Lagos is suffering from severe water shortage due to profit-oriented politics. Akinbode Oluwafemi points out the conflicts and problems around the privatisation of the water sector and offers alternative solutions for one of the world’s most populous cities.
“Being a smart city means making smart decisions” – interview with Mario Arauz from the city of Guadalajara
Known as a technology hub, Guadalajara is Mexico’s answer to Silicon Valley. No wonder then that the city is in the process of transforming itself into a smart city. URBANET talked to Mario Arauz, Director of Government Innovation and Intelligent Cities, about Guadalajara’s take on the smart city concept.
Windhoek—the capital city of Namibia, the most arid country in Sub-Saharan Africa—has long met its severe water challenges through innovation. But its growing population is increasing its demand for water while climate change exacerbates scarce supplies. On the occation of World Water Day 2018, Pierre van Rensburg highlights the city's innovative augmentation strategies to keep the crisis from becoming a catastrophe.
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.
Traditional cooking stoves consume a lot of energy and emit harmful fumes, leading to high rates of premature deaths. Improved cooking stoves are addressing this issue, making it possible for poor households to save money and reduce illnesses related to emissions. Looking at the example of Maputo, Mozambique Rosario Loayza and Alessandro Galimberti explain the benefits of such efficient kitchen appliances.
Providing access to urban sanitation is challenging because of space limitations, complex land tenure and higher public health concerns in crowded settlements. This is especially true for low-income urban areas. For URBANET, Jane Njagi describes how this challenge has been tackled in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya.
Disorder in Public Transportation in Major Cities of Sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
Like most major cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Abidjan has a traffic problem: Congestion, pollution and extortion amongst public transport providers means that the basic service of mobility can only be provided to citizens on a limited scale. Alexis Gueu analyses the situation.
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.
In South Africa, historical shortcomings in city planning by the apartheid regime, rapid urbanisation, and a lack of economic opportunities have increased inequity and social exclusion. Faced with high rates of violence and crime, citizens are getting involved in enhancing safety in public spaces. Margo Weimers and her co-authors present an example from the city of Johannesburg.
Over the next 15 years, African cities will add 300 million new urban residents—fully two-thirds above today’s urban population. This unprecedented demographic shift presents a tremendous opportunity for economic uplift and poverty reduction, but these benefits hinge on the ability of African cities to dramatically improve the delivery of infrastructure and services to drive future growth.
The international community has come a long way when it comes to sustainable development. The next step is to continue the partnerships that helped create these frameworks and bring them down to the level of implementation.
In the International Development world, “youth” constitutes a critical variable to look at in any given country. Policy makers believe that more educated generations with better health and economic conditions than their parents are the absolute precondition for achieving long-term economic and social development. They are also aware that a frustrated youth is a serious threat to political stability and economic growth.
Food security touches many different issues, among them poverty, hunger, price levels, and land and food policy. For URBANET, Inês M. Raimundo describes the situation in the Mozambican cities of Maputo and Matola, where the urban poor have resorted to food borrowing to survive.
Are African cities cheap or expensive for their inhabitants? And by how much do cities grow each year? The URBANET infographics on African cities provide key figures and numbers on some interesting trends concerning urban life and development.