To achieve global net zero by 2050, cities must take urgent action. As part of its Green Cities programme, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has established Green City Action Plans (GCAP) to identify and shape investable projects, programmes, and policy actions that address the most significant environmental issues. 

Arup has worked on GCAPs with six cities: Tirana (Albania), Sofia (Bulgaria), Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Warsaw and WaƂbrzych (Poland), and Split (Croatia), developing more than 135 proposed actions and 35 policy options. We evaluate each cities strengths and weaknesses to develop a roadmap of innovative actions and guidance on investment and delivery. We developed a policy framework for EBRD, and research that led to their Green Policy Tool, helping policymakers develop and implement effective, evidence-based green policies.

Arup’s analysis supports cities in identifying and prioritising the projects that can most effectively build sustainability. For example, in Tirana, Albania, we worked with EBRD and the Municipality of Tirana (Albania), to develop a design strategy and an economic and environmental assessment for ‘Tirana Orbital Forest’, a ring of forests, shrubland, agricultural land and recreational areas around the urban perimeter of the city. 

Developing a sustainable framework

A policy framework underpins the development and implementation of the GCAPs. We have produced this policy framework as a complementary study to analyse each city’s characteristics and highlight effective policy measures that cities might use to tackle their environmental, governance and fiscal challenges. The policy options and case studies in this span seven policy areas: transport, land use, energy and buildings, water, waste, governance and finance, and cover a range of actions, reforms and disruptive proposals.

Examples of sector-specific policies include congestion pricing, building energy efficiency certification and labelling, fiscal incentives for machinery and material efficiency in industries, regulation of metering and billing for water use, and performance-based waste management contracting.

Our research outputs fed into EBRD’s Green Policy Tool, a resource that supports policymakers in cities around the world to develop and implement effective, evidence-based green policies.