The issue of urbanisation is gaining attention and cities are increasingly recognised as having a crucial role to play in achieving sustainable development. However, urban development has yet to become an integral part of the global political agenda. URBANET talked to Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, about what needs to change to make urban development a political priority.
Cities are irrefutably linked to human history and development. To learn more about the relevance of cities for global sustainable development and for achieving a better world, URBANET provides you with a short explainer video by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
In less than a week, the 9th session of the World Urban Forum, the largest international stakeholder gathering of passionate urbanists, will kick off in Malaysia. Franz Marré looks ahead and shows why WUF9 is an important platform for strategic discussion and arena for innovation.
Around 20,000 urbanists are poised to gather in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the ninth session of the World Urban Forum. However, WUF9’s preparations for a quadrennial report will not be taking place in a vacuum. The conference comes only at the beginning of a busy year, writes Gregory Scruggs.
In the UN Convention of Biological Diversity, 196 nations have agreed to put 17% of the earth’s surface under protection. Author Richard Weller calls for additional land to be protected in the world’s “hotspots”, where biodiversity is threatened by urban sprawl. In his text, he discusses why regional ecology is an issue for urban planning.
Cities are constantly transforming, and societal development leaves marks in urban space. When industries decline or parts of cities are abandoned due to migration, urban wastelands or gaps in the built environment are left behind. How can cities make use of these empty spaces? Anja Graner looks at repurposing wastelands and the “dense city”.
This month, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) celebrates its first anniversary. What has happened since its adoption at Habitat III in Quito? We asked Billy Cobbett (Cities Alliance), Mei Yi (Mayor of Jingdezhen, China), Eugénie L. Birch (Professor at the University of Pennsylvania), Yang Jun (Mayor of Suzhouto), María Alejandra Vicuña Muñoz (Minister of Urban Development and Housing of Ecuador) to take stock of the past 12 months’ implementation actions.
"Building cities able to accommodate half a billion people over the next 30 years is one of the biggest transformations of our planet and we have to get it right", Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General stated at the Langenburg Forum for Sustainability. Read the full speech here on URBANET
Regional development that includes urban and rural areas, people and enterprises is crucial for sustainable development. This is especially the case for low and middle income countries undergoing the urban transition, and for countries where employment opportunities need to be created in both urban and rural areas for a growing and youthful population.
What do we envision the ideal city of the future to be like? How can we approach such an ideal in urban planning? According to Marco Dall’Orso, the (re)creation of urban environments needs to balance and integrate multiple strategies. Taking into account the quality of the socio-economic and built-natural environment, he develops a framework that can be used to analyse a city’s strengths, weaknesses, and possible trajectories for future development.
10 years of the Leipzig Charta: a model for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs?
This year’s Federal Congress on National Urban Development Policy in Germany focuses on the Leipzig Charta’s 10th anniversary and future perspectives for sustainable cities in Europe. Timo Munzinger of the German Association of Cities (Deutscher Städtetag) discusses the relevance of the Leipzig Charta for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, calling for the Leipzig Charta to be brought up to date to meet current urbanisation challenges.
Over the next 15 years, African cities will add 300 million new urban residents—fully two-thirds above today’s urban population. This unprecedented demographic shift presents a tremendous opportunity for economic uplift and poverty reduction, but these benefits hinge on the ability of African cities to dramatically improve the delivery of infrastructure and services to drive future growth.
“I think the Smart Cities are on the right track” – An interview with GP Hari, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd.
The city of Kochi in India is a Smart City, meaning that it is well connected and accessible, and over time is being developed into a clean, green and healthy city that is governed in a smart way. In an interview with URBANET, GP Hari from Kochi Metro Rail Ltd talks about how the city is tackling the Smart City approach and what the future might bring.
Are African cities cheap or expensive for their inhabitants? And by how much do cities grow each year? The URBANET infographics on African cities provide key figures and numbers on some interesting trends concerning urban life and development.
Does urban living threaten our mental health and happiness? Popular culture is rife with stories suggesting that city living causes emotional stress and unhappiness. Our author Todd Litman's review of the research indicates that city living has a variety of impacts on our mental health and happiness that reduce certain risks and increase others.