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.
Global Urban Debates
Cities, citizens, and institutions constantly evolve and are typically very resilient – according to Isidora Larraín and Pauline Claramunt. The authors present three urban innovations implemented in cities around the world that may just prove that COVID-19 responses hold the potential to become long-term solutions to long-standing problems, especially in South America.
The concept of Smart Cities heavily relies on collecting enormous amounts of citizens' data – and thus raises concerns as to what this data can be used for. Brad Smith on dangers, potentials, and everyday means to protect one's privacy.
Everyone wants to go smart. But Emana Nsikan-George warns against creating a new class of unfit-for-smart-city urban dwellers, especially when African cities are still struggling with fundamental development goals. A thought-provoking tale of smart fantasies and urban realities.
On World Cities Day, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, presents some recommendations on how to ensure affordable, accessible, and adequate housing for all.
Concluding our insight series on the event "Inclusive Cities – The Next Generation", Celine D'Cruz (Urban Development Practitioner), Franziska Schreiber (University of Stuttgart), and Nancy Naser Al Deen (TU Berlin) discuss ways of transformative change in cities based on the needs of its communities and protest culture structures.
“Leadership and Project Finance is All You Need” – Whatever Happened to the Notion of Urban Transformation?
Round 2 of our special focus week on ICLEI’s Daring Cities Conference includes highly critical and promising insights from Max Lohmann (C40 / GIZ), Hilmar von Lojewski (Association of German Cities), and Sarah Colenbrander (Overseas Development Institute).
We are delighted to kick off our special focus week on Inclusive Cities with inputs by Billy Cobbett (Cities Alliance), Tobias Kettner (World Food Programme), and Tina Silbernagl (GIZ) on the question if and how global agendas, supra-national conventions, national urban policies and multilateral organisations and partnerships are critical instruments to promote value-based urban development.
Good and affordable housing is key to people’s well-being. Andrew Jones presents the latest research from social enterprise Reall and unpacks what impact it has on the bottom 40 per cent of the income pyramid.
In a rapidly urbanising world, cities must consider the health impacts of urban policies and projects. Meelan Thondoo and Mark Nieuwenhuijsen highlight the situation in Mauritius’ capital Port Louis and make a strong case for participatory quantitative Health Impact Assessments, a promising and practical tool to ensure healthy, equity-driven and sustainable cities.
What makes people prefer one place over another? Liveability is a popular topic, but smaller cities are still left unexplored. Istiakh Ahmed from the International Centre for Climate Change and Development wonders what residents in coastal Bangladesh consider a liveable, even loveable city.
Evolving cross-border cooperation shows that trans-boundary action can help individual cities address local challenges. Emana Nsikan-George from Climate Alliance highlights the development of decentralised municipal cooperation and provides a promising example from Uganda and Germany.
Public spaces and public life in South American cities are dominated by car-oriented planning. Organisations like Chile-based Ciudad Emergente aim to change this through tactical urbanism.