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.
It has never been easier to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues, wherever they live. Yet most of us still lack a digital infrastructure for connecting with the people living next door. Despite their success in some developed countries, hyperlocal social networks are not a fixture of most local communities. Hence, nebenan.de, Germany’s first hyperlocal communication platform, could offer a model for communities in developing countries seeking to leverage the power of hyperlocal communication to increase social capital, says co-founder Michael Vollmann.
In the International Development world, “youth” constitutes a critical variable to look at in any given country. Policy makers believe that more educated generations with better health and economic conditions than their parents are the absolute precondition for achieving long-term economic and social development. They are also aware that a frustrated youth is a serious threat to political stability and economic growth.
How can citizens become more actively involved in urban development? The Second Urban Festival that took place in Maputo, Mozambique, earlier this month offered various urban actors, stakeholders and inhabitants a multifaceted platform to come together, exchange ideas and jointly reflect upon their city’s development.
According to Franziska Schreiber and Kaj Fischer from the think tank adelphi, innovative participation processes make cities more livable. URBANET talked to both urbanisation experts about how municipalities and residents can work together to shape their city.
The UN Major Group for Children and Youth is the officially mandated space for young people to participate in UN processes. How does their involvement play out in regard to the Habitat III negotiations and the New Urban Agenda? And what are their demands?
To be able to achieve good governance, local governments must not only work together with communities, but also grant them a certain amount of responsibility. In an interview with URBANET, Diana Mitlin, Managing Director of the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester, talks about the importance of community-led development and the value grassroots organisations can add to local communities.