Cities around the world are facing similar challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for physical distancing has once more emphasised the need for digital innovation in local governance processes. The ideas competition #SolutionsForCities provides a platform where cities and solution providers can further develop and adjust solutions for urban challenges in times of a pandemic.
Safe, affordable housing is not an end in itself but should be interwoven with other interventions to improve access to related services and benefits. As the pandemic exacerbates shortcomings in housing programmes around the world, Vidhee Garg on the need to re-think housing and to look beyond its purely quantitative aspects.
Puerto Rican architect Astrid Díaz on the importance of resilient housing, education, and participation in a country prone to cyclones and earthquakes.
COVID-19 has strengthened our understanding of the vital relationship between healthy environments and the need for sustainable infrastructure. Donovan Storey from the Global Green Growth Institute reminds us that it is precisely in times of crises that we should commit to more holistic and ambitious green transformations.
Resilience needs to be a priority in shaping the post-pandemic future, argues David Jácome-Pólit, outlining the advantages of system-thinking in urban planning.
To ensure that cities are healthy, residents need access to affordable housing, argues Andrew Jones from Reall – a social enterprise, innovator and impact investor that has been at the forefront of affordable housing for decades.
Creating urban spaces that allow for the free flow and penetration of water and wind is essential to the survival of water-based cities like Bangkok. “Landscape porosity” can help us better understand and defend these urban ecosystems in times of climate change, says Kotchakorn Voraakhom.
In Namibia, the major share of urban growth is informal, with an estimated 30-40 per cent of the population living in informal settlements, with trends projecting shacks to become the predominant form of housing by 2025. Being especially vulnerable to climate change, these forms of settlements require special attention in the development of climate resilience strategies.
The traditional relief-rehabilitation-development paradigm does not hold true in urban conflict zones. A combined approach of long-term support for systems reinforcing short-term support for individuals would meet people’s needs, secure development gains, and represent value for money. The cost of failing to adapt is simply too high, argues Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
As densely populated urban areas like Homs, Raqqa, and Idlib in Syria continue to be the site of years-long armed conflicts, architect Ammar Azzouz argues that cities must not wait for post-conflict reconstruction plans. Rather, amidst destruction, ideas for the cities of tomorrow should be developed.
Homelessness is an issue that countries are struggling to address. Professor Ayman Mosallam’s proposal for building Eco-Communities represents an innovative solution that equips homeless people with new skills and purpose. At the same time, the Eco-Communities also promote sustainable living.
With thousands of tons of food going to waste every year, Serbia is coming up with solutions to prevent the production of surplus food – and support vulnerable groups with the surplus that is generated anyway.
A large share of the world's population lives in urban areas, making cities a major cause of climate change. Food is especially relevant in this regard, calling for strategies that make food systems contribute to urban resilience. How this may look like can be seen when looking at the City Regions Food System presented by Michela Carucci, Roman Malec, and Guido Santini.
Strengthening urban rural connections is essential for building resilient infrastructure, claims Rajib Shaw. However, as examples from Japan show, implementation is often hindered by administrative issues, calling for innovations in governance and communications to make urban rural partnerships a reality.
When disasters hit, cultural heritage is often perceived as something passive, something hit by destruction. Conservation architect and risk management expert Rohit Jigyasu argues for a different perception: one that acknowledges the decisive role urban cultural heritage can play both in the prevention and in the outcome of natural disaster, making it an active component of urban resilience.