Channeling tech-based disruptions in urban transport to create joyful cities where sustainable and just mobility is the new normal
The COVID-19 pandemic lays bare two facets of our new reality: we are more interconnected than ever, and cities are at the front lines of this crisis and will be at the front lines of any similarly globalized crisis in the future. Cities are already in adaptation mode.
International consensus on cross-border environmental issues has been hard to come by, but a 40-year-old air pollution treaty has enjoyed great if largely unsung success, leading to cleaner air, healthier forests and the prevention of hundreds of thousands of premature deaths.
For cities, adapting to climate change doesn't just mean building more things. Good climate adaptation means including and engaging poor and marginalized communities.
WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities is leading a workshop at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety bringing together a group of global thought-leaders for an interactive discussion on the most common challenges to achieving Vision Zero, an initiative for city leaders to take bold actions on road safety.
Future cities will need a near-zero-carbon footprint, an end to dependence on fossil fuels and an ability to manage weather extremes while finding ways to lift up already vulnerable and marginalized groups. To envision these cities of the future, we have to demand more of our collective imagination.
Zoleka Mandela draws on her grandfather's legacy in speaking out against the injustice of the hidden epidemic that threatens children, especially in the developing world. In this podcast, she is joined by Claudia Adriazola-Steil, director for health & road safety at the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, as they discuss the unimaginable toll—emotional and economic—taken by road deaths, and what we can do to turn this loss into action.
This working paper describes WRI India’s experience aggregating demand for clean energy in apartment complexes of Bengaluru India.
On average, almost two-thirds of urban residents across 15 cities in the global South lack access to safely managed sanitation, with access lowest in cities of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
New research finds nearly two-thirds of sewage and human waste in 15 major cities is unsafely managed, worsening urban sanitation crisis.
This working paper describes sanitation access challenges in cities of the global south that have been overlooked in global indicators. In analyzing 15 cities, we found that almost two-thirds of urban residents lack access to safely managed sanitation, with access lowest in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. For these households, sanitation services are too expensive or unsafe. This paper highlights four key action areas for cities to improve sanitation access: extend the sewer and simplified sewer networks to household, communal and public toilets; support and regulate on-site sanitation in the absence of sewer systems; support citywide settlement upgrading; and make sanitation services affordable for all.
Urban climate action is good for the planet. How do you make it good for people, too?
This case study describes the history of Surabaya, Indonesia’s inclusive housing policy and how the Kampung Improvement Program became a model for in situ slum upgrading efforts both nationwide and internationally. The paper suggests certain actions that the city can take to maintain its legacy of inclusive housing policy, including prioritizing in situ, incremental upgrading of informal settlements; partnering with NGOs and universities to facilitate innovation; and improving the city’s transportation network and limiting high-end development that displaces residents.
Historically, cities have upgraded poor neighborhoods by razing and reconstructing them, often displacing residents. But to actually improve affordable housing and give residents access to services and opportunities, cities need a different approach.
Los Angeles Air Force Base, the first federal facility with a plug-in electric fleet of vehicles on the ground, has gone a step further. Now these EVs are the first in California to provide vehicle-to-grid services, with batteries that can send energy back to the grid, enabling cleaner, more efficient, more reliable power.
When Cape Town and Chennai nearly ran out of water, these two cities managed to avert Day Zero, while revealing broad social inequity in both places. World Cities Day is a good moment to consider the lessons to be learned about equitable responses to water crises.
India is often ground zero for extreme heat events, and the urban heat island effect makes these events even more severe in cities, which are warmer than surrounding areas due to concentrated human activity and construction. Cities' buildings have a lot to do with the heat residents feel.
Urban adaptation should incorporate climate risks into planning, work with vulnerable communities and focus on nature-based solution.
Baltimore is one of many cities coping with the problem of urban wood waste from damaged trees, construction lumber and yard trimmings. Salvaging that wood can cut landfill waste, create jobs, engage local communities and refill municipal coffers.