The 21st century is already being called "the century of cities", and in Vienna it’s our belief that cities have a crucial role to play in framing the major issues of the future.
Cities are particularly affected by the negative consequences of climate change and also play an important role in climate protection.
Like many other cities, Vienna is facing a number of different climate challenges. Across the world, people are moving to live and work in urban areas. Two-thirds of the global population will be living in cities by 2050.
Vienna has seen growth in recent years and our population will likely reach two million before 2030. This trend towards urbanisation means it’s more important than ever to look at ways of becoming a smart and sustainable city. There is a dual challenge in providing urban services while simultaneously conserving limited natural resources and reducing GHG emissions to ensure that global temperature rise keeps to 1.5 °C.
This requires a ramped-up shift in multiple systems addressing mitigation and adaptation, as well as the regulation and policy that enables change.
Climathon is a great way to get some fresh ideas and perspectives on how to tackle these challenges, and to share current city challenges with a broad and innovative community.
The event allows cities to get in contact with a lot of start-ups and young, motivated people who can play a role in developing solutions in order to achieve our ambitious and necessary climate policy goals.
Vienna must actively pursue an increase in energy efficiency and an expansion of renewable energy use in all areas. In addition to the transport sector and business in general, the issue of how we heat - and increasingly cool - the buildings of our city is also a key point when it comes to reducing climate-harming emissions.
Almost 40 percent of final energy use is for heating and hot water, and as a result this sector is one of the largest energy consumers in the city. This is followed by transport - a sector requiring around one third of the energy and associated with even higher CO2 emissions.
As a key area for the reduction of CO2 emissions, mobility is of great importance in the city of Vienna. Even though positive trends have been observed in recent years, both investments and incentive measures will be needed to achieve a further modal shift towards the climate-friendly modes of transport (walking, cycling, public transport) and to support the market development in the area of alternative powered vehicles.
Climate change also poses major challenges for cities as urban living spaces. Risks for residents and the need of a functional municipal infrastructure will continue to increase due to extreme summer temperatures, heavy precipitation, droughts and storms.
These facts show that climate protection and adaptation measures are core topics for a liveable city.
“Be open to innovative processes! It needs a lot of different ideas, approaches and minds to overcome the climate crisis”
From the perspective of a city administration, Climathon enables cities to find innovative ideas and new solutions for a concrete field of action or an urgent problem.
It’s a way to think “out of the box” and allow a creative approach from outside.
From the perspective of the participants, Climathon opens the possibility to get to know different departments of a city administration and their field of activities.
It can be the cornerstone for a fruitful cooperation and a successful project, as the development of the heat map for Vienna has shown.
Give Climathon the chance to offer a suitable idea for an existing challenge you are dealing with. Be open to innovative processes! It needs a lot of different ideas, approaches and minds to overcome the climate crisis.
Take part and get involved in the experiment!