Cities have opportunity to address climate crisis & create more liveable places by joining dots between transport, energy & built environment

Press release
  • New report shows how cities are delivering emissions reductions and wider benefits by making connections between sectors

City regions in the UK and beyond have the opportunity to address the escalating climate crisis whilst creating healthier and more liveable cities, by making connections between the transport, energy and built environment sectors.

That is the key message of a new report from the Urban Transport Group, the network of city region transport authorities in the UK.

The report - Making the connections on climate – for the first time draws together practical examples of the links that can be made on climate at the city region level between transport and energy, and between transport and the decarbonisation and adaptation of the built environment.

It showcases projects that not only either reduce carbon emissions or improve climate resilience, but that also deliver wider benefits including:

  • lower energy, operating and maintenance costs of transport infrastructure;
  • job creation and good growth;
  • making cities more attractive places to live, work, visit, spend time and invest in;
  • improved air quality; and
  • higher satisfaction among employees and customers of transport systems.

Projects include hydro-powered transport interchanges, homes heated by waste heat from underground rail, green bus garages and urban pocket parks.

In highlighting the very wide range of options for building in climate connections to transport projects, the report provides decision makers with a series of practical interventions they can make on a case-by-case basis. The report also profiles how cities can go further by making these connections in a systematic and strategic way - using Nottingham and Munich as key case studies.

The case studies highlight the way in which municipal ownership of public transport and utilities has enabled city authorities to be bolder in pursuit of de-carbonisation and other wider public policy goals with, for example, both cities increasingly powering their public transport through renewable energy provided by their own energy companies.

Stephen Edwards, Chair of the Urban Transport Group and Executive Director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said:

“The scale and urgency of the climate crisis we are facing, and the actions it requires, can often seem overwhelming.

“This report seeks to give professionals in city region transport authorities a sense of agency, and source of inspiration, on practical measures that can be taken to join the dots between transport projects, energy efficiency and adaptation to a changing climate. It also points the way to how cities can scale up on the connections they can make to deliver more comprehensive climate wins for cities.”

The report will be launched at a public lecture on the same theme jointly organised by LSE Cities and the Urban Transport Group on 14 November 2019, including speakers from Munich and Nottingham.

Jonathan Bray, Director of the Urban Transport Group, added:

“We are very pleased to be working with LSE Cities on this event, and particularly pleased that the Chief Executive of Stadtwerke Munchen, one of the largest municipally owned utilities and public transport companies in Europe, will be on the panel, alongside a stellar line up of speakers. Given the climate imperative, we need to learn - and learn fast - about how best to move to a more integrated approach to decision making on transport, energy and the built environment. We hope this event, and our new report, will help in that process.”