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Cities: green policies can contribute to growth

May 23, 2013 | News

(23 May 2013) – Cities can generate growth and jobs while becoming greener – this is the message of the OECD’s new ‘Green Growth in Cities’ report.

Drawing on case studies of Paris, Chicago, Kitakyushu and Stockholm, the report identifies green policies that can respond to urban growth priorities and suggests how to implement and finance them.

  • Job creation: the Chicago Tri-State metro-region has built a regional specialty in green building design and retrofitting. In 2010 it gave 45 000 people green jobs, 36% of which were in the green building sector.
  • Attracting firms and workers: efficient transport systems, in particular, good public transport networks, help cities to lure investors. The private sector in the Paris/Ile-de-France region has long recognised this, and firms that benefit from proximity to the transportation system contribute to its financing.
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship: cities can foster the growth of the green technology sector by creating green regional clusters that build on existing industries, services, research and innovation. Kitakyushu has built an impressive recycling cluster, the Eco-Town, which recycles hundreds of tons of industrial waste every day, while producing energy for residential and commercial neighbourhoods.
  • Increasing the value of urban land: following the success of its Hammarby Sjöstad eco-district, Stockholm is now working with the private sector to develop the Stockholm Royal Seaport eco-district. Buildings there will use less than the energy of others in Stockholm and the new district will have an advanced smart grid and district heating.

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