Forests provide tremendous benefits to urban areas such as clean air and water, climate resilience and biodiversity, human health and well-being. They also provide jobs, recreation, and a suite of nature-based solutions for city infrastructure, argues the international alliance Cities4Forests.
The importance of green spaces is increasingly acknowledged as an important aspect in urban development. Davide Geneletti calls on urban planners to properly understand the relationships between ecosystems and residents to make the most efficient use of the services ecosystems provide to cities and their residents.
Curridabat, Costa Rica, is dealing with several issues that are common to municipalities around the world. The answer they found, however, is a truly unique one that considers everyone living in Curridabat a city dweller – human or not.
Research evidences that intact ecosystems within cities considerably improve the quality of citizens' lives. The Cambodian-German project Build4People aims to include urban ecosystems into the long-term urban planning strategies of Cambodian cities. Jan-Peter Mund, Ravi Jayaweera, Hor Sanara, and Michael Waibel present the ambitious project.
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.
Rapid urbanisation also means that the game for the quality of life and the health of the citizens will be won or lost in the cities. Barcelona-based architect Eloi Juvillà Ballester analyses the potential of urban green spaces as decisive component in this game.
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 February 2020, one of the most important events for urban planners took place: The 10th World Urban Forum. This year, it was Abu Dhabi’s turn to host the conference with an attendance of about 13,000 international guests and the theme “Cities of Opportunity: Connecting Culture and Innovation”. While one might argue that cities have more pressing issues to tackle these days, such as climate change, inequality, or immigration, there were some interesting lessons to be learned, Laura von Puttkamer reports from Abu Dhabi.
With massive urbanisation rates worldwide, it is essential that our built environment contributes to sustainable urban planning. Vivek Jaisree Mohandas and Henning Wilts outline how the concept of Circular Economy can be applied to the construction sector.
What’s the secret to smart urban development? The answer is simple, says Tomer Chelouche: Engage and respect local residents.
With a growing population and economy, Ho Chi Minh City faces important decisions regarding transportation infrastructure. Robert Marshall calls for a contextual approach.
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.
The large amount of electronic waste is a serious challenge in Lomé, Togo. At WoeLab, tech-savvy young people come up with solutions that clean the environment, ensure recycling of electronic waste, and educate residents on how to manage and valorise their electronic waste.
Citizens of Mexico City face serious health issues – due to failures in urban planning, says Auribel Villa. Green infrastructure development significantly supports cities' ways towards becoming healthier and thus more liveable.