In Mexico City, residents organised to convince the city government to build a public park instead of developing an area for office buildings. The Parque Imán can serve as an example for successfully greening neighbourhoods, and reclaiming public space in a participatory and transparent manner.
URBANET interviewed Shadnaz Azizi, a SDSN Youth Local Pathway Fellow from Tehran, about urban activism in Iran. An urban thinker and advocate, Azizi is passionate about the “in-between spaces” operating between the public and political spheres to campaign for sustainable urban development. She calls for more recognition of the essential role of virtual communities and online platforms in realising sustainable urban development.
The privatisation of public spaces often conflicts with the interests of the general public. So, what can inhabitants do to fight such privatisation processes? URBANET talked to Alissa Raj from Transition TTDI, a residents’ initiative that advocates for keeping a community park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, public.
Adopted Spaces: How Social Life on India’s Streets is Increasingly Threatened by Top-down City Planning
In India’s bustling cities, time spent in public spaces is an integral component of everyday life. Street design that focuses on motorised traffic does not take into account this human quality of street life. Instead, local practices and human activity should inform city planning, argues Sneha Mandhan.
Women at the grassroots are experts in the challenges that urban communities are facing every day. As they fulfil different roles from working informal jobs to caring for children and senior citizens, their input is essential in localising the New Urban Agenda in a way that it meets the needs of all citizens. Dr. Limota Goroso Giwa reports on the involvement of grassroots women in urban development in Nigeria.
The city of Mannheim has always been an intercultural city with an urban community characterised by diversity. But like many other cities in Germany, Mannheim is feeling the impacts of the sudden influx of refugees in 2015. Through various projects and initiatives, the city strives to maintain an urban society which is characterised by a spirit of openness and understanding. URBANET talked to Mannheim’s mayor Dr. Peter Kurz about the city’s approach to diversity and the chances that can arise from being a diverse city.
Why should urban, regional and national decision-makers alike pay attention to the Talanoa Dialogue? This process, which was initiated by the Fijian COP23 Presidency, presents an exciting opportunity to align the national and subnational spheres of climate action. Throughout 2018, URBANET will report on the issue in a new series of articles.
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.