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Warsaw gears up for climate change

Opr./edited AZ 08 August 2019
Warsaw gears up for climate change
Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski (right) and Marek Szolc, Environmental Protection Commission chiarman

POLAND Warsaw council has adopted its Urban Adaptation Plan aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change across the city. The plan involves investment in renewable energy sources and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, including the introduction of more urban greenery and improvements to the public transport system.

One element of the strategy for 2030 (with a perspective onto 2050) will be the drawing up of a climatic map of the city, highlighting areas prone to floods and storms as well as what are known as heat islands – the sunniest areas with higher air temperatures. On average less snow has been falling each winter and extremely hot nights have become much more common in the summer, which could pose risks for children, the elderly and people with health problems. In response to such issues, adequate investment is needed in green areas, water storage tanks, renewable energy sources and environmentally friendly public transport.

“We can see what is happening in Poland and across Europe, with such extreme weather as heat waves, floods and storms, while there are also threats to the electricity supply of major cities. This has to be addressed. Warsaw therefore faces a fight against climate change,” insists Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw.

Over the next 18 months the document is to be extended to executive programmes that will have more detailed guidelines and standards. An additional 310,000 trees are to be planted over almost 43 ha in the next few years, such as ul. Podkowy, ul. Kłodzka, around ul. Parowozowa in Białołęka district as well as around the Derby residential estate. Around 7,000 trees are to be planted this autumn, for which an inventory of the city’s greenery is being drawn up.

Public buildings are to be fitted with photovoltaic panels and green roofs covered with shrubs and vines. In January this year, the Warsaw Waterworks signed a contract for the construction of a photovoltaic installation that can produce enough energy to supply 2,600 households. Installations worth PLN 40 mln will appear by the end of 2022 in the Czajka sewage treatment plant and on the roofs of the Powiśle and Nowodwory pumping stations. The city has plans to grant almost 1,700 subsidies for renewable energy generating installations. A total of 267 buildings with more than 3,500 apartments are also to be connected up to the municipal heating and gas networks.

Warsaw’s public transport will also undergo transformative changes. At present almost 50 pct of public transport does not emit pollutants at present, such as trams, the underground, light rail (SKM) and electric buses. By 2022, Warsaw wants to have pushed this up to 60 pct by, for example, expanding the rail transport network. The capital city has recently bought 123 trams with the option of buying another 90.

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