- The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires has committed to reduce its Community emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2008 emission level.
- The target is going to be reached by activities in Stationary energy, Transport and Waste management sectors.
The city is looking for funding to extend the network by working on a Future Lines Plan to further improve the integration of the city and vehicular traffic congestion. The plan takes into consideration the central city, gaining a significant coverage of the areas with more density of population, shops and employment.
This subway extension is possible since the Law 2710 of Buenos Aires City was sanctioned in May, 2008. In this way, the call for bidding the construction of three new lines has been authorized. These three lines (F, G and I) will add 35.5 km to the extension of the subway, reaching a total extension of almost 100 km, with the capacity to transport 2.4 million passengers per day, doubling today’s capacity.
The city government installed the Green Agenda as a key management issue, including multiple programs and projects already at work.
The world is "going green" and the City seeks to share this transformation so that citizens may realice that their daily actions are vital to generate the needed change.
Thus, the City has taken action in order to allow and facilitate sustainable practices by citizens regarding transport, waste and energy, and implement policies that seek to improve public áreas and environment quality.
In this context, within Buenos Aires EPA there is an Education Area that promote environmental education initiatives on different topics such as Matanza-Riachuelo Basin, Urban Natural Heritage and offer trainings, seeking the participation of citizens in the construction of new attitudes toward a more just, equitable and participatory environmental ethics.
The health sector has an important role in mitigating climate change, without neglecting the essential role of providing quality health care.
The Green and Sustainable Hospitals Programs seek to diagnose and capacitate hospitals in the city on the following topics: noise, sustainable construction, energy efficiency, responsible use of water, and waste management.
Voluntarily, each participating hospitals chooses the topics in which it will make improvements and works together with a technical team which gives advice and training to be able to achieve its action plan.
In October 2013, a joint resolution was signed by the Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA) and the Government Administration of Public Revenue (AGIP), which establishes the plate tax exemption to all hybrid and / or electric vehicles based in the City of Buenos Aires.
It is noteworthy that at present only a few brands offer this type of cars in the City. It is expected that in the medium term, more choices will be available and prices will decrease. This, plus the tax benefit, the sale of these vehicles will boost.
This action is another incentive the Government of the City of Buenos Aires in order to have a greener city.
As the results with the first BRT corridor have been successful, and in not for every part of the city, the subway extension is the best option because of the drainage pipelines, the extension of the BRT network took place.
In July 2013, two new corridors have been inaugurated: a 3,5km extension was built in the 9 de Julio Avenue, raising the avenue passenger transport capacity as well as reducing travel time; the BRT system was further extended 22,5km, joining Constitución with La Noria bridge.
By the end of 2015, the system will have reached a total extension of 56.3km, with 4 new BRT corridors that complement the ones already working, being used by more than 60 different buses.
In order to encourage and facilitate separation at source and increase citizen participation, the City launched the first Mobile Recycling Unit in October 2012; today there are 32 Green Reception Points available for disposing recyclable domestic waste and small informatics devices. Moreover the city is installing in the street new differentiated containerisation to leave recyclables, which are collected by urban recycling cooperatives.
Residents may also take directly their recyclable waste and to the green centers where waste classification takes place, which are 10 in total, within the City.
As from October 2012, supermarkets and autoservices will deliver only non-biodegradable bags which are certified; 50% of the non-biodegradable bags delivered should be green and 50% black, so they can be used for source separation of household waste. These businesses must count, as well, with incentive schemes to increase the use of reusable bags and carts by their clients. In addition, they must supply with reusable bags available for sale, in order to promote its use.
In September 2012, the Environmental Economics Center was created to promote sustainable development. This was possible due to a commitment signed between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Italian community of Genoa. The project considers the creation of a place working as an information center to promote best practices in production and consumption, as an environmental business incubator and as a place for the development of technical and academic conferences to promote green jobs in the City of Buenos Aires.Read More Read Less
The first stage of the Downtown Plan was completed, covering 33 blocks which have become pedestrian, the levelling of driveways and sidewalks, the construction of bike lanes, and the incorporation of underground MSW containers, as well as new lighting with LED technology. At the same time, a recovery of the facades of the most representative buildings in the area took place, in order to strengthen the heritage values, including the placement of a plaque to remember the purpose and the year of its construction.
The renovation of the public space downtown aims to increase accessibility and convenience for people: on completion of the works planned, 70% of the area will be pedestrian, 76 blocks leveled, 71 facades recovered, 70 underground MSW containers incorporated and 100% of LED technology in streets, avenues, pedestrianized areas and intervened buildings.
The City has already replaced approximately 70,000 street lights with LED technology, from a total of 126,000 in the City, resulting in a 40% energy saving. The City has also replaced 100% of the incandescent bulbs in traffic lights crossroads with the same technology..
A new technique being put into practice by the Government of the City consists of the optimization of lighting networks in public space by means of dimming and the use of voltage filters. Dimming entails a power reduction by 5% without loosing the perception of illumination, which is important to maintain security in public space.
By 2020, 56.000 light lamps, reaching the 100% of Public Lighting, are expected to have been replaced with the most efficient technology available in the market.
A second stage of the program “Thermal solar energy in social housing” is taking place at the moment. With the objective of supplying with hot water to the neighbors and reduce energy consumption, the project promotes the use of renewable energy, specifically solar thermal, and seeks to install the concept of energy rational use and energy efficiency among the neighbors. It takes place in the low income neighborhood: “Villa 1-11-14”, a well known shanty town of Buenos Aires City, for its size and population number (calculated in 40,000 habitants). In this case, the program has recently installed water heating solar collectors in two Community Center buildings, and has installed solar water heaters in the five selected residential houses.
It is important to consider the awareness raising effects this program has; bearing in mind the community center is used by children, who happen to be great communicators for best practice techniques. In the same line, as neighbors do not usually pay for the electricity fee, improving consumption behavior raises as one of the priorities in these kinds of settlements; especially considering that the energy demand in Buenos Aires, in residential and service sector especially, has duplicated in the last 10 years.
At the same time, we are currently developing the first program for socio-environmental initiatives in communities, which consists of the granting of nonrefundable contributions (subsidies) aiming at financing eco-friendly projects of production and infrastructure which help improve the standard of living of vulnerable communities.
Currently, training courses on these technology and environmental awareness are offered by the Environmental Protection Agency.
For Buenos Aires, sustainability is a fundamental governing principle. Young people are crucial agents for driving cultural change in day-to-day environmental practices. In addition to the multiple long-term benefits of good environmental stewardship and its importance in constructing good citizenship practices, green policies help schools provide healthier surroundings for their students and staff.
The Ministry of Education’s overarching Green Schools Programme (Escuelas Verdes) has a wide-ranging curriculum which incorporates a number of City sustainability policies. It is organised across four thematic areas: Integral Waste Management, Environmental Health, Power Efficiency & Renewable Energy and Climate Change.
The Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT), or Metrobus as it is called in Buenos Aires, is used in more than 150 cities around the world. Because it uses an exclusive center lane, journey time is reduced around 40%. In avoiding constant moving and stopping, this means of transportation reduces emissions and fuel expenses and helps reach established schedule deadlines. The Metrobus is part of the Sustainable Mobility Plan, and aims to provide the city with a road infrastructure for a large number of passengers, with a high quality bus service according to traditional urban buses.
We have chosen Juan B Justo Avenue to launch this system because it connects the City from West to East. Besides, it connects the passengers with one of the railroads and two subway lines. Each one of the 100,000 BRT passengers save 75 hours of journey time during one year. Juan B Justo BRT corridor is 12 km long and 7 bus lines run within it.
Using solar energy for heating is a tool for social inclusion. During 2010, in the neighborhood “Los Piletones”, located in the southern area of the City, and with the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as other organizations, solar collectors have been installed as a first stage of a program aiming for “Thermal solar energy in social housing”. The solar collectors provide with hot water the Community Center and five residential homes. In shanty towns undergoing urbanization, water heating, when existent, is produced by means of electric heaters, which are usually precariously connected, thus, in many cases, entailing high risk.
Solar collectors installed in this neighborhood allows for users to have hot water all year long, while at the same time reducing future energy costs. Hot water in the Community Center benefits at least 60 children. The massive incorporation of this technology may also limit construction of higher stories, a major concern given that construction in the area tends to be irregular and its ongoing development could result in higher structural risks.
The Environmental Protection Agency works on an Energy Efficiency Program in Public Buildings. The program requires the implementation of a number of different measures, including the creation of systems and tools to manage a building’s energy use; the conduction of energy audits; and the retrofit and improvement of a building’s maintenance to save in electricity and heating bills. Five different construction types (offices, schools, hospitals, costumer care centres and cultural centres) have been analyzed, regarding energy consumption. In this way, different types of buildings can be characterized according to their consumption and recommendations can be put forward accordingly, in order to extrapolate the findings to all of the city government’s buildings.
Moreover, the EPA has already performed the diagnoses of 14 public buildings, some are implementing improvement measures, and other diagnoses are on their way to be completed. Besides, equipment has been purchased to monitor overall consumption in 5 buildings and assess the impact of the implementation of best practices.
In the future, the EPA project seeks to complete the 800 public buildings, with their respective energy consumption diagnosis, improvement plans and training for an Energy Manager responsible for each building.
As for the waste sector, in 2017 the City aims to achieve a 72% reduction in landfill disposal. Between 2013 and 2015, a reduction of 52% was achieved through varios actions. Wet and dry waste disposal into separate containers as well as source separation are two key elements of a strategy aimed not only at waste management but also at GHG emission reduction:
-Debris recovery Plant which recovers 90% of the incoming material -More than 2,000 public green containers to facilitate source separation,
-In 2013, a MBT plant (Mecanical-biological treatment plant) was inaugurated recovering 600 tn of solid waste daily.
The local Government is now working with 12 urban recycling cooperatives, to which it provides transportation, uniforms, and mandatory registration cards. The collected material (4200 tons per month) is transported into 10 green centers (waste separation centers), which are operated by the cooperatives.
The Buenos Aires Bicycle Program promotes the use of bicycle through different measures, including the implementation of a public bicing system (Ecobici). This system includes free bike-lending at stations strategically located within the City. The bicing system currently has 200 automatic stations and around 4000 available bicycles. Launched at the end of 2010, today 5% of the trips are by bicycle. The program is expected to keep growing, reaching 4000 more renting stations and 300km of bike lanes in 2019.Read More Read Less
The current network has six underground lines and a line of surface (Premetro), reaching a total length of 51 km in 2015. It is estimated that the subway holds a 10% of all trips are made daily in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, carrying 310 million passengers a year. The system has a good connection to the main railway lines, linking the major transshipment centers for the City of Buenos Aires.
In the last years, the City has worked on extending and improving these means of transport: twelve new stations have been inaugurated, and improvements in different subway stations and wagon replacements are taking place in different lines.
In the same line, works have been done in 2015 to extend 5km the network length reaching 51km previously mentioned.
For the next five years, it is planned an extensions of the subway network reaching, in 2020, 58km of length and 8 new stations, which will increase the amount of people using the system to 700.000 passengers.
In April 2010, the Sustainable Government Purchases program was established through Executive Order 300/2010. In accordance with the regulation, the Government gives more priority to energy efficiency when purchasing electric appliances. To this end, the government developed a database including appliances with energy labels, this has been used as a tool to promote, within the Government, sustainable acquisition of goods and services generating minimum environmental impact. By 2015, it has been achieved that 54% of the purchase agreements include sustainability criteria.Read More Read Less
The Environemental and training centre, CIFA, houses the Contaminants Analysis Laboratory of the Government of the City, and is becoming an environmental information and technological innovation hub in towards the use of cleaner energies.
The CIFA consumes 20 MWh monthly, 63% is used for air conditioning and heating and the rest for lighting and energy supply in offices. It is slowly reducing its dependence on the traditional energy distribution network. Apart from the installation of two solar collectors for water heating (2 and 4 m2 wide), a state-of-the-art photovoltaic panel system has also been installed (36 ES-A series with String Ribbon technology, 215w modules), providing energy to the central hall and service area. In the same line, 20 solar and wind energy powered lights were installed for outdoor lighting within the building’s perimeters.
Moreover, as part of the city’s Public Buildings´ Energy Efficiency program, sensors were installed to carry out an energy assessment and establish energy-use optimization targets.
Pedestrian streets humanize public space and redefine it as a meeting point. With these goals, we defined pedestrian priority streets, widen and leveled sidewalks to encourage pedestrian traffic unimpeded.
The overall objective is the enhancement of the sector, the optimization of public space and landscape-functional development that enables leisure and recreation, continuing the policy to reverse the deterioration and degradation of the core areas, enhancing the process of recovery and improvement of environmental conditions. Besides, the program seeks to include an ecological means of transport as the bicycle, to encourage pedestrian movement, discouraging car use.
In order to accompany the business sector on the path to sustainability, the City´s Environmental Protection Agency launched the Cleaner Production Program. It consists of agreements between the BA Environmental Protection Agency and more than 120 private companies currently part of the program, in order to design, perform, and assess on an environmental improvement plan for each one of them. Those which have effectively implemented the commitments are granted a seal. Moreover, the City´s Bank provides financial mechanisms to support participating bussiness towards energy efficiency and include affordable loans for environmental improvement projects.
In the same line, the city is also granting nonrefundable contributions, a subsidy specifically aimed at sustainable production and energy efficiency. Between 2009 and 2011, 42 subsidies were granted for a maximum per project of 60,000 Argentine pesos.
Bus transportation in our City has a long history and was pioneer in Latin America. Around 9,700 buses move around the City and the Metropolitan Area. Around 80% of our city’s air pollution is estimated to come from vehicle gas emissions.
That is why the City Government implemented a 10.7km network of exclusive lanes for bus and taxi circulation in order to reap the benefits of these forms of transportation while addressing the issues that have traditionally undercut their effectiveness.
This change in circulation implies transforming one-way avenues into two-way ones, in order to increase passenger flow. An immediate result of this program has been journey time reduction. Preferential lanes for public transportation and counter- flow lanes do account for the reduction of 10% to 35% of journey time reduction. In the same line noise has been reduced, improving life quality in many arterial roads in the City.
The development of a multimodal transportation network is enhanced by the incorporation of electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as by the use of fuels made from recycled material.
On November, 2009, the City of Buenos Aires signed a commitment charter to be a part of the Electric Vehicle Network of the C40 with the aim of facilitating the planning and design of a support system to incorporate electric vehicles and of developing a plan to launch the incorporation of electric vehicles in the local Government’s vehicle fleet. The City is therefore working in global alliances.
The hybrid electric Ecobus reduces emissions of particulate matter by 75%, of carbon monoxide by 55%, and of greenhouse gas by 40%, while it consumes 40% less of fuel.
In this first stage of the project, one prototype has been developed, expecting to include more units to the bus fleet in the future.
The Buenos Aires "Ecobici" Bicycle Program, promotes the use of bicycles as an ecological, healthy, and fast means of transportation. This Program includes the creation of a protected bike path network and bicycle parking infrastructure, the implementation of a bicing system, the provision of road safety education, and the promotion for its use in the private sector as a real alternative for transportation.
The protected bike path network is currently 160 km long. Located at side streets, away from intense vehicular flows, the bike paths are increasingly being used by the population. The network has been designed to join strategic points of the City.
In order to address the necessity for improvement in response to emergencies and training of prevention actions for the vulnerable sectors of society, it have been developed different training courses not only for the personal involved in the emergency response but also training for community institutions such as schools and senior centers. It is projected to apply a set of improvement measures in the quality and quantity of the tools and equipment necessary to act during and after an emergency. It is also important to continue with the training courses, especially to the people living in low income settlements.Read More Read Less
Understanding the importance of developing new information, data and models to prepare for the future events the City acts on different topics.
-Strategies for the hydrological vulnerability: The Buenos Aires’ Territorial Model (a development plan for the period 2010-2060) includes studies about hydraulic vulnerability with the purpose of establishing strategies to mitigate the effects of increasing average annual rainfall and the resulting floods. So as to increase drainage capacity, in the next period, the city will continue incorporating green areas; and reservoirs in specific areas to contain the excess water in cases of heavy rainfall.
-Geo-referenced information and risk mapping: this strategy is orientated to the systematization of the information in maps, aiming to have a Vulnerability Map as final product, this will be carried forward by Buenos Aires EPA. This map is a very helpful tool to evaluate the risk associated to each territory. The inputs are given by past experience events, projections and scientific research.
Informal settlements identified as most-at-risk population are subject of training courses with the purpose of providing them with the knowledge for being “First Actors”; this is how they can bring a basic assistance and orientate the help in case of critical events. Bearing in mind, its importance and big success, the program will be extended in the next period.Read More Read Less
The Social Management of Habitat is based on three pillars: territorial presence, social urbanism and inclusion from the perspective of the habitat.
The Secretariat for Habitat & Inclusion (SECHI) works under a new paradigm for infrastructural and social interventions, one which considers the community as the protagonist in the physical and social transformation of its own habitat. Under this social management model, the Secretariat works to generate stronger relationships between the State and informal neighbourhoods, helping to empower local institutions and develop public spaces for collective participation and decision-making. In order to reach these objetives the SECHI have opened 11 Inclusive Portals and 5 NIDO (for its acronym in Spanish) -Inclusion Core and Development Opportunities-, which are different types of Government offices and social centres that promote social inclusion, reinforce relationships and networking between the neighbors and between them and the City government.
The City’s Government, from the Environmental Health Department, carries out different actions to identify early impacts on human health and therefore be able to respond rapidly and efficiently. Given the projected scenarios, more pressure over the public health system is expected.
This strategy includes the reinforcement of the Health Centers Network and the Communitarian Action Network and the implementation of the “Healthy Stations” in parks and strategic points of the City, which are increasing in number year after year, seeking to respond to emerging challenges.
The city Government have designed a Director Plan of Emergency that identifies 21 threats likely to occur in the city and structures the response to these events. The objective is to bring a rapid response optimizing time and resources. Each threat identified has an action protocol which is monitored and continuously updated.Read More Read Less
The Green Buenos Aires Plan launched in 2014 is a 20-year plan to adapt Buenos Aires to the challenges of climate change, and it is organized in different topics such as: Sustainable Mobility, Waste Management, Environmental townscape and Promotion of clean Energies. The project will develop 78 new plazas and expand 30 existing ones. 12 large parks and many more green terraces will also be built. By enhancing green spaces and planting trees, the temperature of Buenos Aires is expected to reduce.
Green motorways and macro-blocks are also contemplated in the plan, the latter aiming for a 50% reduction in levels of noise pollution, and a 97% reduction in CO2 emissions.
Urban green corridors are used to connect city environmental units via green connectors (medium-height forestation), green corridors
(planted boulevards or medians) and linear parks designed to
transform 50% of the city to public space.
By 2020, it is expected to be developed:
-12 new green urban spaces
- 6 hydric parks with permeable surfaces
-10 big urban parks for recreational use
- 4 macro-blocks
- 8 urban green corridors
Seeking to improve its emergency response, the City of Buenos Aires has developed an integrated response system that focuses on the Unified Coordination and Control Center (CUCC) which was launched in 2011 to coordinate a rapid and comprehensive response among the emergency agencies. This center works monitoring the main gateways to the City. It has been designed and developed with innovative technology to coordinate a fast and integrated response for all agencies in case of accidents, eventual disasters or other health emergencies.
Moreover, the CUCC is able to identify, monitor and control in real time the status of the sewers with the information provided by 28 sensors located in strategic points of the stormwater pipelines in the Hydraulic-Meteorological System.
Green roofs and walls, consisting of rooftops and walls covered with vegetation, fulfill an important function: they decrease thermal range and reduce the loss of heat in winter and cold in summer, reducing the heat island effect, improve rainwater capture and can act as an air island for wild species.
Buenos Aires City Government inaugurated it´s first Green Roof in 2011 and, because it was constructed on a public school building, a low maintenance design was chosen and a path was built across the green area for student use. Moreover, the plants chosen are resistant to a wide temperature range.
The green roof has been constructed over part of the rooftop, so that two sectors of equal size and orientation were left to compare hydraulic balance and thermal benefits to the school. A follow up took place, measuring temperature differences and water capacity.
At the moment, more green roofs are being constructed in schools and other public buildings, under the Green Buenos Aires Plan.
In the same line, the City has started the installation of green walls in urban highways.
In general, low-income population settles in precarious and highly crowded housing, in floodpains. Rainwater floods occur in different areas of the City of Buenos Aires every time it rains more than 30 mm in one hour, for which it is a recurrent problem that affects more than 350,000 people, 90,000 of which are located in precarious riverside settlements, on the bank of the Riachuelo River, a highly contaminated water body.
As an important social challenge, the local Government aims to relocate the population settled on the towpath of the Matanza- Riachuelo River Basin, pursuant to the Environmental Recovery Integrated Plan. At the moment, more than 537 families have been provided with a new house outside the towpath, in order to provide a solution to this major socio-environmental problem as soon as possible, in accordance with a Federal Supreme Court ruling.
This process also entails the recovery and valorization of the riverside with the aim of transforming this trail on the riverside with cobblestone, green areas, and a revegetation process.
As global temperature rises, Buenos Aires is more and more exposed to diseases exclusive of tropical areas. The local Government is therefore working to reduce health risks.
The dengue is a viral disease transmitted by the “Tiger” mosquito and is in expansion since global warming creates favourable conditions for its habitat. The plan against it aims at preventing the spread of the disease and eradicates those mosquitoes that transmit not only dengue but other diseases as well, according to the research performed by the University of Buenos Aires, together with the “Luis Pasteur” Institute.
In the same line, training courses related to the Climate Change and Health were offered. In turn, the Environmental Epidemiological Surveillance Program aims at providing continuous, useful, and timely information about adverse environmental factors, to facilitate decision-making processes related to solution, control, and prevention.
In order to face weather changes it is essential to have consistent data collected over many years. The new sensor system seeks to complement the existing weather alert network, by better understanding the status of sewers and channel relievers, allowing the building of an early alert to possible flooding.
The new system provides underground information in real time about rainfall and storm effects in different neighbourhoods of the City. It is equipped with 28 water level sensors (limnigraphs) located in rainfall drainage systems which shall provide data regarding the amount of water concentrated in relation to pipe capacity during heavy rainfall events that is received in the CUCC.
Currently, the City of Buenos Aires has a weather alert network run by the Emergency Squad along with the Ministry of Environment and Public Space that monitors permanently meteorological, hydrological and environmental parameters that will allow to model, predict and anticipate flooding.
In the light of an expected increase in extreme rain events and severe storms, and taking into consideration that in the City of Buenos Aires paving intensifies runoffs, the City works under a Hydraulic Plan. Important contributions to our strategy include the maintenance of the rainfall drainage systems, the management of water reservoirs, and the expansion of new piped relief channels to control the main underground creeks. The lack of these structures has produced significant flooding in several areas of the City in the past years. Buenos Aires has a series of protection stations against local southeastern storms as well as pumping stations at several level crossings. Remote-controlled robots and other technologies are used in the cleaning and maintenance of drains, chambers, and ducts of the rainfall drainage system.
The Hydraulic Plan includes infrastructure works, like rainwater Runoff Systems and Lakes as Flood Buffers in addition to tunnel extension on the different streams that run underneath the City in order to increase their capacity:
-Arroyo Maldonado: a new 12km relief canal (in the form of an elongated tunnel) was constructed using the hydrofraise
technique, a Latin American first. The improvements directly
benefit 267,000 individuals and benefit the entire city indirectly
by preventing floods in its largest basin.
-Arroyo Vega: a second tunnel to extend by 60% its capacity, is being constructed and will have 8.4 km long.
The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires has reported 14 Community emission inventories, since 2000. In its latest inventory, compiled in 2013, the Stationary energy and Transport are identified as key emission sources.
The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires has reported 13 government operational inventories, since 2000. In its latest inventory, compiled in 2012, the Transport is identified as key emission source.
Mayor Horacio LarretaAutonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina