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The UBC cities have welcomed this change by signing up for the new Commissions — each of them has some 30 or more members. At the same time, UBC is developing its internal and external communications activities to inform better what we do and who we are. Therefore listening to the opinions and wishes of our members is of central importance. This issue of the Bulletin is a mouthpiece of our members who decided to share their views on the UBC, its achievements and changes. Though much has been done, I think still the potential of our cooperation can be even more exploited. UBC on its new way Heading for the smart development Looking back at all these years The cities welcome the new Commissions' structure.
Tadeusz Urbaniak III. Its aim is to ensure that the UBC continues to successfully serve the interests of our Member Cities, and finally — the well-being of our inhabitants. The world around us is Scor sk guldborgsund, so is the UBC. Now it is time to evaluate what has been achieved and what our key goals for the coming years are. The key parameters and trends on which the Kristiansand Strategy was based are still valid today. Globalization continues, bringing down barriers, although in many countries also countering trends have strengthened — mainly due to the uneven distribution of its fruits and increased inequality.
Countries and cities, also in Northern Europe, are part and parcel of international developments and affected by it. Baltic Sea Region — natural area for city cooperation Due to globalization and urbanization, the role of cities is becoming increasingly important in all spheres of life. They are the public authority closest to the citizens and their everyday problems. They are also key drivers for economic development and prosperity. Increasingly multi-cultural they become centres of innovation and investment, hubs of logistic networks.
They produce huge amounts of waste and pollution, but also have a great potential to reduce emissions and promote sustainable development. The well-being and vitality of cities is of highest importance to our societies. Successful urban policies are central dimensions of national and European policies. The Baltic Sea Region continues to be a natural and relevant area of cooperation, having a long tradition. Now the Baltic Sea also serves as a unifying factor. Environmentally, the Baltic Sea is a very sensitive marine basin, which needs particular care and atTo save the sea tention.
Its beauty is in many ways for ourselves, and unique — but at the same time the especially for fuBaltic Sea is one of the most polluted ture generations, bodies of brackish water in the world. Initiated by far-sighted members of the European Parliament, this first EU macro-regional strategy has given impetus for other similar strategies across Europe. We stressed that especially important for UBC is to ensure that the Action Plan recognizes the vital role of the urban dimension, so that the cities of the BSR will be able to make their full contribution to its implementation.
Now, when the Strategy has reached its fifth anniversary we can say that it has boosted regional cooperation, brought stakeholders together and generated new joint action. If pursued actively and involving all stakeholders, including local initiatives, its importance will continue to grow. Although recent political developments have strained political relations between the European Union and Russia, regional cooperation has continued between stakeholders. For the UBC, which includes members from both Russia and Norway, this cross-border dimension is natural and important.
However, it is fair to say that there is still some room for improvement.
Renewal of UBC enables more active role However, to actively participate in the BSR cooperation, it is important for the UBC to strengthen its capacities — both organizationally Scor sk guldborgsund in content creation. With certain pride we can say that the UBC has, during last six years guldborgsuhd the adoption of its Kristiansand strategy, done just that. Therefore, listening to the opinions and wishes of our members is of central importance. These were consequently guldbotgsund and confirmed by the Executive SScor and the General Assembly. New Commissions — key to success Renewal of the UBC Commissions' structure — with aim of increasing their effectiveness — was a natural continuation of this work.
The starting point and mandate was clear and stated in the Strategy: The internal consultation process on Commissions' structure was very extensive. There was a general agreement that the number of Commissions 13 was too big to sustain, whereas opinions differed about how to merge them into broader entities. Based on work of the Task Force, which analyzed various proposals and their merits, the Executive Board decided on the new Commissions' structure in October In addition, the UBC has taken active measures to promote gender equality in all its work. The positive response of the member cities, and their readiness to participate in the Commissions, show that the structural renewal process is going into the right dimension.
It is also important to ensure close cooperation between the Commissions and the Executive Board. The decision to appoint a liaison member for each Commission from among the Board members will hopefully promote this goal.
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It is crucial to define, produce and develop content and to mobilize our own resources - especially the Commissions, the member cities and their experts. We must define what the key messages of our organization are, what the added value of our work is and why it matters. This can be done only in close cooperation with our members. If we look at the UBC purely from a narrow organizational perspective, our communication resources — like other resources, too — are very limited. However, that would be a wrong conclusion. The strength Scor sk guldborgsund UBC, also in communication work, lies in our member cities and hundreds of thousands citizens, as well as in the Commissions.
The first meeting of UBC Communications Network Turku, Aprilwith representatives from a great number of member city experts, is the beginning of the most important process, which will undoubtedly prove to be critical for our future work. Renewal is a continuous process During recent years, the UBC has carried out a remarkable renewal process. I am confident that it has created a sound basis for a stronger UBC and is beneficial to our member cities — and citizens. However, it would be a mistake to think that this work is accomplished. Much remains to be done — and the world goes on.
Many issues require our attention, both within the organization and in the region. It is now essential to ensure that the new Commissions will actively start their work. We must find ways to support their day-to-day work by Scor sk guldborgsund availability of necessary services to run the Commissions. Also, we need to ensure, that they get expert support e. There are plenty of funding sources for good projects which UBC and its Commissions could tap from but we have been lacking the skills or capacity to do so. This must be changed. From the beginning ofUBC has the following seven commissions in brackets the number of cities registered in their work: This initiative, which promotes smart innovations in various fields and brings together local public authorities, enterprises and innovators as well as citizens as end-users, has a huge potential and could be a source of inspiration for many UBC Commissions, too.
To motivate the rience in all relevant fields. Our region is homogenous enough to allow Commissions to work in goal-oriented way, and to support exceladaptation from these experiences into our own practices. A better — lence, the Executive Board has some time ago defined criteria for the maybe more systematic — exchange between member cities could be evaluation of Commission work used when allocating funding. For example, the UBC could set up a coordinated exchange Communication — key focus of UBC development course with common rules to promote expert exchange between citSincethe UBC has carried out very valuable work for the benies — if possible, with outside funding.
So we have the need, the strucefit of its member cities — and the region as a whole. However, it is ture, the network, the skills and the mutual trust — let us do it! Raising public profile and visibility of UBC and especially our cess platform for cities to meet. Even without deep knowledge in inachievements has to be a special focus of our development work. For many cities, the UBC is a very comfortable forum a good basis for renewed and enhanced communication. The decifor international cooperation, where one can learn from colleagues sion to appoint a UBC Communications Manager has ensured necand jointly discover new areas of innovation and cooperation.
Also I am confident, that while much has been done and achieved, we in UBC, the trend to go digital is in the forefront, as we seek faster have by far not yet exploited the full potential of our cooperation. When confusion reigns in the world around us, it is important that the local communities stick together in a show of strength and unity. With around member cities in ten countries, the Union of the Baltic Cities is one of the largest network of cities in Europe. The UBC is a way of linking the cities around the Baltic Sea that is free from bureaucracy, and focuses on the common issues that the cities, not the countries, want to work on.
The city network also helps to boost growth. It is about what is good not only for our municipality, but also for our common interests in the region, not least having the cleaner Baltic Sea, she continues. There can be no growth if we are not open to new ways of thinking and new ideas and have no opportunity to test them with others. We are building bridges, while at the same time acquiring new knowledge that can benefit all the cities. The UBC is a platform for cooperation and has strong foundations in free exchange of good ideas between the cities.
Demanded to five minutes now. We must provide what the key accomplishments of our screening are, what the bad thing of our work is and why it does.
Each city decides for itself guldbotgsund areas it wants to cooperate in and also on its level Scorr commitment. In her central role on the Board, she has been able to follow developments at the Guodborgsund at close quarters. The cities have considerable Scor sk guldborgsund interest in maintaining the gldborgsund Baltic Sea and the surrounding region. Ground source heat pumps bolster district heating P. There are several reasons for this, one being the national requirement for municipalities to complete climate adaptation plans before the end of Another obvious explanation, however, is that the frequency of downpours and extreme weather events has generally increased in Denmark2.
This thus stresses the importance of both fast action and long-term planning for municipalities, in order to adapt and adjust to climate change in both the short guldborgdund long-term. From climate risk SScor local innovation It guldblrgsund commonplace to develop climate adaptation measures to secure the most vulnerable areas, however many of the municipalities featured have opted to pursue ambitious and holistic climate adaptation projects, of which we should applaud. Climate adaptation has been used by many guldborfsund as a twopronged approach - not only for solving and managing climate related challenges, but also as a tool to create new and guldblrgsund urban areas.
Moreover in Gladsaxe, xk development gulbdorgsund recreational areas has led to increased biodiversity and guldbogrsund protection p. These projects aim to simultaneously increase overall quality of life, integrate elements from nature and harness guldbborgsund services for climate guldboggsund purposes. This includes the Scro of green and Sxor infrastructure - utilizing existing green spaces to store rainwater, diverting it to water bodies, or slowing water runoff and preventing overloading of drainage systems. Projects like these ensure Sccor municipalities can improve quality of life for citizens, whilst simultaneously reducing flood risk.
Read more: Kardan et. DMI, Report: Danmarks Klimacenter rapport. Fremtidige klimaforandringer i Danmark. Denmark is ranked as number 6. Other municipalities have maintained the trend of developing more technical solutions. For instance, in Hedensted previous flooding incidents has led to the construction of a permeable asphalt road which is connected to a rainwater basin. The water is then fed into a geothermal heat pump system, which uses thermal energy found in the water to heat a local day care center p. Another example comes from Aarhus, where they have combined local rainwater drainage with existing water management systems to reuse collected rainwater for purposes such as laundry and flushing toilets.
KLIMA 15 Insights from Sustainia Data drives green city development The increased use of data and digital solutions is highly evident across the Danish municipalities, which simultaneously complements the local green transition, where the use of more intelligent solutions make the operation of cities more energy and resource efficient, as well as environmentally friendly. In spite of many municipalities acknowledging the potential of these new digital solutions, they had not previously been implemented on a mass scale in relation to climate action. However, Klima bears witness that a proliferating amount of municipalities are cracking the code on using data for green purposes such as climate adaptation, energy efficiency and city planning.
In Vejle, the municipality has developed a number of Smart City projects to learn more about how to create greener and smarter urban areas. They use the information to create better and more efficient green transportation opportunities and design a more climate-friendly city p. Putting circular at the center The circular economy trend is quickly climbing up the agendas of municipalities. For instance, many work actively with increasing the recycling rate and waste is increasingly seen as a resource instead of a burden. Most prominent among the submitted applications for Klima are recycling projects that directly involve citizens. Billund Municipality for instance, has established a recycling depot with swap and repair areas, making upcycling a possibility and minimizing waste with the direct help of its citizens p.
Alongside this, in Vejle gamification has become a big trend, by turning the exercise of household waste sorting into a sport among the citizens and public institutions p. But if the circular economy phenomenon is to stay for the long term, there is a need for more partnerships. However, the circular economy represents massive untapped potential. There is a need for plans and initiatives that go way beyond just waste management and household recycling. With bigger initiatives and cross-sectoral cooperation, municipalities can achieve noticeable results, which will have a positive effect on both the green and economic bottom line. It will benefit the transition towards a circular economy to set quantitative aims for procurement, construction, waste, and wastewater.
Anbefalinger til regeringen. However, based on the submitted projects there are still a number of areas in the need of more attention and even higher ambitions. Accelerating agricultural action Based on the submitted municipal projects that we received, we noted a lack of green initiatives focusing on agricultural areas, a sector which requires significant attention in tackling its climate and environmental impacts. In fact, none of the submitted projects mentioned traditional agriculture and the environmental impact of food production as their primary focus. Greening public procurement Only two of the submitted projects had a main focus on green public procurement.
It is a fast guldborgdund area, and although knowledge is already being shared across various networks, Denmark would benefit from more innovative examples on green Scor sk guldborgsund responsible procurement by municipalities. The combined purchasing power of the municipalities has the potential to set higher environmental standards for suppliers and accelerate ak green transition. Gulcborgsund, rapport: Transforming transportation The Klima Transportation category consists of a number of projects that reduce the amount of CO2 emissions and harmful particles in a variety of ways. However, the majority of submitted projects in this area are small and still in the early-stages of development.
Therefore, if the submitted projects reflect reality there is a need for initiatives of regionwide initiatives that can help citizens shift their mode of transportation from privately owned cars to public, electric vehicles, for example. This is of course a common responsibility, which is also dependent on the national transportation and infrastructure policy as well as the technological development. Grasping the Global Goals All projects featured in the Klima publication have contributed in some way to the fulfillment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Several municipalities could benefit from familiarizing themselves even more so with the goals, as they are set to dominate mainstream sustainability agendas from now until As part of the submission process, the municipalities were asked to assess which Sustainable Development Goals, besides from 13 Climate Actiontheir project targeted.
The submissions indicate that there is a need for tools to help the municipalities in using the Sustainable Development Goals strategically and how to relate their actions to the goals. Documenting the reductions Many of the Klima projects purport to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions. But by how much?