Meelan Thondoo showcases how citizen participation in cities of low-and-middle income countries can contribute to sustainable urban transport policies and better urban living.
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?
What makes people prefer one place over another? Liveability is a popular topic, but smaller cities are still left unexplored. Istiakh Ahmed from the International Centre for Climate Change and Development wonders what residents in coastal Bangladesh consider a liveable, even loveable city.
Participatory budgeting in Indonesia is not new, but policy makers still rarely consult with citizens on large-scale urban projects – even though it leads to better and more sustainable results. John Taylor and Ahmad Rifai make a strong case for embracing people-based budgets.
Participatory Budgeting bridges the gap between governments and their people. Jules Dumas Nguebou and Achille Noupéou uncover what happens when disadvantaged Cameroonians suddenly have a say over city spending.
Are local government bodies in Bangladesh fully empowered? Dr Mohammad Tarikul Islam investigates this question and makes a case for strengthening local leadership through ensuring funds and participation.
Urban planning during the apartheid regime specifically designed cities to displace and separate. Ngaka Mosiane, Mamokete Matjomane, and Avhatakali Sithagu argue for a concept of spatial culture that captures this particularity of South Africa's resilient urban history.
Around the world, coastal cities are threatened by storms, rising sea levels, and other climate change related hazards. With conventional approaches often both costly and ineffective, nature-based solutions are offering valuable alternatives. One example are the community-based methods developed by the NGO Mangrove Action Project.
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.
Quito, Ecuador is facing a variety of natural hazards, making it imperative to develop proper resilience strategies. David Jácome Polit, the city's Chief Resilience Officer, explains why any such strategy has to be based on a neighbourhood's social structure.
In neglected parts of Mexico City, the work of the NGO ENSAMBLE shows how investing into community and togetherness can change poor urban areas for the better, including all residents in a highly participative process.
Enabling participatory democracy is the goal of South Africa's online platform Grassroot, where community members get together to change their municipalities for the better – with considerable success, as Katlego Mohlabane, outreach and campaigns coordinator at Grassroot, illustrates with examples from Mnandini and Mzondi.
What’s the secret to smart urban development? The answer is simple, says Tomer Chelouche: Engage and respect local residents.
In Ghana, several policies and laws aim at including youth in urban planning processes. In reality, however, youth do not take part in city development. Emmanuelle Laurinda Godjo analyses the causes and suggests measures that authorities should take.