C40 Cities, an organization dedicated to addressing climate change at the city level, has launched a new initiative called VISIBLE. This two-year project aims to support city leaders in London, Madrid, and Oslo in creating just and inclusive built environments that are also decarbonized. By bringing together city officials, workers unions, housing providers, construction industry actors, and finance stakeholders, VISIBLE will explore how social equity and inclusion can be integrated into urban decarbonization efforts.
The built environment is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation, accounting for nearly 40% and 35% respectively. Additionally, the construction sector is a significant employer, with millions of people directly or indirectly employed. Despite this, residents and workers have often been overlooked in transition planning. VISIBLE seeks to change that by proposing new business models for development, renovation, and regeneration that are inclusive and economically viable.
Through multi-stakeholder dialogues, research, and pilot projects in each city, VISIBLE aims to lay the groundwork for policy measures that these cities can adopt to decarbonize their built environment. The project will focus on mainstreaming affordable low-carbon housing, measuring whole life cycle carbon in new developments, scaling up retrofitting, and promoting the reuse of materials in socially equitable and economically viable ways.
By sharing the outcomes of the project with its global network of cities, C40 hopes to inspire other city leaders to take similar actions. VISIBLE will not only help the pilot cities create a fairer and lower-carbon sector but also ensure that the transition leaves nobody behind and is supported by a diverse range of stakeholders. This initiative represents an important step towards a more sustainable and inclusive future for our cities.
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