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Participant City

Kfar Saba

Kfar Saba is a city northeast of Tel Aviv accounting for 106,000 citizens. The municipality is undertaking many efforts to overcome existing urban challenges. For example, to address the problem of water shortages, the city developed a biofilter system that purifies polluted water and can be used for irrigation. For many years, Kfar Saba has placed the environment at the core of its activities and has been recognized as the first green city in Israel. The city is participating in the “Trees in Cities Challenge”, pledging to plant 1,001 new trees. By doing so, the aims to reduce the city’s urban temperature, mitigate climate change and enhance the well-being of urban dwellers. In preparation for the planting activities, the city monitored its urban vegetation and reviewed its natural resource management to identify and prioritize planting sites. Moreover, Kfar Saba implemented an urban gardening program. The city exceeded its pledge by almost one and a half times, planting 1,456 new trees across five districts of the municipality using 21 species.

Participant City

Athienou

The Cypriot municipality Athienou, located in the Larnaca region of the island, is home to around 5,000 inhabitants. In its pledge to the “Trees in Cities Challenge”, the municipality highlighted the need to strengthen its resilience to climate change, enhance its liveability and contribute to the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Athienou implemented its pledge in 2020 by planting 1,500 trees in parks and picnic areas throughout the municipality and will continue these efforts in 2021.

Participant City

Ashgabat

Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, has a population of approximately 900,000 people. Rapid urbanization in recent years has resulted in multiple challenges, including waste disposal, excessive resource consumption as well as air and water pollution. Turkmenistan and its capital are part of projects that aim to tackle these issues. This can be exemplified by Ashgabat’s participation - together with the Turkmens city of Awaza - in the project “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Awaza” led by the United Nations Environmental Programme and UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment of Turkmenistan. The project covers sustainable urban development in the capital including the development of city-wide sustainability plans. As part of Turkmenistan’s “National Forest Program” with the goal of planting 10 million new trees throughout the country, Ashgabat made a pledge under the “Trees in Cities Challenge” to plant 1.6 million new trees of various species including fruit trees. In November 2020, Ashgabat took part in a nationwide tree planting day that included high-level representatives from the government.

Participant City

Turin

The city of Turin is located in the region of Piedmont in the northwest of Italy and is home to 880,000 people. More than two decades ago, the city was facing considerable social, economic and environmental challenges. To tackle these issues, Turin initiated a transformation to become more sustainable and liveable. This is reflected in the current “2030 Action Plan for a Sustainable and Resilient Turin” which aligns with the city’s participation in the “Trees in Cities Challenge”. The pledge to plant 1,000 trees is implemented along with the development of a “Sustainable Urban Forest Management Plan” - one of the first plans of that kind in Italy – and the creation of a “Strategic Green Infrastructure Plan” to guide the management of, and investment in, green infrastructure. Together with a corporate sponsor, Turin planted 3,000 trees and overall 18,000 trees, considerably exceeding its pledge of 15,000.

Participant City

Nof Hagalil

Nof Hagalil is located in the Galilee region in the northern part of Israel and is home to about 45,000 people. As part of its sustainability efforts, Nof Hagalil participates in the “Trees in Cities Challenge” and pledged to plant 1,200 new trees. With its participation, the city seeks to access and enhance ecosystem services that trees and forests within and near cities provide, for instance by planting fruit trees that provide healthy, free, accessible food for citizens. The city exceeded its initial pledge by 1,000 trees, and encourages residents to become tree sponsors by donating trees, thereby strengthening local engagement and participation. 

Participant City

Tbilisi

The Georgian capital Tbilisi accounts for a population of around 1.2 million, and faces some major urban challenges, including poor air quality. The city takes part in the “Trees in Cities Challenge”, which is aligned to its urban forest and greening strategy and the “Tbilisi Resilience Strategy 2030”. Tbilisi pledged to plant 10,000 new trees and aims to protect and expand its urban forest. The city exceeded its pledge by 3,000 trees, planting 13,000 new trees in total across the capital. To promote these tree planting activities, Tbilisi created a video clip that is available here.