The cities of the future: cities with low emissions of greenhouse gases and an attractive urban environment


Thirteen cities and eight urban regions in Norway (covering almost 50% of the population)

Reason for initiation

In 2007 the government of Norway invited the country's largest cities to cooperate on further developing cities with low carbon footprints to combat climate change and on developing strategies for adaptation. A secondary objective was to improve the physical urban environment. The 430 Norwegian municipalities have means and instruments to influence 20% of national emissions. Emissions from large cities are considerable and the potential for reduction is significant.

Strategies in place or planned

"Cities of the future" was a programme of cooperation between the government and the largest urban centres in Norway. The cities created strategies and a programme of work that was implemented in cooperation with neighbouring municipalities and the private sector. They reported on their activities annually.

Outcomes and next steps

The programme had four main areas of concern:

  • land-use and transport
  • energy in buildings
  • consumption and waste
  • adaptation to climate change.

Activities were carried out in all four areas. The programme was in its final year in 2014 and evaluation of its results will be conducted. Significant attention was given to supporting sustainable means of transport: public transport, bicycling and walking. Awards were given to the cities with the best public transport expansion, as a means of covering some of the expenses. One major achievement is that growth of private car use has halted in the largest cities.

Organization(s) involved

13 Norwegian cities and urban regions

Three private enterprises and financing organizations

Four ministries, including the Ministry for Health and Care Services