The number of children living in urban areas is on the rise. However, this is not reflected in cities' infrastructures. Rapid development is shrinking the amount of suitable and safe play areas for children. Using Nairobi as an example, Peninah Ndegwa, founder of Wow Mom Kenya, reflects on why and how cities should become more child-friendly.
Basic Infrastructure & Housing
Enabling participatory democracy is the goal of South Africa's online platform Grassroot, where community members get together to change their municipalities for the better – with considerable success, as Katlego Mohlabane, outreach and campaigns coordinator at Grassroot, illustrates with examples from Mnandini and Mzondi.
With a growing population and economy, Ho Chi Minh City faces important decisions regarding transportation infrastructure. Robert Marshall calls for a contextual approach.
Socialist-era apartment buildings in Vietnam’s cities, so-called KTT, are decaying rapidly. Tenants’ community organisations could help upgrade them and prevent redevelopment, says Boram Kimhur.
Urban areas around the world face the challenge of delivering affordable housing to ever growing populations. Availability and expenses of both building material and skilled workers are a common hindrance. Turning sand into a revolutionary new building material might offer a solution, writes PolyCare Co-Founder Dr Gerhard Dust.
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, commits to implementation of the SDGs. To this end, the city focusses on sustainable construction, always ensuring to align the SDGs with national policies.
Cape Town is committed to providing clean, affordable and accessible energy to all its residents. Increasing the use of renewable energy, implementing innovative financing options, and challenging national energy legislation are some of the ways the city hopes to shift away from a history of inequality, writes Mary Haw.
Ecosystem loss and degradation contributes to water insecurity worldwide – natural infrastructure strategies that protect and restore natural systems aim to halt and reverse this trend. Suzanne Ozment and Rafael Feltran-Barbieri discuss how water utilities can profit from restoring ecosystems.
How can digitalisation of urban services increase sustainable urbanisation? What different approaches and innovations already exist and have proven successful? Kala Vairavamoorthy, director of the International Water Association addresses these questions.
In urban settlements around the world, city administrations struggle, and often fail, to provide essential services, safe spaces, and socio-economic securities to residents. While this poses difficulties and dangers to all inhabitants, the consequences of such neglect are especially severe for low-income women and girls.
With more and more people moving to cities, the question arises how to organise urban expansion in a way that ensures economic growth and quality of life. Nina Harari discusses which urban configurations can best accommodate urban growth and whether a city's shape influences its economic development.
Projects aimed at the upgrading of settlements often face the question of how to increase living standards for all residents – while keeping housing costs at a level affordable for the original population. The initiative "Casa Minha Nosso Bairro" takes an innovative approach towards this issue, aiming at living conditions that nurture a peaceful living environment for all urban residents
Many of Lagos’ residents live in informal settlements with no or limited access to basic services. With new immigrants arriving from rural areas every day, pressure increases on the already poor living conditions. Comprehensive action is needed to tackle interconnected social, environmental and health issues, says Olaoluwa Pheabian Akinwale.
Brazil's social housing programme Minha Casa, Minha Vida prides itself on having delivered an enormous amount of affordable housing. But putting a roof over people's heads is not sufficient if the settlements are located on the far outskirts of a city, depriving residents of access to urban resources, claims Clarisse Cunha Linke.