Hey Toronto – what’s your urban personality type? A new report from C40 Cities and ARUP mines characteristics of global cities to find out how they act – and how this affects their ability to push along their carbon reduction targets.
The report, which relies on over 100,000 data points provided by 66 global cities, underscores the importance of cities behaving collaboratively, rather than trying to rely on their direct powers when it comes to addressing climate change. This collaboration is undertaken on the local front, as well as among cities internationally.
Powering Climate Action: Cities as Global Changemakers takes a look at six typologies that characterize the way cities function with respect to their climate policies:
- Commanding cities have high control over their assets and decisions and use regulatory tools to dictate actions.
- Collaborating cities have less direct power so must seek other routes to advance change in partnership with others
- Legislating cities prefer setting regulation
- Facilitating cities have limited power to deliver programs directly, so must co-ordinate with other actors
- Implementing cities have high control over assets and decisions, so are able to deliver programs alone.
- Providing cities are able to deliver programs and support non-government actors at the same time.
The interesting finding when the personality types and climate solution action is compared, is that a lack of power and control – and even resources – does not necessarily hamper a city’s ability to advance climate solutions at the local level. In fact, a key takeaway from the report is that “when it comes to delivering action, the ability of cities to partner is more important than the type or degree of power they have.”
We know how true this finding is on an individual level – our relationships and “social capital” are extremely important to our influence. But let’s remember that while regulation and building up new funds for the city are critical concerns, it is just as important to foster the readiness of our cities to leverage their greatest asset of all – their partners and collaborators at home and abroad.