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.
Kalpana Viswanath from Safetipin, a mobile app developed to support community and women's safety, points out what she is currently missing in the smart city debate and explains to URBANET how technology can actually be used in an inclusive way to promote democracy and citizenship.
Accessible public transportation is a critical component of future urban development. Worldwide, more than one billion people live with a disability, and the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2050. Countries should prioritise accessible mobility—and development agencies can help by encouraging community participation, sharing best practices, and raising awareness, says Jelena Auracher.
At the end of three intensive days of Cities IPCC, scientists, policymakers and development experts set a global blueprint on how cities can be better places to live and meet the challenge of climate change. Stephen Leahy takes a look back and ahead.
“Climate change and gender issues cannot be taken apart” – an interview with Laids Mias-Cea from UN-Habitat (video)
What are the linkages between climate change and gender? Why are women and youth particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change? And how can we create an enabling environment that allows women and youth to participate in climate decision making? URBANET talked to Maria Adelaida “Laids” Mias-Cea, Regional Coordinator of UN-Habitat’s Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI). Check out her video on the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day.
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.
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.
Rapid and unplanned urbanization has many negative consequences, especially for children and young people. Many children live in urban areas without safe spaces to play, learn, and develop. Frank Mischo explains why city leaders and planners must pay more attention to the needs and rights of urban children.
A “new urban agenda” for displaced communities? Unveiling architecture and urbanism principles to strengthen the Right to the City
According to UNHCR, 65.3 million people were displaced due to conflict and persecution in 2016. How can city planning respond to this massive influx of people in a way that meets minimum standards for housing? URBANET's author Fernando Murillo outlines his ideas for inclusive cities that welcome refugees and migrants.
Traditional city design and planning often fails to recognise the complex and unequal relations between men and women in our society, says URBANET's author Ana Falú. While women’s right to the city was largely left unattended until the recent past, it is important to understand that women have always been active participants in the building of cities. Still, many challenges remain. The progress and success of city policies depends on the capacity to ensure equal conditions and opportunities for people of all genders.
Sonia Dias has been working with grassroots organizations and in the informal sector in Brazil and beyond since the 1980s. A sociologist by training, her work focusses on participatory processes in waste management, always keeping the focus on the role of women in this field. In an interview with URBANET she spoke about what women can do to better make their voice heard and be more empowered in the city.
What do cities in India need to be more livable? In the four part series "Spotlight on livable cities", ISOCARP Vice-President Shipra Narang Suri aims to answer this question by approaching it from various angles, giving examples from different areas of urban planning. In this fourth part, she explains what is concretely being done against the factors that threaten the livability of India's cities and concludes by saying that there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way planners and policy-makers approach urban development.
What do cities in India need to be more livable? In the four part series "Spotlight on livable cities", ISOCARP Vice-President Shipra Narang Suri aims to answer this question by approaching it from various angles, giving examples from different areas of urban planning. In this third part, she talks about how Indian cities could be made more livable by improving urban services, mobility, public-private partnerships and the situation in slums.
What do cities in India need to be more livable? In the four part series "Spotlight on livable cities", ISOCARP Vice-President Shipra Narang Suri aims to answer this question by approaching it from various angles, giving examples from different areas of urban planning. In this second part, she talks about urban building master plans, the land housing market in India's cities and the urban poor.