The European Union’s International Urban Cooperation (IUC) has selected Ramboll as a key city partner for Asia, as part of an IUC programme focused on forging partnerships between European cities and cities in Asia and the Americas to drive mutual sustainability development.
Cities are key economic hubs, generating up to 70% of global GDP while providing a range of cultural and socio-economic benefits. Delivering those benefits comes with costs, however, from choking air pollution, to heat islands and water and climate related issues. The costs of the negatives externalities from, and to, city life can be both invisible and stack up incrementally, with a range of long-term problems potentially outweighing near-term benefits.
To support cities in emerging countries seeking to deal with the daily reality of issues, from the blight of acrid smog to water sustainability, as well as developing further sustainability efforts in developed world cities facing new challenges, the European Union launched a three-year programme to promote international urban cooperation.
The programme aims to connect cities in Europe with partners in Asia and the Americas, with a focus on building shared knowledge and solutions to sustainability issues facing the respective partners. The IUC (an EU body for International Urban Cooperation), in the first phase of the programme, aims to boost sectorial, transversal and international urban cooperation and exchange between partner cities.
The programme, which leverages the EU’s integrated approach to urban development, will focus on supporting cities to design, implement and manage sustainable urban practices. To support delivery, the programme will access expertise from third parties, including Ramboll, the German consultancy GIZ and UCLG ASPAC (United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific).
Ramboll has been tapped by the IUC as a key city partner for the Asia component of the programme, onn the back of the firm’s history and experience in the region, where it has supported a number of cities develop sustainability and urban liveability solutions. Among the projects the firm is supporting is the sustainable transformation of the Indian city Udaipur.
"The purpose of the Asia component of the global initiative is twofold," says Alex Coffey from Ramboll's Environment & Health Practice. "We will both seek to strengthen EU-China city-to-city cooperation on sustainable urban development and to strengthen EU-Asia cooperation on local and regional climate change action. We will do this by building upon the 'Covenant of Mayors' initiative in Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore and Republic of Korea."