Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Ursula Bach

Ghent

Ghent is a port city located in northwest Belgium. With over 250,000 inhabitants, it is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders region. Ghent is steeped in history, dating back as far as 630AD.  During the middle ages, it became one of the most important cities in Europe for industry and trade. Ghent has retained much of its historical character, typified by its picturesque medieval streets.

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Climate Change: Mitigation

Ghent has made a strong commitment to climate change mitigation, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050, and has achieved significant emissions reductions across many sectors including agriculture, transport and lighting. In 2015, Ghent became the very first city to sign the New Integrated Covenant of Mayors, a joint approach between cities to achieve the 2030 EU targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Waste

Ghent has an impressively high recycling rate, with households recycling over half of their domestic waste, largely due to its comprehensive waste separation system and incentives for citizens to recycle.

Citizen Engagement

Ghent’s approach to citizen engagement is highly commendable, showing a commitment to putting people first in urban planning. This is evident in initiatives such as the ‘Citizen Budget’ and the high level of public participation in its climate change strategies.