Consultation Key To City Sustainability Says Lord Mayor

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16th December 2009, 03:12pm - Views: 554
Consultation Key to City Sustainability Says Lord Mayor


16 December 2009

Engagement with citizens was imperative if cities were to succeed in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore MP told an assembly of international mayors in Copenhagen overnight.

Ms Moore said Sydney had undertaken an unprecedented program of consultation, spanning almost two years, as part of forging its ground-breaking Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision for making the City greener, more liveable, connected and vibrant.

She was one of several mayors who presented case studies to the Summit on future urban challenges and solutions.

"Our communities expect their political representatives to show real leadership and, when engaged, they will support and participate in bold action to tackle climate change," Ms Moore said.

"The dialogue we conducted for 2030, across people of all ages and walks of life - residents, businesses, experts in their field, visitors revealed great ideas as well as a high level of consensus.

"For example, more than 97 per cent of people told us that they wanted the City to take action on climate change.

"The implementation program that we are now pursuing for the 2030 program has the backing of a majority of citizens we are doing what people said they wanted to make Sydney a more environmental and economically sustainable place to live."

After the round table talks, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard said: "It's been a great pleasure to hear about the cities' high ambitions as well as the different solutions they are proposing, and I'm convinced that what we've learned here today will inspire all of us to act."

In a communique released prior to the start of the Summit round table, the 80 mayors from world cities said they urged national leaders involved in COP15 to embrace the chance and to seal an ambitious and empowering deal.

"Our cities represent more than half the world's population. Up to 75 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions come from urban areas. We therefore must take and are taking responsibility for fighting climate change.

"Our message to national governments is simple: agree an ambitious targets and start reducing now and be confident that if cities are engaged, empowered and given the right resources we will deliver on our commitments."

Meanwhile, the Summit of Mayors gave the thumbs up to a new high-tech electrical bicycle wheel that when in motion can monitor the bike's speed, direction and distance travelled, as well as collect data on air pollution and even the proximity of the rider's friends.

The wheel has an oversized hub that stores energy every time the rider brakes, and then gives that power back to provide a boost when he/she is going uphill or needs a burst of speed in traffic.

Mass production of the hybrid bike is expected within a year.

Clover Moore said it was an "exciting development that would encourage increased take-up of cyclingMayors agree it is part of the answer as to how we can make using a bike even more attractive."

Professor Carlo Ratti, Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab commented: "The bike wheel contains everything you need, so that no sensors or additional electronics need to be added to the frame; an existing bike can be retrofitted in the blink of an eye.

" In a sense, you power it by foot: when you pedal forward the motor supplements your torque; when you pedal backwards to slow down, the motor starts regenerating electric energy while reducing your speed."

Media inquiries to Jeff Lewis, 0401 994008

Link to comprehensive results:

Go to www.cityofsydney.nsw/ , find out what actions cities are taking, get involved in the debate and be heard. You can also read updates from Clover and 'Tweets' in the lead up and throughout Copenhagen.

SOURCE: City of Sydney

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