As the global climate community converges for COP28, the urgency to reshape urban landscapes into havens of sustainability intensifies. EIT Climate-KIC is at the forefront of this endeavour, translating climate goals into practical, scalable projects that can be integrated into the daily fabric of urban life.
These demonstrations showcase what is possible when cycles of innovation and learning are intentionally designed to trigger exponential decarbonisation and build resilient communities.
This commitment to radical collaboration and a systems approach is evident in the success stories emerging from cities like Hackney (UK), Olot (Spain), Karasu (Turkey), and Espoo (Finland). Drawing from the Sustainable Cities Mobility Challenge, these four exemplary initiatives highlight the pivotal role of sustainable mobility in the journey towards carbon neutrality.
Hackney: A fair transition to sustainable transport
In Hackney, the local council's commitment to tackling climate change is embodied in its Climate Action Plan. Transport takes center stage as one of the five key themes, with a mission to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and promote active and healthy lifestyles by implementing a cargo bike pilot scheme.
The Plan recognises that there’s a need to make this transition a fair one – reducing inequalities and creating benefits for all residents – by improving air quality and better mental health for people who live in the borough.
Ali Howes, Senior Transport Planner at the Zero Emissions Network (ZEN)
Olot: Restructuring mobility for a greener future
Olot, in Spain, is restructuring mobility with a comprehensive plan that includes constructing a network of secure parking areas for bicycles and e-scooters across the city. The goal is to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation, shifting the focus from motor vehicles to bicycles and e-scooters.
Karasu: Reducing congestion through green corridors
In Karasu, Turkey, Abdulkadir Özden, Assistant Professor at the Sakarya University of Applied Sciences, is helping address the problem of congestion in the popular holiday destination. By implementing green corridors that enhance walkability and introducing micro-mobility alternatives and expanded public transit services, the city aims to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
Espoo: A story of community and carbon neutrality
Espoo, Finland, is part of a larger decarbonisation strategy known as the "Espoo Story," aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Veli-Pekka Korhonen, Sustainable Mobility Specialist at the City of Espoo, is leading an initiative that promotes social inclusion and gender equality by encouraging more women and girls to cycle.
It highlights the positive impact such initiatives can have on peoples’ lives, fostering a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of our community.
Veli-Pekka Korhonen, Sustainable Mobility Specialist at the City of Espoo