The Green Urban Infrastructure Strategy was launched by the City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz in 2012. Its main objectives are the regeneration of degraded areas through eco-design techniques, the enhancement of urban biodiversity, the improvement of connectivity and functionality of different urban and periurban green areas, the promotion of public use of green space and the improvement of adaptation capacity to climate change, as in particular more severe and frequent heatwaves.
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City, Urban planning and Building
The municipality of Ober-Grafendorf is located at an elevation of 280 m in a typical pre-Alpine landscape in the Mostviertel region in the western part of the Austrian province Lower Austria. With 4,612 inhabitants on a municipal territory of 24.6 km2, Ober-Grafendorf has a population size only slightly above the statistical average of Austrian municipalities, and it is among the 98% of Austrian municipalities with less than 20.000 inhabitants.
In Germany, for a long time a single fee for both rainwater and wastewater was levied in all communities. After some German court decisions the fee for rainwater was separated from wastewater one and is now based on the extension of impervious property surface (m2), which directs water into the public sewage system. Collecting rainwater on private property with e.g. rain barrel or infiltration system (as for example green space) is then likely to reduce sewage costs due to lower loads to be treated by the treatment plant.
Sustainable development has been a major concern for the City of Paris for more than 10 years. When, in 2015, the City of Paris hosted the COP21, the City Hall wanted to send out a strong signal to the international community and to other local and regional authorities and show the diversity of municipal ecological actions and commitments. To emphasize this, the City of Paris erected the climate bond to finance climate and energy projects. The total size of the bond is € 300 million, with a running time until May 2031.
Vrijburcht is a multipurpose living-and-working complex in Amsterdam. It offers many shared social amenities for both the residents and the people from the neighbourhood. The heart of the complex is the courtyard garden with trees, a vegetable garden, lawns, flowers, benches and a greenhouse. The garden provides various solutions to the expected impact of climate change; it offers residents a cool environment during warmer summers; rain water is stored in underground tanks for irrigation in dry periods; the unsealed area permits maximum rainwater permeability.
Bilbao’s ‘Zorrotzaurre’ district is currently a degraded, flood-prone industrial peninsula. With increasing extreme precipitation predicted across the Basque country in the future due to climate change and a need for new housing to accommodate citizens of Bilbao, a major urban regeneration project is currently underway to redevelop Zorrotzaurre district into a new flood-proof residential quarter.
In response to flooding causing damage in Smolyan’s Ustovo neighbourhood in 2005, the city implemented a number of flood protection measures that presumably have paid off already during the wet year of 2014. Under the project, river banks were widened, existing protection walls were reinforced and new walls constructed. The cost of about 480,000 EUR was mainly derived from funding by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Malmö is experiencing negative effects from climate change due to rising temperatures and excessive rainfall. The city therefore aims to realise climate adaptation measures by integrating it directly in the design of urban development projects, such as in the case of the Western Harbour. The private funding to realise these measures is provided by developers, who realise the actual construction of the projects.
Ghent aims at realizing more green areas in response to climate change and actively seeks citizen involvement to achieve this. This is in line with the city being very social and creative with many citizens actively developing bottom-up initiatives. Many of these small scale projects however have difficulty developing into a successful project through the available financing mechanisms. Therefore, Ghent has developed a crowdfunding platform that allows citizens to propose and finance their ideas for the city.
Bratislava has received funding from “EEA Grants and Norway Grants” (hereafter called EEA Grants) for an urban climate adaptation project. The project entitled ‘Bratislava is preparing for climate change’ implements measures to enhance the resilience of Bratislava city to the adverse impacts of climate change, in particular intense rainfall and heat. These measures include tree planting, green roofs and rainwater retention facilities. The benefits are primarily for the most vulnerable inhabitants of Bratislava: elderly people and children.