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.
Smart & Digital Development
Cities around the world are facing similar challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for physical distancing has once more emphasised the need for digital innovation in local governance processes. The ideas competition #SolutionsForCities provides a platform where cities and solution providers can further develop and adjust solutions for urban challenges in times of a pandemic.
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.
Technological transformation is rapidly changing our cities. To ensure that they are changing them for better, sustainability, digitalisation, and urban development must go hand in hand. Luciana Maia and François van Schalkwyk present an assessment tool for digital solutions which helps to find the necessary connections.
Minecraft is one of the most popular computer games in the world. Like a virtual version of Lego, it invites players to create their own world of buildings, villages, and other spatial elements. Every month, more than 110 million people play Minecraft – but did you know that it can also be used for urban planning?
Makoko, one of Lagos' largest slums, used to be a blank spot on the map for most of its history. This has been changing with a community-based digital mapping project that enables the residents to articulate their rights.
Global lockdowns have exacerbated violence against women yet teach us an important lesson on how to protect women in times of crises. Natalie R. Gill dives into the world of tech and frontier technologies to highlight the importance of women’s right to safe mobility.
Secondary cities perform essential sub-national functions within national economies as centres of government administration, education, health, resources, and industry production. Both national policies and international programmes need to be adapted accordingly, write Rene Peter Hohmann and Brian Roberts.
“If it didn’t already exist, WUF would need to be invented” – Interview with Ullrich Sierau, Lord Mayor of the City of Dortmund, Germany
Last Thursday, the tenth World Urban Forum came to a close in Abu Dhabi. "Cities of Opportunities – Connecting Culture and Innovation" was the forum's theme, making for a week full of exchange and discussion on the various facets of sustainable urbanisation. URBANET spoke to the Lord Mayor of the German city of Dortmund on his key takeaways from the conference.
With thousands of tons of food going to waste every year, Serbia is coming up with solutions to prevent the production of surplus food – and support vulnerable groups with the surplus that is generated anyway.
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.
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.
How can Vietnamese cities avoid the environmental pitfalls of rapid urbanisation? Adam Ward proposes solution-driven policies for key areas.