SPARCS Fellow city Reykjavik presents plan at EUSEW 2024 
17 june 2024 | Location: Reykjavik
Smart Cities Urban Planning eMobility

At the European Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels, Reykjavik captured the spotlight by showcasing “Empowering Communities: Pitching Net-Zero Energy Emission Solutions Implemented by Municipalities” during the Policy Conference session. This event brought together different groups like cities, businesses, and investors to discuss how to make urban living more sustainable, focusing especially on clean energy and smarter, less polluting ways to travel.

Reykjavik’s story is pretty inspiring. The city extensively utilizes geothermal energy to satisfy almost all its energy requirements, harnessing the Earth’s inherent warmth. Despite this sustainable energy approach, the challenge of vehicular emissions persisted. Consequently, Reykjavik embarked on a mission to revolutionize its urban transportation framework. The establishment of the Hlemmur mobility hub emerged as a strategic initiative, designed to motivate citizens to opt for public transportation and bicycles over personal vehicles.

Getting this project off the ground wasn’t easy. They had to figure out a lot of things, like how to work with different groups, solve city planning challenges, and make sure everyone in the city knew what was happening. They learned that talking openly with citizens and involving them in the process was key. Also, partnering with private companies helped bring their vision to life.

From Reykjavik’s experience, it’s clear that making a city greener is possible with the right approach. Communication is super important; people need to feel like they’re part of the change. Working together, both public and private sectors can make big things happen. And finally, using what’s unique about your city, like Reykjavik does with its geothermal energy, can help solve some of the biggest challenges.

Overall, Reykjavik’s efforts demonstrate that with some creativity, cooperation, and lots of communication, cities can make significant progress in reducing pollution and improving life for their inhabitants. As a proud partner of SPARCS, Reykjavik’s innovative journey underlines the collaborative spirit and shared goals of the SPARCS initiative, aiming to foster sustainable urban environments across Europe.