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.
Inclusion of all citizens is a challenge to rapidly urbanising societies. Federico Batista Poitier outlines how the Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities is an important tool in this regard, providing local governments with a framework that allows them to measure inclusion in their municipalities.
Living as a refugee is difficult, and often aggravated by not being able to work and earn money in your host country. In Southern Jordan, refugees and locals take part in urban regeneration efforts.
Shivani Chaudhry from the Housing and Land Rights Network argues that India’ Smart Cities Mission lacks a human rights dimension – with highly problematic consequences.
In precarious working environments, cooperatives hold an immense potential to increase social and economic inclusion of marginalized groups. Sonia Dias uses the examples of waste pickers cooperatives to illustrate how the concept of cooperatives helps implement the four pillars of the International Labor Organisation’s Decent Work Agenda—and calls on policy makers to create a favourable environment for this organisational form.
Interview: “Building resilience requires active public participation” – Vera Bukachi from the Kounkuey Design Initiative
How can vulnerable groups and their needs be integrated into resilience building? URBANET talked to Vera Bukachi from the Kounkuey Design Initiative, who strongly believes that participatory planning and design are key to sustainable urban development.
The benefits of cities are rarely distributed equitably. Particularly for the poor and disadvantaged, cities have a high rate of health hazards and risks. To address these dangers, city leaders need to take a multidisciplinary, rights-based approach. Maria Jose Amilibia argues that by leveraging cities’ unique opportunity to scale up essential services, we can truly transform the urban health landscape.
Kalpana Viswanath from Safetipin, a mobile app developed to support community and women's safety, points out what she is currently missing in the smart city debate and explains to URBANET how technology can actually be used in an inclusive way to promote democracy and citizenship.
Accessible public transportation is a critical component of future urban development. Worldwide, more than one billion people live with a disability, and the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2050. Countries should prioritise accessible mobility—and development agencies can help by encouraging community participation, sharing best practices, and raising awareness, says Jelena Auracher.
“Climate change and gender issues cannot be taken apart” – an interview with Laids Mias-Cea from UN-Habitat (video)
What are the linkages between climate change and gender? Why are women and youth particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change? And how can we create an enabling environment that allows women and youth to participate in climate decision making? URBANET talked to Maria Adelaida “Laids” Mias-Cea, Regional Coordinator of UN-Habitat’s Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI). Check out her video on the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day.
More than 700 climate scientists and city planners have gathered in Edmonton this Monday for the CitiesIPCC—Cities and Climate Change Science Conference. The three-day gathering marks the first time cities rather than nation states are offered a seat at the table of the U.N.'s top scientific authority on global warming. At day one, data collection and analysis for effective emissions reduction and their potential for social inclusion has been the main focus, writes Stephen Leahy.
At next week’s CitiesIPCC conference, the urban and climate communities will brave the cold of Edmonton, Canada, to discuss some of the century’s hottest issues. From March 5-7, more than 700 delegates will seek to close a significant gap in our collective understanding of the role of cities in adapting and responding to climate change, and launch a global research agenda to inform the IPCC. Julie Greenwalt explains how the organising partner Cities Alliance is working to ensure that issues critical to the Global South will be emphasised at this landmark event.
It has never been easier to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues, wherever they live. Yet most of us still lack a digital infrastructure for connecting with the people living next door. Despite their success in some developed countries, hyperlocal social networks are not a fixture of most local communities. Hence, nebenan.de, Germany’s first hyperlocal communication platform, could offer a model for communities in developing countries seeking to leverage the power of hyperlocal communication to increase social capital, says co-founder Michael Vollmann.
Most people who are fleeing the war in Syria find shelter in the neighbouring countries. Their host communities are facing the challenge of providing services to a growing population, especially concerning water and energy supply and waste management. A partnership programme makes it possible for municipalities to exchange knowledge and jointly work on solutions.
A “new urban agenda” for displaced communities? Unveiling architecture and urbanism principles to strengthen the Right to the City
According to UNHCR, 65.3 million people were displaced due to conflict and persecution in 2016. How can city planning respond to this massive influx of people in a way that meets minimum standards for housing? URBANET's author Fernando Murillo outlines his ideas for inclusive cities that welcome refugees and migrants.