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.
Climate Change & Resilience
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.
A commitment to applying a ‘gender perspective’ to climate-smart planning in Coyuca, Mexico, brought to light some uncomfortable truths about bias against women. As a result, local government, researchers, and community members are more aware of how women’s and girls’ wellbeing must be addressed through climate resilience programmes.
A large share of the world's population lives in urban areas, making cities a major cause of climate change. Food is especially relevant in this regard, calling for strategies that make food systems contribute to urban resilience. How this may look like can be seen when looking at the City Regions Food System presented by Michela Carucci, Roman Malec, and Guido Santini.
Strengthening urban rural connections is essential for building resilient infrastructure, claims Rajib Shaw. However, as examples from Japan show, implementation is often hindered by administrative issues, calling for innovations in governance and communications to make urban rural partnerships a reality.
When disasters hit, cultural heritage is often perceived as something passive, something hit by destruction. Conservation architect and risk management expert Rohit Jigyasu argues for a different perception: one that acknowledges the decisive role urban cultural heritage can play both in the prevention and in the outcome of natural disaster, making it an active component of urban resilience.
The concept of smart cities brings with it both risks and opportunities for informal settlements. Through technical innovation, they do have the potential of making slums more resilient, argues Laurinda Godjo – if they are not only smart cities but also inclusive cities.
Quito, Ecuador is facing a variety of natural hazards, making it imperative to develop proper resilience strategies. David Jácome Polit, the city's Chief Resilience Officer, explains why any such strategy has to be based on a neighbourhood's social structure.
The 2019 SDG Summit will mark the first quadrennial review of the 2030 Agenda. It assesses where we are, how far we have come since its adoption – and what needs to be done, as we enter the next decade, to achieve the ambitious global goals to leave no one and no place behind.
At the Climate Action Summit, it is widely acknowledged that cities are key in addressing climate change. Yet, sufficient funding for necessary measures is often hard to come by. Barbara Buchner presents some new and promising approaches of mobilising finance for building resilient urban infrastructure.
With the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit up ahead next week, UN-Habitat's Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif explains why ambitious climate action depends on cities and presents four new initiatives, which will be launched at the Summit.
How can Vietnamese cities avoid the environmental pitfalls of rapid urbanisation? Adam Ward proposes solution-driven policies for key areas.
Current design standards for building infrastructure are based on outdated, historic climate data. In the face of climate change, planning, operation, maintenance, and management of infrastructure need to be revised, says urban environmental planner Riya Rahiman.
Home to an increasing majority of the world’s population, cities are at the forefront of the fight against climate change and rising inequality. While it is recognised that these challenges need to be tackled together, one can also witness a growing awareness of the trade-offs that can occur in cases when urban climate projects insufficiently cater for the needs of vulnerable communities. Mathilde Bouyé and Delfina Grinspan outline how climate projects need to be designed in order to leave no one behind.
More than one third of Vietnam's population is living in cities, requiring effective sanitation and stormwater services. Yet their provision is limited, with an estimation of less than 10 per cent of wastewater being treated in urban areas. Sebastian Malter argues that a diversification of drainage systems will support sustainable urban development.