Reinventing Cities: C40 Launches Competition for Global Cities to Pave the Way to a Sustainable Future

Auckland, Cape Town, Chicago, Houston, Lima, Madrid, Milan, Mexico City, Oslo, Paris, Quito, Reykjavik, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador & San Francisco to participate in C40’s Reinventing Cities competition. The programme is supported by Climate-KIC.

Last week 15 of the world’s great cities launched an unprecedented global competition to drive carbon neutral and resilient urban regeneration. C40’s Reinventing Cities initiative has already identified 46 underutilized spaces to redevelop, including several empty plots and abandoned buildings, a former airport, historical mansions, underused car parks, and an abandoned incinerator and landfill.

Through this competition, C40 and these cities invite architects, urban planners, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, start-upers, neighbourhood collectives, innovators and artists to collaborate and compete for the opportunity to transform these sites into new beacons of sustainability and resiliency.

The competition will serve as a model for cities around the world, demonstrating how the alliance between cities and business can shape the future delivering healthier, greener and economically viable urban development.

The competition’s criteria will favour bids from creative teams that deliver innovative climate solutions in combination with striking architecture and tangible benefits for the local community.

More information on the Reinventing Cities competition, eligibility criteria and the project sites in each city can be found at

The deadline for applications is 20 April 12am (UTC).

Reinventing Cities is made possible thanks to the support of Climate KIC and ofo.

The initiative is inspired by the successful Reinventing Paris scheme, launched by Mayor of Paris and C40 Chair Anne Hidalgo in 2015. Today 22 public spaces, covering 250,000 square metres are being transformed across the French capital.

“Think global, act local, is the 21st century state of mind. By launching this global competition, we make this philosophy very concrete celebrating the most vibrant innovative solutions to environmental challenges,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40. “Reinventing Cities will set new standards of sustainability in cities and who better than our citizens to imagine the future of their cities? I am convinced that the winning projects will surprise us all and present innovations we are unable to imagine today’.

“When governing leaders all pull in the same direction, the cities of the world have a unique opportunity to lead the way in working against climate change. In Oslo we have set a goal to cut emissions by 95% within 2030. We have put together a climate-budget whereby each sector is responsible for its climate goals and rapport on these together with the financial budget.  In our acquisition processes we now actively use our purchasing power in order to demanding simple environmental requirements, for example by demanding fossil free building sites. This is an important tool for turning the private sector in a more environmental direction. We have been awarded the title of European Green Capital for 2019. We are proud to be involved with the work with the C40 project and look forward to learning more from the innovative suggestions that will be put forth for “Reinventing Cities” in Oslo,” said Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo.

“As mayor of Reykjavík, I am honored to take part in Reinventing Cities programme. We share a common goal for our planet and we share a mutual ambition for the quality of life of our citizens,” said Dagur Bergþóruson Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavík.

“We are excited to collaborate with C40 on this hugely important initiative. We need to significantly accelerate climate action,and foster innovation that can lead to radical transformations in a timely way. That means catalysing innovation that changes the way we live, joined up and scaled up to help us stay within a 2˚C global warming threshold. Urban ecosystems are the ideal testbed for such changes. Here we can trial and implement systemic innovation connecting technology, infrastructure, governance and behaviour, leveraging the interactions between them to drive zero-carbon change.” said Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of Climate-KIC

“As Mayor, I look forward to receiving the projects that will be presented to redevelop the five Milan spaces we have identified,” said Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan and C40 Vice-Chair. “Designers and creators now have the opportunity to boost a new way of thinking about urban architectures and the environment, based on energy efficiency, careful use and reuse of materials and ability to respond effectively to the effects of climate change. For this reason and the long-terms economic returns, initiatives like Reinventing Cities are extremely worthwhile and strategic for our cities.”

“Hurricane Harvey was a defining moment for the City of Houston. It's not enough for us to rebuild in the same way,” said Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston. “This program is an opportunity to rebuild and revitalize some of Houston’s hardest hit areas and show the world that Houston stands stronger than ever before.” 

“Cape Town is facing one of the worst droughts in recorded history. The long-term sustainability of our city depends on our ability to plan ahead, use innovative technologies, and foster an acute awareness of how we use scarce resources,” said the City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille. “As such, we are excited to participate in the C40 Reinventing Cities Programme. Our application consists of five City-owned sites which will be made available to the private sector for the design and implementation of carbon-neutral development demonstration projects. The future of our city must be built on partnerships between the local government and businesses where we work together in delivering developments that are sustainable and economically viable, while at the same time improving the living standards for all.”

“Mexico City is committed to comply with the Paris Agreement and the objectives of C40´s Reinventing Cities initiative, seeking to develop urban and architectural models that follow the criteria of sustainability that allow mitigation of carbon emissions and resilient urban regeneration.” said Miguel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City

“As Mayor of Quito, I am proud to confirm our commitment for a sustainable, low carbon and resilient future. Particularly in the transport sector, the city is lowering its emissions through an integrated mass initiative. Quito is integrating Ecuador’s first metro line, which is under construction with an above-ground bus network and floating cable cars which will increase the city’s use of public transportation and reduce citizens’ dependence on private automobiles. This initiative is closely related to the development of the new Bicentenario Park in the former airport of the city in which the C40 Reinventing Cities Program will aloud architects, urban planners, designers, developers, among others, to participate with innovative ideas. This new park is located in the heart of the new centrality of the northern part of Quito.” Said Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito

“As a global firm that aims to address the worldwide environmental issues through bike sharing, ofo is honored to contribute to this exciting initiative and looks forward to further cooperation under our partnership with C40,” said Dai Wei, ofo’s founder and CEO. “We believe, through such efforts, a future with sustainable, carbon-neutral and liveable cities will become reality soon.”



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