Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November, the 2021 edition of the Smart Sustainable Cities project aimed to raise climate ambition and promote effective implementation of city-level decarbonisation projects in three key areas:
- resilience and nature-based solutions
- circular economy
- sustainable transport
Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, the team delivered seven virtual working sessions collaborating closely with other government departments such as Department for International Trade (DIT), Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the COP 26 Unit, building a group to tackle climate action and begin a shared journey in the build up to COP26.
The workshops brought together cities from across Europe and were hosted virtually by leading cities in each key area:
- Manchester City Council for resilience and nature-based solutions
- Glasgow City Council for circular economy
- Aarhus City Council (Denmark) for sustainable transport
Our delivery partner in this project was Arup UK.
The concept for this year’s edition aimed to create a sense of community through a shared journey using a ‘Share, Solve and Support’ structure. This concept was delivered through two sessions per city (Share and Solve) and a joint final session (Support) to bring all participants together and allow for cross-fertilisation of ideas.
High-profile speakers at the workshops included:
- Emma Hopkins, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Denmark
- FCDO Europe Director, Sarah Taylor
- Head of the Europe Strategy Department, Hazel Cameron
- COP26 Unit Cities and Regions Engagement Lead, Christine Mosedale
- BEIS European lead for the COP26 Zero Emission Vehicles campaign, Isobel Neale
- Manchester City Council Councillor, Angeliki Stogia
- Manchester City Council Strategic Director of Growth & Development, Louise Wyman
- Glasgow City Council Councillor, Susan Aitken
- Glasgow City Council COP26 Stakeholder Manager, Duncan Booker
- former Copenhagen Mayor and currently Aarhus’s Green Mobility lead, Morten Skou Nicolaisen.
FCDO and Department for International Trade
The FCDO has worked closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to deliver this project.
International delegates can learn about the wealth of UK expertise, both academic and commercial, in the smart city sector through the Smart Cities Directory and on the Virtual Engage Space. They can also consider how to work with UK smart city companies to achieve their sustainability requirements.