There has been consent in international debates that implementing the SDGs requires approaching them from a local perspective. In this very personal account, Alexis Gueu talks about the challenges the city of Abidjan, Ivory Coast is facing – and the urgent need for the municipality to develop urban governance structures to tackle these problems.
“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.
As World Water Day approaches, URBANET interviewed Mathew Kurian of UN University about managing water supplies in secondary cities. Although often overshadowed by megacities, secondary cities face slightly different—but just as significant—water challenges as their larger neighbours. Kurian argues that secondary cities could be important laboratories for innovative financing mechanisms, but that we must first disrupt the entrenched dis-incentives that promote business as usual.
With COP23 now over, it is again up to nation states and local governments to act and implement their agreements. Wrapping up the reporting on the conference, Lou del Bello looks at coordinating climate action, and necessary changes in infrastructure and urban policy.
“In terms of speed, there is no one-size-fits-all solution” – Interview with Carlos Pardo from Despacio
In his interview with URBANET, Carlos Pardo talks about urban roads shared equally by cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, that we can save money by slowing down traffic and how we can convince people to act more environmentally friendly.
“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.
“Productivity increases with the size of a city” – An Interview with Rüdiger Ahrend, Head of Urban Policy Programme at OECD
A lot of processes in cities depend on the financial resources of the municipal and national government. But how can these resources be generated? How can cities make money, how can they save money? And what role does urbanisation play? We talked to Rüdiger Ahrend, Head of the Urban Policy Program at the OECD, about how cities can approach these challenges.
For sustainable urban planning, administrative bodies, service providers and citizens need to work together. In Kairouan, Tunisia, different actors are collaborating to put in place a comprehensive geographical information system for their city.
The "Urban Nexus" is a theoretical and technical approach to integrated urban development. It introduces innovative and environmentally-friendly engineering solutions to improve the physical infrastructure of cities, and also promotes people-centered development. Our authors Ruth Erlbeck and Ralph Trosse describe how a low-cost, climate change resilient pilot house was built in the Philippines as part of the Nexus project.
A key recommendation of the German Habitat Forum held in May 2016 in Berlin was that “cities need to be empowered as actors”. Urbanization not only implies geographical changes, but also a political change in order to manage growth. This is where local governments are most needed.
“Those innovative instruments are now recognised as effective instruments to finance urban development”
Subnational Pooled Financing Mechanisms (SPFMs) are expected to play an increasingly strategic role in financing sustainable development. Jean-François Habeau, Executive Director of the international cities network FMDV, talks about the benefits and specific challenges of Subnational Pooled Financing Mechanisms for developing countries.
There is no shortage of ideas for sustainable development projects in Asia. However, often the financial resources provided for environmental and climate protection projects as well as waste water, energy or infrastructure projects is scarce. The Cities Development Initiative for ASIA (CDIA) supports Asian cities in finding investors and building their infrastructure. In an interview with Urbanet CDIA-Coordinator for GIZ Claudia Hermes explains how the CDIA works and what the idea behind it is.