“Green Cities Action Plan Launch” was held in Gaziantep, which was declared a green city by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in order to finance and develop the environment and nature friendly projects of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality (GBB).
At the launch held at the GBB Assembly Hall, for Gazi city, which is participating in the EBRD's flagship urban sustainability program 'Green Cities' and included in a comprehensive investment plan, what has been done regarding the sustainable green city following the 'Green City' agreement signed in England, and While giving information on what to do, details about the “Green City Action Plan” were also shared.
At the meeting, topics such as solid waste, water management, wastewater, street lighting, energy supply and transportation were discussed and the road map of the EBRD Green Cities program in Gaziantep was announced in terms of sustainability.
Mayor Fatma Şahin, in her speech at the launch, stated that they want to be a happy, peaceful, healthy and resilient city with the Green Cities program and used the phrase "We are the climate, we will change".
GAZIANTEP'S SUSTAINABLE GREEN CITY ROADMAP ANNOUNCED IN EBRD GREEN CITY PROGRAM
In this context, Gaziantep will create the Green City Action Plan with the contributions of consultants and stakeholders within a 12-month period. Environmental problems in the city will be determined and priorities will be set. In addition to these, measures will be taken regarding key topics such as extreme heat and drought in the city, and in this context, the infrastructure of natural-based solutions such as buildings being energy efficient and trees providing shade will be prepared. Minimizing water losses will be another aim of the actions.
ŞAHİN: IT NEEDS TO BE QUICKLY INTEGRATED IN ECO-FRIENDLY TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES
Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin stated that Gaziantep is one of the cities most ready for the Green city program and said that the city's industrial areas are making green-focused preparations.
He stated that as the Metropolitan Municipality, when they implement the Climate Master Plan, they have important duties while working on what should be done to turn the industry green. Şahin said, “When we looked at the transportation infrastructure of this city, we saw that the fleets in transportation are very old, they need to be rejuvenated, and they are bringing environmentally friendly transportation vehicles to the city. kazanwe nagged. In this context, we purchased 120 buses with the support of the EBRD. We need to quickly switch to electric buses. This is our essential. We are currently working on electrifying the municipality's vehicle fleet. In addition to the transition to electric vehicles, we definitely need to integrate the light rail system and the city into the metro.” said.
Explaining that Gaziantep should lay the groundwork for the metro in this period, Mayor Şahin said, “We are completing the work of GAZİRAY soon. The signaling phase is completed, and more importantly, we are building our local and national tram. In addition, the citizen should take for granted that the bicycle is a means of transportation, not a sporting tool. Of course, it is not easy to achieve this transformation, we need to explain this to the citizens correctly. As a result, it can be very difficult to change people's habits.” he said.
President Fatma Şahin pointed out that it was not easy to switch to this mental transformation when they started the work on switching to bicycle paths by switching to a one-way road and banning the left turn with the Transportation Master Plan, and noted the following in her speech:
“We talked about the examples of this study in Europe on the answers from the citizens. We talked about the importance of using bicycles for clean transportation. We said that every age group in Europe now uses the bike. We conveyed to our citizens that not only young people but also the elderly use bicycles as a popular means of transportation.”
NOW, GREEN CITY PROJECTS WILL BE WELL MANAGED IN GAZIANTEP
Expressing that there is ease in every difficulty, Chairman Şahin said, “There is good in every bad. The lessons learned from the pandemic and the results started to affect our lives in a positive way. We can't build the future if we don't make the city smart. With today's launch, we will transform green city projects into a more manageable one. Otherwise, we will be spectators to events where disasters continue and global warming increases and seas rise. We cannot stay bystanders, we will unite our forces and transform the city into an environmentally and nature-friendly form. That's why I'm very grateful to the EBRD for sharing our excitement.” said.
NARSHAD: GAZIANTEP IS THE FIRST CITY TO FORM A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN IN TURKEY
Nandita Parshad, Managing Director of EBRD Sustainable Infrastructure, expressed her happiness to be in the beautiful city of Gaziantep and stated that they are here for the Green City Launch.
Noting that the launch is the beginning of the EBRD Green City program, Parshad said, “Cities in the world are currently responsible for 70 percent of my energy use and three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, investing in cities; It offers tremendous opportunities to have an impact on climate change, air pollution and environmental degradation. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to improve their lives, including many of the most vulnerable. Gaziantep is no stranger to these issues. It is the first city in Turkey to create a climate change action plan. As we all know, it is a city that provides shelter and economic support to almost 4 thousand refugees.” used the phrase.
Reminding that they have modernized the bus fleet in Gaziantep with cleaner vehicles in the past, Narshad said, “Today, we are taking the city one step further with the incentive investment of green cities by financing the project with a solar energy capacity of 27 megawatts for Gaziantep. However, there is much to be done to make Gaziantep a greener and more livable city. The EBRD is here to support Gaziantep.” he said.
GAZİANTEP'S GREEN CITY ACTION PLAN TO BE PREPARED WITHIN 1 YEAR
Narshad said that Gaziantep will create its own Green City Action Plan with the contributions of consultants and stakeholders over the next 12 months. I would like to state that both drought and extreme temperatures are key issues in Gaziantep and taking mitigation measures is among the priorities. This, of course, includes making buildings energy efficient, natural-based solutions such as trees providing shade, and minimizing water losses.” made its assessment.
Stating that renewable energy solutions are another key topic in this action plan, Narshad said, “Solar energy will focus on electric mobility, mobility and opportunities in this context.” said.
GAZİANTEP, THE 3TH TURKISH CITY INCLUDED IN THE EBRD GREEN CITIES PROGRAM!
Narshad stated that Gaziantep is the 3rd Turkish city participating in the EBRD Green Cities programme, and lastly said:
“It is a pleasure for us to see Gaziantep among us. Gaziantep is now a part of the EBRD, which is developing day by day. Thanks to this program, 64 billion euros have been invested in 1.6 sustainable infrastructure projects in member cities so far in a wide range of areas, including electric buses, charging infrastructure and building renovations to increase energy efficiency, as well as improvements in both water and wastewater facilities focused on energy efficiency solutions. ”
At the launch, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin and EBRD officials, Iraq Gaziantep Consul General Hasan Abdulwahid Majeed, district mayors and provincial protocol attended.