Most people who are fleeing the war in Syria find shelter in the neighbouring countries. Their host communities are facing the challenge of providing services to a growing population, especially concerning water and energy supply and waste management. A partnership programme makes it possible for municipalities to exchange knowledge and jointly work on solutions.
Mobile money has revolutionised the lives of many people in the Global South, most of all the ones living in difficult economic circumstances. The M-Pesa service in Kenya is one of these success stories. Judith Owigar describes how it helps making basic services like water and energy available to citizens.
The factory and power plant chimneys which once belched smoke, blighting our urban landscapes, have largely disappeared. Our rivers are no longer open sewers, and quality of urban life has improved immeasurably. Where centres of heavy industry once polluted the environment, there are now eco-friendly cities – like Essen, the European Green Capital. So is it all good in Germany? This question was also discussed at the Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development on 29 May.
Food security touches many different issues, among them poverty, hunger, price levels, and land and food policy. For URBANET, Inês M. Raimundo describes the situation in the Mozambican cities of Maputo and Matola, where the urban poor have resorted to food borrowing to survive.
Urban travel requirements are constantly changing, and so are the challenges that cities face in keeping their inhabitants mobile. In an interview with URBANET, Roger Behrens (University of Cape Town) talks about the importance of accessibility, the challenges for local governments and the changing travel dynamics in South Africa.
The "Urban Nexus" is a theoretical and technical approach to integrated urban development. It introduces innovative and environmentally-friendly engineering solutions to improve the physical infrastructure of cities, and also promotes people-centered development. Our authors Ruth Erlbeck and Ralph Trosse describe how a low-cost, climate change resilient pilot house was built in the Philippines as part of the Nexus project.