C40 breathes new life into our cities

Nick Myall
Tuesday 23 Jan 2018

C40 is inviting architects, urban planners, designers, developers, entrepreneurs and environmentalists to transform underused plots and abandoned corners of our cities

Nineteen of the world’s great cities have launched an unprecedented global competition to drive carbon neutral and resilient urban regeneration. C40’s Reinventing Cities initiative has already identified 49 underutilised spaces to redevelop, including several empty plots and abandoned buildings, a former airport, historical mansions, underused car parks, and an abandoned incinerator and landfill. 

World Architecture News has recently announced a partnership deal with the C40 initative. Commenting on the announcement WAN’s founder and Editor in Chief Michael Hammond said, “The C40 Reinventing Cities project is an amazing initiative. I am very proud that we are tasked to get the message out to our audience of architects around the world. Many bodies and organisations claim and aim make our cities better but this project is tangible, having real sites, creating real opportunities for architects to make a difference.The unprecedented scale of this project is breath-taking with 19 participating cities, it must rank as the biggest single opportunity for architects to put their name on the map. C40 and sponsors Climate KIC and ofo have done an incredible job pulling this together in the time available. The news team here at WAN are looking forward to seeing the designs and ideas come in from our readers. Good luck!” 

Through this competition, C40 and these cities invite architects, urban planners, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, start-ups, neighbourhood collectives, innovators and artists to collaborate and compete for the opportunity to transform these sites into new beacons of sustainability and resiliency. 

Reinventing Cities launched in November 2017  in Auckland, Cape Town, Chicago, Dubai, Houston, Lima, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Montréal, Oslo, Paris, Portland, Quito, Reykjavik, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, San Francisco and Vancouver.  

The competition will serve as a model for cities around the world, demonstrating how the alliance between cities and business can shape the future delivering healthier, greener and economically viable urban development. 

The competition’s criteria will favour bids from creative teams that deliver innovative climate solutions in combination with striking architecture and tangible benefits for the local community. 

More information on the Reinventing Cities competition, eligibility criteria and the project sites in each city can be found at http://www.c40reinventingcities.org/ 

The deadline for expression of interest is May 4th 2018.

Reinventing Cities is made possible thanks to the support of Climate KIC and ofo. 

The initiative is inspired by the successful Reinventing Paris scheme, launched by Mayor of Paris and C40 Chair Anne Hidalgo in 2015. Today 22 public spaces, covering 250,000 sq ms are being transformed across the French capital.

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 - “Think local, act global, is the 21st century state of mind. By launching this global competition, we make this philosophy very concrete celebrating the most vibrant innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

"Reinventing Cities will set new standards of sustainability in cities and who better than our citizens to imagine the future of their cities? I am convinced that the winning projects will surprise us all and present innovations we are unable to imagine today" 

To learn more about the work of C40 and our cities, please visit www.c40.org, follow C40 on Twitter @c40cities or Instagram @c40cities and like C40 on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/C40Cities

Reinventing Cities in Numbers

19 participating cities 

49 sites 

711 ha (hectares) to redevelop in total

610 m2 (square meters) is the smallest area

237 ha is the largest area

27 sites with an area greater than 1 ha

8 sites with an area greater than 10 ha

24 empty plots to develop, equal to 448 ha

14 sites to redevelop and densify, equal to 75 ha 

8 car parks to transform, equal to 7.5 ha

1 former airport site

9 individual existing buildings to retrofit 

4 patrimonial mansions to renovate 

2 markets to retrofit and revitalize

8 abandoned industrial sites including an incinerator site and a former landfill 

1 university campus

1 site for inhabited bridges


Nick Myall
News editor

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