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.
Interview: “Building resilience requires active public participation” – Vera Bukachi from the Kounkuey Design Initiative
How can vulnerable groups and their needs be integrated into resilience building? URBANET talked to Vera Bukachi from the Kounkuey Design Initiative, who strongly believes that participatory planning and design are key to sustainable urban development.
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.
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.
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.
In South Africa, historical shortcomings in city planning by the apartheid regime, rapid urbanisation, and a lack of economic opportunities have increased inequity and social exclusion. Faced with high rates of violence and crime, citizens are getting involved in enhancing safety in public spaces. Margo Weimers and her co-authors present an example from the city of Johannesburg.
“People need to own public space” – Interview with Ebru Gencer from the Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience
Urban populations face risks, not only in regard to natural disasters and climate change, but also in terms of social problems such as unsafe public spaces. In an interview with URBANET, Ebru Gencer from CUDRR+R explains how cities and local governments can make cities more resilient and manage risks effectively.
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.
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.
There is a growing recognition that the ambitious goal of transforming fast-growing cities into major globally attractive hubs of the world economy cannot be reached without including the urban poor as cooperation partners in housing and urban development processes. This situation, combined with pressure from civil society groups, has opened new space for the encounter between civil society and state organisations. Peter Herrle, Josefine Fokdal, Astrid Ley and Sonja Nebel assess this situation in their Cities Alliance background paper, of which an extract is published here.
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.
Multi-stakeholder partnerships and the capacity to lead change collectively are decisive if we aim for the creation of a sustainable urban future. In an interview with Urbanet, Petra Kuenkel, Executive Director of the Collective Leadership Institute, presented her insights on the success factors of urban development partnerships and their implications for the New Urban Agenda.