- 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 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.
Buenos Aires aims to replace gradually the total amount of street lights and traffic signals with more efficient technologies, such as LED, solar panels for street lights and wind power.
By 2015, 91.000 light lamps and 100% of traffic lights are expected to have been replaced with the most efficient technology available in the market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 4 Community emission inventories, since 2001. In its latest inventory, compiled in 2011, the Stationary energy, Transport and Waste management are identified as key emission sources.
The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires has reported 1 government operational inventory, since 2012. In its latest inventory, compiled in 2012, the Transport is identified as key emission source.