: Collective Construction of Low Carbon Cities

                                                              

: Collective Construction of Low Carbon Cities

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Solution proposed by: 
Low Carbon City
In a Nutshell: 
The Low Carbon Cities program is inspired by the UN’s 2030 Agenda for SDG as well as the recently adopted UNFCCC Paris Agreement that both stress the importance of cities to mitigate climate change. It is a citizen-led initiative which promotes a social mobilization for the collective construction of Low Carbon Cities through raise awareness and communication strategies, training, and promotion of urban innovations in different sectors such as energy, transport, construction, habitat and waste. Within the project we emphasize tools that generate participation of cooperation between all involucrated sectors and actores, like citizens, the public, civil and the private sector.
Where and When: 
The initiative started in december 2015 in Medellín, Colombia coordinated by the think-do tank in urban sustainbility: La Ciudad Verde (The green city).
Challenges: 
Sustainable development challenges will be increasingly concentrated in cities, particularly in the lower-middle income countries where the pace of urbanization is fastest. Organising this urbanisation will require new planning paradigms for housing and the related urban realm. Constructing the necessary infrastructure and building stocks is a major opportunity for the decarbonization of cities at large. We strongly believe that we cannot miss this opportunity and therefore want to engage ourselves in the international urban policy debate while working with citizens and activists on a grassroot level. Although it is clear the need to mitigate climate change and our cities do not have clear tools to address it due to different priorities of the public agenda, the lack of information on , the lack of solutions, the lack of legislation, lack of public investment and the dismantling. In our process, we want to integrate all stakeholders and create a bridge between them to collaborate, share knowledge, and construct solution togethers.
Innovation: 
The Green City looks forward to responding to these challenges, using the concept of “Collective Building of Low Carbon Cities” as a concept that was developed and invented form the south. This is an innovation in the field of sustainability that can be an alternative to mitigate climate change from the local perspective. Our project wants to address all stakeholders and actors in the different involucrated sectors, impulsing the change from the grassroot level, through a bottom-up process, but also at the same time through a horizontal process by collaboration, sharing and promoting innovations, solutions and experiences that incorporate different sectors and actors to reduce their carbon footprint. Furthermore in each sector, we will seek methods and experiences that allow the capture of C02. Our Low Carbon City Forum held in october 2016 will be the first global citizen-led forum in the topic of climate change to guarantee a big impact and raise awareness in a long term.
Concept: 
Our main goal is to spread the word about the cities as the best venue to mitigate climate change and look for low carbon development without compromising development. This vision imply that the challenges that the developing world faces in terms of social development, overcoming of poverty and environment could be all addressed from the perspective of collective construction of low carbon cities. In the policy making process, the civil society has an important role identifying problems, but also in the agenda setting and policy development. As a citizen movement we find out problems and can push the policy makers to find solutions together with all involved sectors and actors. Our project has a big component of political participation, expecting as a result that politicians include the topic in the development plans of our cities (policy making participation). Citizens engagements is our priority. Therefore we promote activities like: Poster design and photography competitions, call for proposals for urban interventions, call for proposals for building the agenda, call for partner cities, intervention of public space: tactical urbanism activities, different campaigns recommending to reduce emissions, interactive map of Low Carbon Projects, Pre-Forums: small scale forum in different cities and workshops for “My Low Carbon Neighborhood”. We also create policy papers based on academic and practical experiences and we use it not only as policy tool but also as communications tool for all stakeholders included. Additionally, the promotion of International cooperation among cities and subnational actors is another instrument that serve to the project.
Description: 
The solution of our initiative in relation to mitigate the climate change is the collective construction of low carbon cities through integration and collaboration of all involucrated sectors and actors reducing the city’s emissions to be more sustainable scaling down the greenhouse effect. The initiative will have a major event in October 2016 in Medellín, Colombia. The Low Carbon City Forum will be the first global citizen-led forum on low carbon cities aiming to bring together more than 3,000 citizens, politicians, academics, urban leaders and change-makers from around the world. The event will tackle climate change from a localized and citizen-driven approach putting forward urban solutions, strategies and new alliances for building a low carbon urban future. Before the Forum itself various activities are being organized to place the importance of low carbon urban development on the public agenda and mindset. This initiative’s strategy consists in three components: “Communication and raising awareness” to encourage citizen ownership of the problem and the participation of public and private sector; “Training and Sharing” that means talks and workshops with international experts. Additionally peer-to-peer meetings with Low Carbon entrepreneurs and Low Carbon organizations and searching for best practices worldwide; and “Knowledge Generation” that means the creation of an international network of low carbon City that will be leadered and managed by different universities like EAFIT and the University of Antioquia in Medellín to guarantee the sustainability. Also we are constructing a Roadmap with recommendations and best practices to build low carbon cities.
Impacts: 
We are activating a growing community with creative and viral strategies for citizens to participate and understand the necessary steps to foster Low Carbon Cities through different activities. For that matter we engage in urban interventions, community events and social media communications. ● In October 2015 we started to mobilize citizens in Spanish and English language in various social media networks. Since then our online community is growing every day. As of 15 June 2016 the social networks of Low Carbon City had the following followership: ● Facebook 2035 followers https://www.facebook.com/LowCarbonCity/ ● Twitter 10.785 followers https://twitter.com/LowCarbon_City ● Instagram 567 followers https://www.instagram.com/lowcarboncity/ ● Web Page 5.000 monthly visits http://lowcarbon.city ● Side Events in Prague and Barcelona in the frame of the Hábitat 3 conference ● 8 Hangouts in our “television” channel the “Low Carbon City TV channel” (hashtag #LCCFTV) on YouTube with more than 1200 spectators. See the #LCCFTV channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCYvUeHPfyGyVcvQAYZu15g. ● Poster Competition held in early 2016. We received 80 posters from 20 cities around the world. (here the finalists: http://tinyurl.com/LCCF-posters-01 ) These posters have been shared widely in social media reaching more than 10 thousand people. ● Urban interventions - #RespiraVida - in the Botero sculpture park in Medellín was massively diffused in national and international media. (here the links of Colombian and international media that covered the intervention http://lowcarbon.city/es/2016/04/18/respiravida/). ● 60 Ambassador Cities/citizens worldwide developing different activities such as talks, pre-forums, urban and artistic interventions, workshops, creative campaigns. ● Own Newsletter called “The Low Carbon Times” in English and Spanish. We send periodically updated information about our progress to a collaboratively built database of 27 thousand people in the entire world. ● Strategic media partnerships with up to now three independent media outlets. Those are: FuriaMag, I-Ambiente (Spain), Plataforma Urbana (Chile). We also have our own blog with reports and articles of Low Carbon Cities strategies. http://lowcarbon.city/es/2016/04/28/edificios-cero-emisiones/.

Photo Gallery

Winner of the Photo Contest: Juan Manuel Mejía y Zteven Mejía
Map of the Ambassador Cities
One of our Hangout Invitation
Urban Intervention in Plaza Botero
Workshop “My Low Carbon Neighbourhood” about circular economy