate change? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):
What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Ritsa, who wonders if it’s possible to design greener cities without completely changing our way of life (and she doesn’t really think it is). What would ordinary life actually look like in a “greener city”?
To get a reaction, we spoke to Belinda Gottardi, Mayor of Castel Maggiore in Italy, as well as a member of the board of the Covenant of Mayors, and spokesperson on climate for the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR). What would she say?
Next up, we had a comment from Cãlin, who asks whether technology (such as data from traffic cameras, drones, etc.) can help solve issues such as traffic congestion, air pollution, and CO2 emissions in cities.
We put Cãlin’s comment to Eckart Würzner, Lord Mayor of Heidelberg, for his response. How would he respond?
For another perspective, we put the same comment to Manuel Carmona Yebra, Policy Officer at the EU Commission’s Directorate‑General for Climate Action.
Last but not least, we had a comment sent in by Ivan, who thinks big tech companies should be encouraged to invest in greening cities through innovation.
We put Ivan’s comment to Nithya Sowrirajan, a Director at Google. What did she think should be the role of the private sector in greening cities?
How would Eckart Würzner, Mayor of Heidelberg in Germany, respond to the same comment?
Is your city doing enough against climate change? Can technology cut traffic congestion and CO2 emissions in cities? Would ordinary life be different in a future “green city”? What should be the role of the private sector (e.g. big tech companies) in greening cities? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
Photo by Aslıhan Altın on Unsplash
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