Zero carbon buildings and construction are essential to meet the Paris Agreement goals, improve climate resilience and create jobs as part of COVID-19 recovery. However, the buildings and construction sector is not living up to its potential. What can be done? By Martina Otto
Climate Change & Resilience
The impact of climate change is especially concentrated in urban areas and is projected to increase in the future. Using climate information in urban planning, however, can build resilient cities and enable sustainable development. By Saskia Buchholz from the German Meteorological Service.
Cities have become the main culprit behind environmental degradation. Yet, what if urbanisation was a restorative act of the land, no longer synonymous with ecosystem destruction? Deema Assaf highlights how mini-forests have taken root in urban areas, with the potential of rejuvenating local ecology at an unprecedented speed.
To successfully battle climate change, urban governance needs to empower vulnerable communities – and make sure to include their ideas and knowledge into urban planning mechanisms.
Mexican cities feature an array of innovative market formats, redefining producer-consumer relationships while creating interactive, public spaces at the same time. Jorge Javier and Dr Cecilia Tortajada on the reinvention of old institutions.
All over the world, cities are grappling with the pandemic's social and economic impacts. Carmen Vogt, Philip Koch, and Lukas Prinz present some inspiring examples from Latin America that showcase how cities can build back better.
Puerto Rican architect Astrid Díaz on the importance of resilient housing, education, and participation in a country prone to cyclones and earthquakes.
As one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change and sea level rise, Indonesia’s archipelago may be a wellspring of solutions for the future of coastal cities in the region. It has to start from the ground up argues Barry Beagen, Programme Director at Kota Kita Foundation.
To learn more about the three levels of action required to improve municipal finance and ultimately build climate-neutral cities, take a look at this short explanatory film by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. But can maps help in coping with natural disasters? Harry Mahardhika Machmud from Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Indonesia shows why spatial data is key for disaster management, and how it can be tailored to the needs of local communities.
Cities around the world want to ensure the placements of urban content in national climate actions. Responding to this demand, UN-Habitat presents their new guide "Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through urban climate action".
COVID-19 has strengthened our understanding of the vital relationship between healthy environments and the need for sustainable infrastructure. Donovan Storey from the Global Green Growth Institute reminds us that it is precisely in times of crises that we should commit to more holistic and ambitious green transformations.
Resilience needs to be a priority in shaping the post-pandemic future, argues David Jácome-Pólit, outlining the advantages of system-thinking in urban planning.
Creating urban spaces that allow for the free flow and penetration of water and wind is essential to the survival of water-based cities like Bangkok. “Landscape porosity” can help us better understand and defend these urban ecosystems in times of climate change, says Kotchakorn Voraakhom.
If urbanisation drives climate change, then mitigating the dangerous effects of global warming must address how we plan, build, and live in cities. Implementing bold national plans requires active cross-sector coordination and collaboration between the local, regional, and national governments.