A group of global businesses have worked with Tilburg to find ideas that can accelerate progress toward the city’s climate neutral vision.
The companies are part of a unique project (the Urban Infrastructure Initiative or UII) bringing multi-sector expertise to help cities achieve their sustainability visions. A group of five companies together with WBCSD (AGC, CEMEX, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and TNT) active in energy efficiency, equipment, materials and logistics pooled their resources to identify practical solutions. Tilburg’s climate vision was the focus. Housing, transport, business estates and energy supply were the target areas.
Company experts, city officials and representatives of local businesses took part in workshops in Tilburg City Hall in September 2011. The workshops addressed the key opportunities to tackle carbon emissions identified in initial engagement between UII members and city officials.
Ideas generated by the workshops include a manifesto to improve building energy efficiency, an open network for deliveries in the city center, and a total cost of ownership approach to business parks.
The workshops demonstrated the value of providing early business input to city thinking. They allowed city officials to consider a variety of ideas, and to engage with businesses collectively in a broad context rather than in relation to specific tenders.
Tilburg is one of several cities around the world to work with UII. They all have an ambitious sustainability vision, and are eager to work with the private sector to transform the vision into action. The specific solutions identified for cities with very different circumstances and challenges will help to advance urban sustainability everywhere.