In the UN Convention of Biological Diversity, 196 nations have agreed to put 17% of the earth’s surface under protection. Author Richard Weller calls for additional land to be protected in the world’s “hotspots”, where biodiversity is threatened by urban sprawl. In his text, he discusses why regional ecology is an issue for urban planning.
The New Urban Agenda calls upon nation states to implement National Urban Policies to achieve integrated and coherent sustainable urban development. In the first part of this article, author Rene Peter Hohmann displays current discussions on National Urban Policies and their possible categorisation as this question remains open. To reflect on the various policy intentions that national governments may pursue under an umbrella of National Urban Policies, this second part will examine a variety of case studies more closely.
National Urban Policies are recognised as an effective and necessary tool to achieve sustainable and inclusive urban development as envisioned in the New Urban Agenda. However, it is still unclear what constitutes a National Urban Policy and how such a policy could help catalyse the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. In order to bring some light into these discussions, Rene Peter Hohmann reviews the current body of academic literature as well as policy assessments to analyse and categorise a sample of 19 countries with an explicit National Urban Policy in place.
In order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals related to water, sanitation and hygiene, the government of Madagascar has drawn up an action plan and commissioned JIRAMA, the country’s state-owned electricity and water provider, to improve access to safe water supply.
With middle classes growing in middle-income countries, the challenge arises how to reconcile increasing consumption with finite resources. Can consumer behaviour be channelled in a way that makes it sustainable? Babette Never reports from a workshop that has explored this question.
Cities are constantly transforming, and societal development leaves marks in urban space. When industries decline or parts of cities are abandoned due to migration, urban wastelands or gaps in the built environment are left behind. How can cities make use of these empty spaces? Anja Graner looks at repurposing wastelands and the “dense city”.
With COP23 now over, it is again up to nation states and local governments to act and implement their agreements. Wrapping up the reporting on the conference, Lou del Bello looks at coordinating climate action, and necessary changes in infrastructure and urban policy.
How Africa as a continent makes cities work for all while realising a low carbon and climate resilient economy, will determine the success of the Paris Agreement, says Sadiq Okoh. In his article, he outlines possible paths to green development.