In the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia, many people prepare pickled vegetables (zimnina) for the winter months. This widespread practice touches on basic service issues like water and energy supply, as well as food provisioning for the city’s most vulnerable residents, explains Ralitsa Hiteva from the Resnexus project.
This April, the second Nexus Conference will focus on the links and trade-offs between water, energy, and food—the “nexus”—in urban areas. Cities are at the forefront of the climate challenge and the heart of the global economy, so they are critical to implementing an integrated approach to meeting the SDGs and building climate resilience.
How can vulnerable groups and their needs be integrated into resilience building? URBANET talked to Vera Bukachi from the Kounkuey Design Initiative, who strongly believes that participatory planning and design are key to sustainable urban development.
Most urban slum dwellers in Asian countries cannot access conventional systems of finance. To get a loan, you need to prove you are creditworthy. But without a pay slip, you are unbankable. People living in poor communities need access to loans and other forms of financing to develop solutions to the serious problems they face, writes Somsook Boonyabancha. With a variety of models and scales ranging from small community funds to national-level networks, community finance is a popular and growing tool that promises to open up new possibilities for the people most in need.
What are the linkages between solid waste management and urban health? And how can city governments improve waste management systems to reduce health risks? On the occasion of World Health Day, URBANET talked to Graham Alabaster, Chief of Sanitation and Waste Management at UN-Habitat.
The benefits of cities are rarely distributed equitably. Particularly for the poor and disadvantaged, cities have a high rate of health hazards and risks. To address these dangers, city leaders need to take a multidisciplinary, rights-based approach. Maria Jose Amilibia argues that by leveraging cities’ unique opportunity to scale up essential services, we can truly transform the urban health landscape.
Known as a technology hub, Guadalajara is Mexico’s answer to Silicon Valley. No wonder then that the city is in the process of transforming itself into a smart city. URBANET talked to Mario Arauz, Director of Government Innovation and Intelligent Cities, about Guadalajara’s take on the smart city concept.
Kalpana Viswanath from Safetipin, a mobile app developed to support community and women's safety, points out what she is currently missing in the smart city debate and explains to URBANET how technology can actually be used in an inclusive way to promote democracy and citizenship.