Includes a variety of actions (e.g. campaigns, information sharing, public events) that encourage city residents and visitors to build sustainable practices into their daily lives
🍏 Seasonal plant based diets
The industrial production and consumption of meats and animal-based products places increasing pressures on land- and water-use, and is a driving cause of global greenhouse gas emissions. Local governments can play an important role in encouraging residents to shift towards local and plant-based diets that can improve the health of the planet, as well as residents and local economies if the food is sourced regionally.
For example, local governments can help to raise the awareness of the positive ecological and health impacts of a locally sourced and plant-based diet through information campaigns in the city. Local governments can improve access to locally produced plant-based foods throughout the city by allocating space for, and supporting local markets and suppliers. To lead by example, canteens managed by the public sector, for example, in schools and municipal offices, can develop menus that offer plant-based and seasonal choices.
🚌 Compact city planning and development
The mobility choices and behaviours of residents and businesses can vary greatly depending on the structure and design of the city. A sprawling city covering large areas with wide highways and no bike lanes discourages cycling and increases dependence on private vehicles, which contribute significantly to resource demand and GHG emissions. Meanwhile, a more compact city with mixed use developments, accessible public transport and extensive and appealing pedestrian and cycle networks enables and encourages walking, cycling and other non-motorised, low-carbon forms of mobility. Combined with urban planning that incentivises higher densities along major public transport routes, transit-oriented development can help to slow the outward expansion of cities into the surrounding countryside.
Compact city planning can help local communities build and create more efficient, safe and viable cities. This concept includes ideas such as the 15-minute city or ‘complete neighbourhoods’, whereby all of the basic needs and services of a resident can be accessed within 15 minutes by walking, cycling or public transport. This concept has also attracted attention as a way to reduce inequality by ensuring that all neighbourhoods have access to affordable mobility options.
Local governments can support the development of compact and low-carbon cities by integrating such concepts into the city’s urban plans, and ensuring that all residents are easily able to conduct their day-to-day lives using non-motorised or public transport. Cities can also ensure that necessary and facilitating infrastructure is provided, such as cycle lanes, pedestrianised areas and public transport options, to enable the shift away from dependency on personal vehicles.
💧 Reduce water use in households
Cities depend upon a limited fresh water supply. Although households are responsible for less than 10% of fresh water used globally, they have significant potential to influence water consumption. In addition to reducing the strain a city has on its fresh water supply, reduced household water consumption can reduce the demand on water infrastructure and in some cases, improve the availability for other households <a href="https://sswm.info/taxonomy/term/2658/reduce-water-consumption-at-home">SSWM.
Households can reduce their water consumption by behavioural change and by improving the efficiency of water-related equipment. Behaviour change consists of actions such as reducing shower time, using shorter cycle washing machine settings, and only using a dishwasher at full capacity. Improving the efficiency of water-related equipment can be achieved by actions such as repairing or replacing a leaking toilet, installing a water saving shower head, and replacing an inefficient washing machine with a more efficient alternative.
Cities can play a role in reducing household water consumption in many different ways. Non-price mechanisms can be used, in which water reduction is achieved without penalising households financially. This includes actions such as creating water conservation campaigns, prohibiting certain water uses (e.g. hose pipes), installing water management devices in households to restrict water to a sustainable level and restricting water centrally in more extreme circumstances. However, price-based mechanisms can also be used in which the household is subject to varying water tariffs depending on the fresh water availability <a href="https://iwaponline.com/wp/article/22/3/483/74194/Drought-response-impacts-on-household-water-use">(Matikinca et al.).