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.
Climate Change & Resilience
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.
With cities continuously more threatened by climate change induced disasters, urban planning's reflex response is to protect cities against nature. But what if the solution lies in working with nature instead against it? Architect Kongjiang Yu invites our readers to imagine what cities could look like if they took into account ancient wisdom on spatial planning.
Around the world, coastal cities are threatened by storms, rising sea levels, and other climate change related hazards. With conventional approaches often both costly and ineffective, nature-based solutions are offering valuable alternatives. One example are the community-based methods developed by the NGO Mangrove Action Project.
Narrated from a community leader's viewpoint, we take a look at the neighbourhood of San Pablo, Ecuador, where the project "Guardians of the Hill" conserves urban ecosystems while at the same time empowering female community members.
Working with nature within and around cities can protect vulnerable urban residents from climate change impacts and disasters, improve their quality of life, and reduce the impacts of cities on other valuable systems, argues Dr Hannah Reid.
In Namibia, the major share of urban growth is informal, with an estimated 30-40 per cent of the population living in informal settlements, with trends projecting shacks to become the predominant form of housing by 2025. Being especially vulnerable to climate change, these forms of settlements require special attention in the development of climate resilience strategies.
At COP25, the Desk Officer for Sustainable Urban Development at MISEREOR, Clara-Luisa Weichelt, talked to Emanuela Barbiroglio about the challenges of addressing climate change in informal settlements and human-rights based solutions.
High density and poor building materials make informal settlements extremely prone to fire hazards. The Nairobi-based enterprise Kwangu Kwako has developed a housing model that, while being truly affordable, increases fire resilience and thus positively affects many aspects of residents' lives.
Delegates at COP25 in Madrid reached an agreement, without the robust language and ambitions that were wished to be seen in the approved texts. This leaves subnational and urban leaders responsible for implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), making local climate activities the messengers of hope.
The climate summit in Madrid represents a unique opportunity for urban communities to take inspiration from each other, to build cities that are better prepared to tackle climate change, and to obtain investments. National delegates will need to increasingly confide in local authorities and provide them with more resources if they want to develop prompt and effective responses to the climate crisis.