As World Water Day approaches, URBANET interviewed Mathew Kurian of UN University about managing water supplies in secondary cities. Although often overshadowed by megacities, secondary cities face slightly different—but just as significant—water challenges as their larger neighbours. Kurian argues that secondary cities could be important laboratories for innovative financing mechanisms, but that we must first disrupt the entrenched dis-incentives that promote business as usual.
Almost half of Mumbai’s 12 million inhabitants live in informal settlements—“slums”—that are diverse and vibrant living and working spaces. Though unofficially nurtured by the city, these settlements are officially treated as illegal. Today, Mumbai’s state is radically transforming the city through market-led slum redevelopment. Lalitha Kamath and Himanshu Burte argue that the government is inflicting structural violence on the city’s slum dwellers by reshaping Mumbai’s physical space.
Accessible public transportation is a critical component of future urban development. Worldwide, more than one billion people live with a disability, and the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2050. Countries should prioritise accessible mobility—and development agencies can help by encouraging community participation, sharing best practices, and raising awareness, says Jelena Auracher.
Saerbeck, Germany’s award-winning climate protection project serves as a model for many other towns. Ulrich Gunka shows how the municipality, working with its citizens, transformed a former army ammunition depot into a bioenergy park and how it shares their insights with other cities in the world.
At the end of three intensive days of Cities IPCC, scientists, policymakers and development experts set a global blueprint on how cities can be better places to live and meet the challenge of climate change. Stephen Leahy takes a look back and ahead.
What are the linkages between climate change and gender? Why are women and youth particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change? And how can we create an enabling environment that allows women and youth to participate in climate decision making? URBANET talked to Maria Adelaida “Laids” Mias-Cea, Regional Coordinator of UN-Habitat’s Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI). Check out her video on the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day.
More than 700 climate scientists and city planners have gathered in Edmonton this Monday for the CitiesIPCC—Cities and Climate Change Science Conference. The three-day gathering marks the first time cities rather than nation states are offered a seat at the table of the U.N.'s top scientific authority on global warming. At day one, data collection and analysis for effective emissions reduction and their potential for social inclusion has been the main focus, writes Stephen Leahy.
At next week’s CitiesIPCC conference, the urban and climate communities will brave the cold of Edmonton, Canada, to discuss some of the century’s hottest issues. From March 5-7, more than 700 delegates will seek to close a significant gap in our collective understanding of the role of cities in adapting and responding to climate change, and launch a global research agenda to inform the IPCC. Julie Greenwalt explains how the organising partner Cities Alliance is working to ensure that issues critical to the Global South will be emphasised at this landmark event.