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.
Green & Smart Development
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.
Climate change poses new and specific challenges to the way we think about building. Christine Lemaitre from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) calls out to architects, planners, and builders to respond to this challenge instead of waiting for the entailing problems to solve themselves.
Shivani Chaudhry from the Housing and Land Rights Network argues that India’ Smart Cities Mission lacks a human rights dimension – with highly problematic consequences.
By increasing the share of renewables in Nigeria’s energy production, a growing urban population will be able to attain energy supply and greenhouse gas emissions will go down, says author Ifeoma Malo from Power for All.
Three years ago, the city of Medellín adopted a novel approach to manage and conserve biodiversity, launching Colombia’s first local action plan on urban biodiversity: “Medellín, a city of life.” Maria Mejia and Juliana Echeverri argue that this effort should inspire other cities to explore new methods and concepts that link biodiversity to human well-being, resilience, and economic development.
In the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia, many people prepare pickled vegetables (zimnina) for the winter months. This widespread practice touches on basic service issues like water and energy supply, as well as food provisioning for the city’s most vulnerable residents, explains Ralitsa Hiteva from the Resnexus project.
This April, the second Nexus Conference will focus on the links and trade-offs between water, energy, and food—the “nexus”—in urban areas. Cities are at the forefront of the climate challenge and the heart of the global economy, so they are critical to implementing an integrated approach to meeting the SDGs and building climate resilience.
In the UN Convention of Biological Diversity, 196 nations have agreed to put 17% of the earth’s surface under protection. Author Richard Weller calls for additional land to be protected in the world’s “hotspots”, where biodiversity is threatened by urban sprawl. In his text, he discusses why regional ecology is an issue for urban planning.
With middle classes growing in middle-income countries, the challenge arises how to reconcile increasing consumption with finite resources. Can consumer behaviour be channelled in a way that makes it sustainable? Babette Never reports from a workshop that has explored this question.
How Africa as a continent makes cities work for all while realising a low carbon and climate resilient economy, will determine the success of the Paris Agreement, says Sadiq Okoh. In his article, he outlines possible paths to green development.
With rising ocean water temperatures due to climate change, hurricanes are becoming stronger and last longer. This year, the Caribbean and parts of the US were hit by hurricane Irma, a particularly devastating storm. How can costal cities prepare for such disasters, and mitigate their effects? In an interview, Joseph Severe, Jean Frantz Jure and Nicolas Jean talk about the situation in Haiti.
Cities and urban settlements play a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the commitments of the Paris Agreement. Nathaly Arguto and Stella Schroeder cast a spotlight on projects from Latin America, the region with the highest rate of urbanisation in the world, that contribute to implementing the global agendas for sustainability.