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.
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.
What Are Effects of Integrating Heritage Conservation Into Urban Planning? A Case Study From Battambang, Cambodia
A country influenced by a history of colonial rule, totalitarian regimes, and civil war, urban planning in Cambodia has to be considered within its specific context. Looking at the city of Battambang, Milena Wald analyses the role of heritage conservation in urban planning processes.
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.
An integral part of urban culture, the form of cities' built environment has considerable impact on the quality of urban life. Elaborating on the case of Khartoum, Sudan, Khalafalla Omer makes a case for a new approach in urban planning policies.
In Halle, a collective of urban planners, teachers, artists, students, and volunteers painted a whole district with street art and graffiti, demonstrating that these techniques can lead to positive social, cultural, and economic impact in shrinking and neglected areas.
With an ever bigger urban population being affected by both natural hazards and armed conflict, policy makers and practitioners need to develop effective strategies for the reconstruction and recovery of cities. Ahmed Eiweida, Christianna Brotsis, and Yuna Chun argue that it is imperative for such strategies to take culture into account.
Rakhi Mehra reveals the story behind a pioneering digital tool that wants to help revolutionise the quality of informal housing. After a few clicks, users receive a customised construction manual and cost-overview with the aim of ensuring that their house meets the safety requirements it needs to stand the test of time.
India’s financial centre is one of the densest cities in the world and also home to a number of slums with urgent need for improvements. Trupti Amritwar Vaitla, CEO of the Mumbai Environmental Social Network, highlights a few of their innovative slum upgrading projects that have a participatory element at their core.
At COP25, the Desk Officer for Sustainable Urban Development at MISEREOR, Clara-Luisa Weichelt, talked to Emanuela Barbiroglio about the challenges of addressing climate change in informal settlements and human-rights based solutions.
Brazil's strategies towards its favelas have varied enormously over time. If they are to be successful in improving people's lives, it is essential that informal settlements are perceived as an integral part of a city, argue Mariana Dias Simpson and Itamar Silva.
As part of the Blavatnik School of Government's “Challenges of Government” Conference, the International Growth Centre's Cities that Work team put together a panel on identity and legitimacy in Kabul. The discussion highlighted the importance of building legitimacy in fragile contexts, particularly given the emergence of fragmented identities and new networks of solidarity, resistance and governance in urban contexts affected by conflict.
The climate summit in Madrid represents a unique opportunity for urban communities to take inspiration from each other, to build cities that are better prepared to tackle climate change, and to obtain investments. National delegates will need to increasingly confide in local authorities and provide them with more resources if they want to develop prompt and effective responses to the climate crisis.