Past urban development models increasingly promote sprawl, segregation and car-oriented cities. When looking back to the Covid-19 pandemic, we must find our way back to urbanise in harmony with nature and create more liveable, people-oriented cities. The latest IPCC report highlights the importance of integrated urban planning to reduce urban emissions that can be cut by around 25% with more compact, mixed-use and resource-efficient cities. It also placed a particular emphasis on the 15-minute City concept that promotes a model of polycentric cities made of multiple neighbourhoods where people can easily meet their daily needs, enjoy people-oriented public spaces, and adopt a healthier local lifestyle.
We also know that the next decade will be critical to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Rather than waiting for a top-down approach from central governments, this session will argue that planning on the neighbourhood-scale is ideal to create blueprints for net-zero and inclusive urban development that accounts for cities’ realities. Indeed, neighbourhoods are large enough to integrate different components of the city, but also small enough to set high ambitions, centralise investment, test new policies and engage with local communities to co-design solutions tailored to their needs and priorities, including housing choices, supporting the local economy, expanding green spaces and reimagining streets and public spaces.
The Green and Thriving Neighbourhoods session will bring together mayors sharing current pilot projects and best-practices and leading urban stakeholders who are transforming city neighbourhoods into more equitable, vibrant and sustainable communities.