4.3 Towards greener cities: citizens as drivers for change
In collaboration with Friends of Europe and Debating Europe
Citizen engagement and participation are essential to the greening of cities. As consumers, citizens should be given more opportunities to accelerate the low-carbon transition of their cities. However, the current environmental problems that cities are faced with, whether it is air pollution, inefficient waste policies, biodiversity loss and resource scarcity, are often the results of rapid urban development coupled with policies that are not adapted to today’s needs. Such situations, affecting the daily lives of city dwellers, can give birth to grassroots movements and bottom-up actions, where citizens transform into actors of change. It is therefore crucial to involve citizens in participatory decision-making and encourage them to modify not only their consumption habits but also the perception of the impact they can have. Local decision-makers with the support of civil society organisations and NGOs should aim to work together on raising awareness among citizens and ensure that they act urgently to bend the curve of emissions.