Chisinau will host Green City Lab – an innovation platform for urban and green development

March 27, 2018

Photo: Chisinau Mayor's Office

The Chisinau Mayoralty, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launches a joint project aiming at catalyzing investments in low carbon green urban development by encouraging innovation, participatory planning and partnerships between public and private sectors. The project, with a budget of approx. $ 2.6 million provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and with 80.000 USD co-funded by UNDP, has a five-year duration: 2018-2022.

For the first time in Republic of Moldova, the project will support the establishment of the Green City Lab, an urban lab for innovation in local services, which will guide the transformation of Chisinau municipality and other urban centers into modern, green and smart European cities, with improved quality of life for their inhabitants, while also demonstrating opportunities for sustainable economic growth.

“The time has come for us to be more attentive to the environment, to ensure that the development of the city does not affect the quality of life, the city's health. This project is more than welcome, the ecological development of the city must be one of the central objectives of the local government. We have an obligation towards future generations to leave them a green and healthy city, and we can achieve this if we are aware that development is done when ecological norms are fully respected,” noted Chisinau’s acting mayor, Silvia Radu.

Green City Lab will serve as a platform for innovative pilot projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions through efficient waste management measures, energy efficiency in residential buildings, renewable energy use and smart urban planning. At the same time, Chisinau municipality will be assisted in urban mobility planning, involving the population and the private sector in extensive consultations and thematic debates.

At this stage, the following pilot projects are envisaged, with a total budget of approx. 1 million dollars, to be covered from project’s resources:

  1. Neighborhood Renewal Green Urban Demonstration
  2. Improved energy efficiency in multi-stores apartments blocks of Chisinau municipality
  3. Elaboration of at least one Zonal Plan under the emerging or updated General Urbanistic Plan for Chisinau
  4. Elaboration of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan allied to improvements in the urban transport network and using SMART solutions
  5. Improving the use of renewable energy by supporting the municipality to efficiently collect wood biomass and transforming it into energy

As a result of the pilot projects, 200,000 tons of CO2 equivalent will be reduced, which would equal emissions made by more than 42,000 vehicles per year or the planting and growth of approx. 2,600 hectares of forest over the span of 10 years.

“The Green Cities Project will come with an innovative, demonstrative approach and a comprehensive participatory platform, to support green sustainable urban planning but also to align all the people’s aspirations and participation in the life of their city", said UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Moldova, Dafina Gercheva.

Republic of Moldova, according to the 2014 data, is the least urbanized European country, with over 55% of the population residing in rural areas. This situation is changing rapidly with an expected reduction of the share of rural population down to 50% by 2030 and 40% by 2050. Under these conditions, by 2030 Chisinau is expected to host over 50% of all urban population in Moldova putting even more pressure on city's infrastructure and services, while also creating considerable social and environmental challenges.

Under the Paris Agreement, Moldova has committed to unconditionally reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 64% by 2030 in comparison to levels of 1990. In Republic of Moldova, the most emissions are generated by the energy sector, followed by agriculture and waste.