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Gdynia takes care of the environment

Gdynia has committed itself to improving the condition of its environment, i.e. caring for air and water quality, waste management, combating noise pollution and supporting biodiversity. It was the first city in Poland to join the Green City Accord, a European initiative committing cities to improve their environment.

The Green City Accord is an initiative set up in October 2020 by the European Commission to encourage cities across Europe to care for the environment and to adopt the same high environmental standards. The Green City Accord is an agreement whereby local authorities voluntarily commit to taking action towards achieving a clean environment. The signatories commit to designing cities where residents breathe clean air, enjoy clean water, have access to green spaces and where they are not exposed to high volumes of noise pollution. Closed-loop waste management is also among the priorities.

– The ideas behind the Green City Accord are one of our priorities for urban management. We are therefore the first in Poland to join this agreement of European local governments. Today, urban development must involve being open to innovation, implementing solutions that protect nature and the climate. Caring for the environment, especially in urban areas, is one of the greatest challenges facing us and future generations. The fact that development must go hand in hand with ecology was noted years ago. In Gdynia, we pay attention to how to conduct urban initiatives and investments and design new spaces with the local environment in mind. We carry out stormwater management, conduct thermal performance upgrades of buildings, support and promote renewable energy sources as well as conduct educational projects for children. We are not afraid of an innovative approach that will have a positive influence on our environment – says Michał Guć, Gdynia’s Deputy Mayor for Innovation.

So far, more than 20 European cities have signed the Green City Accord, including Oslo (Norway), Lahti, Turku and Helsinki (Finland), Lille (France), Zaragoza (Spain), Braga (Portugal) or Cesena (Italy). Gdynia is the first city in Poland to formulate ambitious environmental goals in collaboration with them in the coming years. Thanks to this partnership, Gdynia will be able to benefit from the experience of other local governments and count on their support, as well as gain access to technical expertise and to new project financing opportunities.

In recent years Gdynia has implemented many pro-ecological projects that improve the quality of the environment in the city. In the interest of air quality, the local government has for years been carrying out the process of phasing out the coal-fired boilers in municipal buildings and premises, as well as providing subsidies for the installation of low-emission heat sources in private facilities. Gdynia residents can also benefit from subsidies for the installation of renewable energy sources. Thermal performance upgrades of municipal buildings are carried out periodically. The local government is also investing in a modern and zero-emission fleet for Gdynia’s public transport. For several years, the local government has been consistently introducing green areas into the city. Wildflower meadows, pocket gardens, rain gardens, green roofs, green pedestrian walkways or hydrophytic plant ponds are being established. Residents can obtain funds from the city grants scheme to establish rain gardens. An innovative project was the establishment of a municipal apiary on the roof of the Gdynia City Hall building at al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego, and the “Birds are welcome in Gdynia” campaign is an annual environmental education project for the city residents thanks to which more nesting boxes and bird feeders are built every year.
The Green City Accord initiative is implemented by a consortium comprising Eurocities, ICLEI and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) with financial support from the European Union.

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