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.
Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the most urbanised regions of the planet. At the same time it is also the world’s most unequal region, a region where poverty and wealth coexist and antagonise each other daily, especially in urban spaces. Today, 80 per cent of the Latin American population lives in cities, with half of the urban population in LAC concentrated in rapidly growing intermediate cities. But what are the main challenges cities in Latin America and the Caribbean have to face? And which integral approaches do cities pursue to overcome them?
Traditional city design and planning often fails to recognise the complex and unequal relations between men and women in our society, says URBANET's author Ana Falú. While women’s right to the city was largely left unattended until the recent past, it is important to understand that women have always been active participants in the building of cities. Still, many challenges remain. The progress and success of city policies depends on the capacity to ensure equal conditions and opportunities for people of all genders.
Santiago de Chile is one of the most well-developed and safe cities in Latin America. We spoke to its mayor Claudio Orrego not only about what metropolitan governance means in Santiago, but also about the current situation in Chile, how urban justice can be enforced and why it is so important to invest in public goods for the urban poor.
“Some very important elements were left out of the New Urban Agenda” – Interview with Lorena Zárate from Habitat International Coalition
National and local governments must value and support community-driven development, says Lorena Zárate. In her interview with URBANET, she discusses viable and non-viable approaches to housing, democracy, and everybody's Right to the City.
In Bolivia, up until recently only men were recognised in titles of land ownership. If these men passed away or left, their wives or partners legally had no rights to the land and property they lived on. To change this, Habitat for Humanity International started a campaign to legally recognise women as land owners in Bolivia.
“Communities do not have to be socially divided” – Interview with José Morales, former National Director of Housing and Human Settlements, Ecuador
José Morales, the former National Director of Housing and Human Settlements at the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in Ecuador, gives his view on the country's housing situation and social inequality.
“Everyone has to bring something to the table” – An Interview with Janice Perlman, founder of the Mega Cities Project
Inequality and insufficient political and social structures in developing countries and and in the megacities of the Global South are still a huge problem, and change only occurs slowly. To enable cities to share their experiences and their efforts to bring about change, Janice Perlman founded the Mega Cities Project.
“Local governments know the reality of their cities” – An Interview with Johana Hernández from the Northern Public Transport Company, Ecuador
Many cities are facing traffic-related problems and are trying to find solutions that take into consideration the local conditions. Sometimes, these solutions clash with problem solving approaches by central governments. In her interview with URBANET, Johana Hernández from the Northern Public Transport Company in Ecuador talks about such challenges and her visions for inclusive mobility.