Next week, the two-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly on UN-Habitat will take place in New York. Member states of the United Nations will gather there and discuss future reform steps for UN-Habitat. Franz Marré provides some thought-provoking reflections on the reforms proposed by the high-level panel and says that business as usual is not an option.
Today, the High Level Political Forum for the implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2030 ends in New York City. On this occasion, Mayor Peter Kurz explains how the city of Mannheim, Germany is working towards implementing Agenda 2030 locally. Political leaders, the city administration and the citizens are collaborating to create an inclusive, citizen-oriented city.
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.
In these days, climate and Bonn are thought together. As a matter of fact, adaptation to climate change, building resilience and dealing with loss and damages will challenge the world just as much as the necessity of mitigating global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius or less. Bonn is a hotspot for the joint efforts to get there. Already this 8 May, the Bonn Climate Talks will bring parties, observers and stakeholders together in the city at the Rhine.
In early December, mayors, city delegates and urban experts met in Mexico City for the sixth biennial C40 Mayors’ Summit. The summit emphasised the key role cities play in global low-carbon, resilient, and inclusive development. Providing our cities with adequate access to financing is one of the most pressing issues that need to be addressed.
The German government pushes for a New Urban Agenda oriented towards the vision of the “lebenswerte Stadt”, i.e. a city worth to live in, but is mostly translated with “liveable city”. But how do we define “liveable”? Our authors Alexandra Linden, Astrid Ley and Alexander Jachnow contend that it goes beyond “freedom from fear” and “freedom from want” as proposed by the UN. Liveability, construed as Quality of life shouldn’t just be determined by indicator models, but within a specific local context and in conjunction with international standards.
Three weeks after the Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is currently taking place in Marrakesh, Morocco. Sarah Schneider and Lisa Lebershausen look at the the international climate change conference through an urban lense.
For the Sustainable Development Goals to work, cities as key development actors need to apply integrated approaches. Different actors and levels of government must be provided with opportunities to collaborate in order to ensure inclusive, secure, resilient and sustainable urban development. Furthermore, coordinated territorial planning and cross-sectoral cooperation are significant for an effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
In many countries cities are struggling to satisfy even the basic needs of their population. Therefore, we need a more sober and objective assessment of the essential conditions that will need to be in place if cities are to properly perform the functions anticipated in the SDGs.
In the course of the German Habitat Forum taking place on 1 and 2 June 2016 in Berlin the so called “Berlin Recommendations” were developed and ultimately passed by more than 1000 participants from 74 countries. Here are the recommendations in short.