In Mexico City, residents organised to convince the city government to build a public park instead of developing an area for office buildings. The Parque Imán can serve as an example for successfully greening neighbourhoods, and reclaiming public space in a participatory and transparent manner.
Green & Smart Development
The privatisation of public spaces often conflicts with the interests of the general public. So, what can inhabitants do to fight such privatisation processes? URBANET talked to Alissa Raj from Transition TTDI, a residents’ initiative that advocates for keeping a community park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, public.
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.
What does a sustainable urban future look like? In a new video, municipal officials, urban experts and local residents from around the world talk about urban challenges, solutions for climate-friendly cities and future needs for low-carbon urban development.
Mobile money has revolutionised the lives of many people in the Global South, most of all the ones living in difficult economic circumstances. The M-Pesa service in Kenya is one of these success stories. Judith Owigar describes how it helps making basic services like water and energy available to citizens.
Urban agriculture is practised around the globe. Who practises urban agriculture, why they engage in it and what barriers they face are often similar across the seemingly disparate divides of the ‘Global North’ and the ‘Global South’. Cross-site learning for the development of possible policy responses may therefore be fruitful. Food security will also be one of the issues discussed at the Dresden Nexus Conference in Germany this week.
In the process of developing an urban resilience strategy – one that answers these questions, one that addresses the concerns of planners, developers, mayors, local government personnel, investors and concerned citizens – inevitably more questions arise. The most important one is arguably the question of 'resilience to what and why?' This was also discussed during the recent Resilient Cities Conference 2017 in Bonn.
In these days, climate and Bonn are thought together. As a matter of fact, adaptation to climate change, building resilience and dealing with loss and damages will challenge the world just as much as the necessity of mitigating global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius or less. Bonn is a hotspot for the joint efforts to get there. Already this 8 May, the Bonn Climate Talks will bring parties, observers and stakeholders together in the city at the Rhine.