More than 700 climate scientists and city planners have gathered in Edmonton this Monday for the CitiesIPCC—Cities and Climate Change Science Conference. The three-day gathering marks the first time cities rather than nation states are offered a seat at the table of the U.N.'s top scientific authority on global warming. At day one, data collection and analysis for effective emissions reduction and their potential for social inclusion has been the main focus, writes Stephen Leahy.
At next week’s CitiesIPCC conference, the urban and climate communities will brave the cold of Edmonton, Canada, to discuss some of the century’s hottest issues. From March 5-7, more than 700 delegates will seek to close a significant gap in our collective understanding of the role of cities in adapting and responding to climate change, and launch a global research agenda to inform the IPCC. Julie Greenwalt explains how the organising partner Cities Alliance is working to ensure that issues critical to the Global South will be emphasised at this landmark event.
“The New Urban Agenda lacks a human rights focus” – Interview with Shivani Chaudhry from the Housing and Land Rights Network
The absence of a human rights approach and the lack of a focus on social justice in the New Urban Agenda is an cause of concern, says Shivani Chaudry from the Housing and Land Rights Network. In her interview with URBANET, she discusses these issues in relation to housing.
“We need to empower the people living in informal settlements” – An interview with Howaida Barakat from the Ministry of Housing, Egypt
In Egypt there are almost 850 000 people living in unsafe areas. We talked to Howaida Barakat, International Cooperation Advisor at the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities in Egypt about how the country deals with informal settlements, how the government is attempting to understand and include the people living in informal settlements and what sustainable housing in Egypt could look like in the future.
“Some very important elements were left out of the New Urban Agenda” – Interview with Lorena Zárate from Habitat International Coalition
National and local governments must value and support community-driven development, says Lorena Zárate. In her interview with URBANET, she discusses viable and non-viable approaches to housing, democracy, and everybody's Right to the City.
Cities have complex relationships with gender. They challenge some models of traditional femininity and masculinity, and reinforce others. Our author Paula Meth explains how gendered relations play out in informal urban settlements.
“Communities do not have to be socially divided” – Interview with José Morales, former National Director of Housing and Human Settlements, Ecuador
José Morales, the former National Director of Housing and Human Settlements at the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in Ecuador, gives his view on the country's housing situation and social inequality.
“Everyone has to bring something to the table” – An Interview with Janice Perlman, founder of the Mega Cities Project
Inequality and insufficient political and social structures in developing countries and and in the megacities of the Global South are still a huge problem, and change only occurs slowly. To enable cities to share their experiences and their efforts to bring about change, Janice Perlman founded the Mega Cities Project.
“Create housing as a solution” – An interview with Ani Dasgupta, global director of WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities
What are the most pressing issues in low income housing? How can cities be given better opportunities to realise sustainable development? What are the key issues of sustainable urban development? Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of the WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities, spoke to URBANET about how to tackle these questions and why scaling and counting are important when working towards sustainable urban development.
In a four-part series, URBANET takes a closer look at specific projects that contribute to making cities more liveable. In this first part, the focus lies on San Salvador, El Salvador's capital city, where the houses of thousands of families who live in slums are being reconstructed. Since they have gained access to regular water and electricity supply, the living conditions have improved significantly.
Slums and informal settlements are not just a matter of housing quality, they also affect the quality of life that people have, their health and their chances at a good education. At the Habitat III conference in Quito, URBANET talked to Sarah Nandudu, vice-chairperson of the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda, about community building in slums, the responsibility of the New Urban Agenda, and what formal settlements can still learn from informal ones.
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.
In modern-day cities, issues such as affordable and good housing, or the question of who designs neighborhoods are very relevant and often imply a conflict of interests. URBANET talked to Harvard Loeb Fellow Matthias Nohn about the challenges and chances that cities face, and about what really constitutes the "Right to the City".
At the German Habitat Forum in June 2016 URBANET talked to the African Centre for Cities Director Edgar Pieterse about cultural inclusion, informal settlements and why it is necessary that international institutions overcome their own limitations for the New Urban Agenda to have an impact.
The idea of partnerships plays an important role in the formulation of the New Urban Agenda. But how can local communities have a real chance to participate? In an interview with Urbanet, Rose Molokoane, Deputy President of Slum Dwellers International (SDI), shares her vision of a New Urban Agenda co-created by the urban poor.