KIS-Graz – Climate Innovation City Graz



Policy areas

Organisation name Magistrat Graz / Stadtbaudirektion

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Contact person: Dipl.-Ing. Mag. Werle Bertram

‘KIS-Graz’ Climate Innovation City Graz (Klima-Innovations-Stadt Graz) has initiated a comprehensive cultural change to the consequences of global warming and climate change that have reached the cities. KIS-Graz is a climate policy project, which addresses the two major areas of climate policy:

  • Climate change mitigation – reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Climate change adaptation – making the changes that are taking place bearable without increasing GHG emissions (keyword: air conditioning)

With our project we aim to contribute to meeting the global 2° target. To achieve the change, a climate protection fund with € 60 million in funding, an advisory board for climate protection and a climate change mitigation officer were installed. In this way, the city’s activities are made climate-neutral step by step, and all Graz residents are invited to join in.

A climate protection plan is currently being drawn up for the whole of Graz, in which the ‘Haus Graz’ will set a good example. An 80 per cent reduction was decided in the city’s highest-ranking planning instrument, the urban development concept 4.0 (page 10). KIS-Graz wants to make a fair contribution to the global 2°C target. For this, the Wegener Centre calculated a necessary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions: 5.6 per cent per year. This corresponds to a reduction of 90 per cent by 2050 compared to 2016.

A comprehensive mix of the available political instruments is used for:

  • increasing awareness;
  • subsidies and financing;
  • regulatory policy.

The KIS-Graz approach is new and creative at the same time, with the following:

  • the appointment of a climate change mitigation officer;
  • the endowment of a climate protection fund with € 60 million;
  • the establishment of a climate change advisory board;
  • the coordination of all urban climate protection activities, across all departments and the city-owned companies;
  • the involvement of all stakeholders.

This is the ‘KIS-Graz’ way to implement a large number of measures and activities to establish a real climate-culture change.

Climate protection is not a one-time decision, but rather countless decisions that have an influence every day, be they food choices, mobility or travel behaviour, for example. Every day you have to ask yourself: ‘What can I personally change?’ All important decisions in connection with the KIS-Graz project are decided in the city’s highest body, the municipal council.

Our approach is easily transferable and can be adopted for different cities. The City of Graz would be pleased to support any other city that would like to go a similar, transformative way to a carbon-neutral future.

The motto of the Culture Year is ‘How we want to live’. The 159 m² forest oasis in the middle of Graz shows a future model for the natural cooling of urban spaces in hot summers. In addition to recreation and relaxation, the Climate-Culture Pavilion offered exchanges and discourse from 28 April to 15 August 2021 to initiate a new climate culture. The programme of the Pavilion was developed in cooperation with the Climate Protection Advisory Board. Climate Convention: the entire population of Graz had the opportunity to participate in the Climate Convention 2019–2020, when climate protection measures were collected and evaluated. Funding, financing and direct investments in the infrastructure include the ‘cycling offensive’: currently, Graz has a network of 120 km of cycle paths. In the next 10 years, € 100 million will be invested to reach 320 km by 2030. Another project is ‘eTaxi’: a new infrastructure for automatic and fast-loading will be developed and tested, to replace the entire fleet of 600 taxis.

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