City2City
Urban October Blog Post: La Paz and El Alto on their way to integrated urban development

The main challenges for both municipalities are structural issues that require joint responses. Addressing these will require a new paradigm of cooperation.

La Paz and El Alto on their way to integrated urban development

Blog Post for Urban October | Posted on October 18, 2021 

Authors:

  • Eva Copa, Mayor of El Alto
  • Iván Arias, Mayor of La Paz
  • Luciana Mermet, Resident Representative, UNDP Bolivia

Bolivia is a predominantly urban country. According to projections by the National Statistics Institute, 80 percent of Bolivians will be living in urban areas by 2050.

Urban expansion is associated with unplanned settlements with low densities and gaps in basic services. For municipalities, this results in demand for more and better services and public works, and solutions for such issues as transportation and mobility, environmental impact, informal settlements in hazardous areas and citizen insecurity, all of which require rapidly-implemented solutions with often limited resources.

A shared territorial space

The "Agglomeration of La Paz" comprises La Paz and El Alto and is home to more than two million people, or 17 percent of the country.

It has a young society with a strong identity and a territory with extraordinary potential to build rural-urban syncretism and make cultural diversity its greatest potential.

The municipality of La Paz is the seat of government and the epicentre of the country's political and social activity. The territorial distribution of the population is asymmetric: 96 percent is concentrated in seven urban macro-districts covering nine percent of the territory, while four percent lives in two rural districts. It has more than 350 rivers. Many of these are underground, which can give rise to inappropriate land use; 70 percent of its urban area is on land with a moderate, high or very high level of risk.

El Alto, more than 4,000 metres above sea level, is linked geographically, socially, culturally and economically to La Paz. It is characterized by constant flows of migrants which have given it the country’s second-biggest growth rate. More than one million people live in 14 urban and rural districts. The predominant culture is Indigenous Aymara.

Challenges and opportunities

Restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 health emergency have affected both municipalities in loss of lives and of costs to the economy. But these problems also present opportunities to generate inclusive, participative models of development. Digital tools that help create opportunities for citizen participation and urban innovation have great potential.

How should we bring this new scenario into being? By closing technology gaps and placing citizens and the environment at the centre of decision making. We present some examples of sustainable development in both municipalities which illustrate and our commitment to structural transformation.

Digital neighbourhood

The Sustainable Development Goals have became the long-term vision, focused on well-being and multidimensional policies that prioritize healthy living, inclusive urban mobility and decent work. 

Working with government agencies, the UNDP Accelerator Lab has promoted the Digital Neighbourhood project. This uses technological tools updated in real time to enable every resident to play a leading role in their own development while contributing to their neighbourhoods.

This initiative began in the neighbourhood of San Sebastián using collective intelligence aimed at its young people, which constitute 45 percent of the population, in order to map and create solutions in response to their needs, which included internet access and digital education services.

Urban big data

The municipality of El Alto, with the support of the UNDP Accelerator Lab and in partnership with the Bolivian Waste Treatment Company, is implementing the first urban big data project in Bolivia.

Solid waste collectors use an interactive app to collect data, based on the waste-collection routes in the municipality’s District 3.

The municipality will have a new model for decision making that will facilitate evidence-based design and policies that will be replicable in other cities.

These actions will be used to create strategies that take full account of the aspirations of the people. They will show real engagement with the challenge of leaving no one behind. This aim is a new reality free from inequalities, and with a cultural identity and social, economic and cultural dynamics founded in the plurality, shared history and geographical beauty that make El Alto and La Paz unique. UNDP and the leaders of both municipal governments are committed to addressing and resolving these problems.

More than 2 million people live in the agglomeration of La Paz and El Alto. Photo: Unsplash

Retrieved from https://www.undp.org/blog/la-paz-and-el-alto-their-way-integrated-urban-development

Urban October Blog Post: Iran tackles its cities' carbon emissions
"Iran spends about 20 percent of its GDP on energy subsidies. Improving energy efficiency is vital to the country’s progress and can contribute to environmental and economic sustainability."

Iran tackles its cities' carbon emissions 

Blog Post for Urban October | Posted on 21 October 2021

Author: Claudio Providas, UNDP Resident Representative in Iran

Urbanization is one of the defining trends of the 21st century. By 2050, two thirds of the global population will live in cities. However, many cities  are grappling with the challenges of growing inequality and the continued difficulties in shaping sustainable and livable spaces. Despite this, cities remain places of opportunity and prosperity. They are also key to ‘building forward better’ from the COVID-19 pandemic. As we work towards recovery, UNDP looks at cities as hubs of community, human innovation and ingenuity.

Iran is amongst the top 10 countries contributing to carbon emissions and 75 percent of its population is urban.

Iran’s energy consumption increased by 5 to 8 percent between 1990 and 2019, which is about five times higher than the worldwide average. Buildings, particularly in urban areas, account for a considerable amount of energy consumption, which is about  2.5 to 4 times  more than the global mean, and 70 percent of this is from public buildings, which waste up to 60 percent of their energy.

Iran spends about 20 percent of its GDP on energy subsidies. Improving energy efficiency is vital to the country’s progress and can contribute to environmental and economic sustainability.

Much of this work is taking place in the capital Tehran, which has grown in 200 years to one of the world’s largest cities, with around 9 million inhabitants.

UNDP, together with the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology and the Tehran Municipality. is working towards clean and renewable energy and increasing efficiency in urban buildings. The initiative is expected this year to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent in 400 buildings.

Beyond this, together with partners, UNDP Iran supports integrating circular economy priorities into urban planning focusing on waste management through strategic partnership with Tehran Municipality and UN Habitat.

UNDP Iran is combining resource efficiency with low-carbon development by recycling bottles in Tehran Mega City. This initiative will be introduced at the national level and will contribute to decoupling economic growth from the unstable use of natural resources.

Together with national partners and the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development in Singapore, UNDP Iran is looking at supporting the Smart Tehran Program, which aims to transform the city into a more sustainable and livable place for all citizens, visitors and businesses. We are using the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to redefine living and commuting.

We mobilized approximately US$10 million to address COVID-19 prevention, risk communication and detection. UNDP will create approximately 10 thousand green jobs focused on small enterprises and home-based employment, through innovation, diversification and using digital platforms to connect customers in cities with sellers in rural communities.

An example is our work in the Lake Urmia basin, where UNDP in partnership with the Department of Environment and with generous funding of the government and people of Japan, is addressing the impact of climate change by reducing the amount of water used in irrigation by 30 percent, while improving agricultural yields. UNDP is also helping to diversify rural livelihoods, reducing dependency on agriculture and natural resources, engaging local communities in new income earning initiatives such as producing personal protective equipment for health workers.

UNDP together with its partners is seizing the COVID-19 pandemic to build forward better, learning from the crisis and responding with greener strategies, greener infrastructure, financial instruments and green jobs.

Iran is amongst the top 10 countries contributing to carbon emissions and 75 percent of its population is urban. Photo: Hosein Charbaghi/Unsplash 

Retrieved from https://www.undp.org/blog/iran-tackles-its-cities-carbon-emissions

Daring Cities 2021 wraps up with a sense that local voices are finally being heard.
The need for greater cooperation between local, regional, and national levels of government has been a recurring theme at Daring Cities 2021, and looking ahead to COP26, Yunis Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy for ICLEI observed that “before the leaders come on the first of November (at the start of COP26), they will now be aware that we are in a new urban world in the age of climate emergency and multi-level action is the key.”

Daring Cities 2021 wraps up with a sense that local voices are finally being heard

by Mark Wessel | Posted on 11 October 2021 on CityTalk (Blog by ICLEI) | Cover Photo Source: Unsplash

For the past 20 years, Saleemul Huq has been working with people living in what he described as “the poorer parts of the developing world,” and as he spoke on what was the final day of Daring Cities 2021 – billed as 2030 Visions Day –, Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, admitted that he was starting his presentation on a note of pessimism.

“We have entered into an era of loss and damage from the impacts of climate change,” he said, referencing extreme weather conditions over the past year. Having failed to curtail global warming, he predicted that our future will be one where “every year is going to be worse than before… and unfortunately we are not prepared for it anywhere in the world.”

Huq pilloried the world’s leaders for not following through on committments to the keep global temperature rise to below 1.5C at the 2015 Paris Summit and to give 100 billion dollars to the poor countries by 2020 tied to climate mitigation and resiliency projects. “I think the issue now is what are we going to do, and when I say ‘we’ I don’t mean our leaders, because our leaders have failed to deliver.”

Answering his own question, Huq posited that “a much more promising approach (involves) citizens around the world getting together… learning from each other and sharing from each other in real time as we are doing here in this conference.” Building on that thought process, he said that urban stakeholders need to connect “not just at a once a year conference… but every single day.”

Speaking on behalf of GLOBE International, an organization that works closely with national legislators to promote sustainable development, Chief Executive Malini Mehra agreed with advocating this type of exchange, saying “I think it’s high time that we delivered on a more synergistic working relationship between the national, subnational and regional (levels of government). Because only with that kind of close multilevel governance will we have any hope of delivering (on climate change mitigation).”

Mehra observed that current intergovernmental communication gaps are further complicated by the reality that “many local governments around the world are not required by law… to deliver on climate change legislation.” That, despite the fact she said that the 2015 Paris Agreement “created a requirement for a multi-governance, multi-stakeholder delivery of the agreements. So we have the mandate, we just need to get on and do it.” With that mindset, Mehra said she welcomed the opportunity for her group to work more closely with the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency (LGMA), which represents networks of local and regional governments at the processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adding that she hopes that COP26, which gets underway at the end of this month “marks the beginning of a really promising collaboration between our  constituencies.”

After touching on his city’s accomplishments as Turkey’s greenest city (including fact they have ambitious 2030 climate action plans in place), Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir observed that globally, “the relationship between nature and humanity is alarmingly weakened after two decades of time-wasting discussion.”

To address our current disconnect with nature, Soyer recommended that we adopt “a set of values we call circular culture,” tied to a lifestyle focussed on circularity rather than overconsumption and waste.

To create more sustainable cities, where circularity and better resource management goes hand in hand with job creation, Lars Gronvald, Team Leader with the European Union’s International Partnerships said that his group is providing funding for urban centres in such countries as Cameroon and Tanzania in support of a green transformation. Funding that helps to keep small to medium sized businesses both sustainable and competitive. The EU department is also promoting a 2030 Biodiversity Strategy designed to help reverse environmental degradation.

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter the Parliamentary Secretary of State for Germany’s Ministry of the Environment described how her country has supported over 750 urban development projects in over 60 countries around the world since 2008, in support of climate change mitigation and resiliency efforts.

Confirming the view that many LGMA leaders have long held, Schwarzelühr-Sutter observed that “clearly cities cannot tackle climate change all alone. National governments have the responsibility of creating the enabling environment that allows cities to address climate change (and) this includes access to the necessary financial resources.”

The need for greater cooperation between local, regional and national levels of government has been a recurring theme at Daring Cities 2021 and looking ahead to COP26, Yunis Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy for ICLEI observed that “before the leaders come on the first of November (at the start of COP26), they will now be aware that we are in a new urban world in the age of climate emergency and multi-level action is the key.” An awareness that will be amplified by the creation for that event of the LGMA Multilevel Action Pavilion.

The pavilion is made possible as a result of close collaboration between the Scottish government, ICLEI, and a host of other LGMA groups, including such global entities as GCoM, C40 Cities, the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa, the UN-Habitat for a Better Future and fittingly (considering where the event is taking place), Glasgow City Council. The pavilion will help to promote “a new momentum” for negotiations which hopefully “will kick off an era of multilevel action in the age of climate emergency where ICLEI will play a key role,” Arikan said.

Adding to Arikan’s sense of optimism, Frank Cownie, Mayor of the City of Des Moines and President of ICLEI, observed that in the wake of Daring Cities 2021 and with both World Cities Day (Oct. 31) and COP26 on the horizon, this year “we have a brilliant opportunity… with more and more cities and regions stepping up on the climate emergency.” To which he added, “this surge is the biggest source of hope for current and future generations to prove that a  transformation has already begun.”

Retrieved from https://talkofthecities.iclei.org/our-brilliant-opportunity-daring-cities-2021-wraps-up-with-a-sense-that-local-voices-are-finally-being-heard/

State of Climate Action 2021
Combatting the climate crisis requires society to rapidly transform all the systems that propel our economy, including power generation, buildings, industry, transport, land use and more. But by how much? And how can decision-makers make it happen?

State of Climate Action 2021

October 28, 2021 | 9:00 am - 10:15 am EDT | Online | Register here

Combatting the climate crisis requires society to rapidly transform all the systems that propel our economy, including power generation, buildings, industry, transport, land use, and more. But by how much? And how can decision-makers make it happen?

Join the World Resources Institute (WRI) on October 28 for a high-level launch event for the State of Climate Action 2021 report, which will answer these fundamental questions. Developed by partners contributing to the Systems Change Lab, the report identifies 40 indicators across key sectors that must transform to address the climate crisis and assesses how current trends stack up against targets for 2030 and 2050 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C. The analysis will highlight both encouraging bright spots that are witnessing exponential change as well as sectors that are well off track and demand urgent attention.

Coming out just before the G20 Summit and the COP26 climate summit, the State of Climate Action 2021 report will arm countries, businesses, philanthropists, and others with a clear-eyed view of where we stand sector-by-sector, and what supportive measures and finance are necessary to accelerate the world toward a safer, prosperous and more equitable future.

Speakers:

  • Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund (moderator)
  • Nigel Topping, United Nations High-Level Climate Champion
  • Naoko Ishii, Executive Vice President, University of Tokyo Center for Global Commons
  • Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, World Resources Institute
  • Surabi Menon, VP, Global Intelligence, ClimateWorks Foundation
  • Niklas Höhne, Partner, New Climate Institute
  • Sophie Boehm, Research Analyst, World Resources Institute
ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Forum 2021

ASEAN SUSTAINABLE URBANISATION FORUM 2021

From 6-8 October 2021

For the first time, ASEAN is convening a multi-stakeholder forum dedicated to promoting sustainable urbanisation in the region.

The ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Forum (ASUF) will serve as a platform to promote connectivity, knowledge sharing, and learning opportunities for ASEAN Member States, ASEAN cities, and ASEAN people.

Register here

Today, more than half of ASEAN people live in urban areas and an additional 70 million people are forecast to live in ASEAN cities by 2025, making sustainable and inclusive urbanisation a key priority to achieve the objectives of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and to raise the living standards of local communities. ASEAN Member States (AMS) recognise the crucial role of urbanisation for sustainable development and have enacted a pro-active approach to support cities’ endeavors.

The ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Forum (ASUF) represents a key ASEAN initiative to support the establishment of a multi-stakeholder eco-system for knowledge sharing and policy development. ASUF builds on the guidelines of the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy (ASUS) as the key driver to encourage a constructive dialogue around the priority areas for sustainable urban development across ASEAN.

ASUF presents the opportunity to come together to further connectivity and partnerships and share experiences and lessons learned on sustainable urban solutions in alignment with the New Urban Agenda toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in ASEAN.

ASUF is envisaged as an inclusive platform to engage with a broad range of stakeholders, starting from ASEAN cities and including relevant ministries and government agencies across AMS, multi-lateral organisations, private sector, financial institutions, NGOs, academia, associations and experts from relevant networks.

Thematic areas

ASUF aims to build on findings and guidance of ASUS. ASUS identifies 6 areas and 18 sub-areas of sustainable urbanisation and it further refines the focus on the most relevant 7 priority sub-areas that apply across ASEAN. The thematic sessions will focus on the identified priorities for ASEAN cities, providing the opportunity to expand and enrich the discussion with the perspectives and experiences of the participants:

  • Inclusive & Equitable Growth

  • Personal Safety & Security

  • Mobility

  • Water, Waste & Sanitation

  • Education

  • Housing & Home

  • Urban Resilience

Learn more about the programme here: https://connectivity.asean.org/asuf/

India's Prime Minister Modi launches plans for garbage free, water secure cities
The Prime Minister said that with the Swachh Bharat 2.0 mission, his government is aiming to make the urban areas garbage-free. “With this second phase, we are also aiming for sewage and safety management, making cities water-secure and ensuring that the dirty drains do not merge into the rivers,” he said. “The garbage mounts in cities will be processed and removed completely as part of the SBM-U second phase.”

Swachh Bharat, AMRUT 2.0: PM Modi launches plans for garbage free, water secure cities

Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi​ | Published on 1 October 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched the Swachh Bharat Mission - Urban (SBM-U) 2.0 and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0 mission, two flagship schemes of the central government aimed at making all of India's cities ‘garbage free’ and ‘water secure’. At the launch event, Prime Minister Modi said that the two programmes constitute important steps towards fulfilling the dreams of social reformer Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. “It is our privilege that today's programme has been organised at the BR Ambedkar Centre,” Modi said. “He believed that urban development was pivotal to equality.”

Presumably taking a dig at his political rivals, the Prime Minister then said, “One such garbage mountain has been in Delhi for long, it's also waiting to be removed.”

Moving on to talk about the humongous amount of waste products that the country processes each day, Modi said, “Today, India is processing about 1 lakh tonnes of waste every day. When we started the campaign in 2014, less than 20 percent of the waste was being processed. Today, we are processing about 70 percent of the daily waste; the next step is to take it to a complete 100 percent.”

The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 envisions a plan to make all cities garbage-free by ensuring grey and black water management in all cities except those covered under AMRUT, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said. It also aims to make all urban local bodies with a population of less than 1 lakh Open Defecation Free (ODF), thereby achieving the vision of safe sanitation in urban areas. The mission will also focus on source segregation of solid waste, utilising the principles of reducing, reusing, recycling, scientific processing of all types of municipal solid waste, and remediation of legacy dumpsites for effective solid waste management. The outlay of the entire SBM-U 2.0 mission is around ₹1.41 lakh crore.

The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2.0 mission, on the other hand, is focusing on providing 100 percent coverage of water supply to all households in around 4,700 urban local bodies by providing about 2.68 crore tap connections and 100 percent coverage of sewerage and septage in 500 AMRUT cities by providing around 2.64 crore sewer or septage connections, which will benefit more than 10.5 crore people in urban areas.

Retrieved from https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/swachh-bharat-amrut-2-0-pm-modi-launches-plans-for-garbage-free-water-secure-cities-101633070967552.html

Cover Photo of Mumbai, India from Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/niUei6OnuiA

WRI, UNEP, GEF and Partners Launch “UrbanShift” to Transform Cities for People and Planet
UrbanShift will support 23 cities in Argentina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Rwanda and Sierra Leone to adopt integrated approaches to urban development, helping shape cities that are efficient, resilient, and inclusive.

WRI, UNEP, GEF and Partners Launch “UrbanShift” to Transform Cities for People and Planet

by World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities | September 24, 2021

NEW YORK (September 24, 2021)--At Climate Week NYC 2021, World Resources institute (WRI), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), C40 Cities, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched UrbanShift, a new global initiative to improve lives and transform cities into green and livable spaces, concurrently addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

UrbanShift will support 23 cities in Argentina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Rwanda and Sierra Leone to adopt integrated approaches to urban development, helping shape cities that are efficient, resilient and inclusive. The program builds on the lessons and experiences of the Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot program, which was launched by the GEF during its sixth replenishment cycle.

“Cities have to work for people, for the planet and for the economy if we are to be successful as we go forward,” said Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, WRI. “UrbanShift was formed to help city leaders solve complex urban problems  and  use their limited resources to invest in the outcomes we need. We can't just be solving one problem; we need to make cross-sectoral solutions the norm.”

Cities are home to 4.2 billion people, more than half of the world’s population. But they face growing challenges – from floods, storms and heatwaves triggered by the climate crisis to dangerous air quality, lack of affordable housing and deep social divides. Cities also account for about 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions. It’s imperative for the world’s cities to become carbon neutral by 2050 in order to hold global temperature rise to under 1.5 °C, all while expanding to provide for nearly 70% of the world’s population.

“Cities are at the frontline of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP. “However, our cities also have the power to address these challenges while increasing the resilience of their citizens and their infrastructure.  As we focus on the pressing issues of climate change this week, we must turn the ingenuity and industriousness we showed in building our cities in the first place to rethinking how they work. UrbanShift will be a key tool to help urban leaders do just that.”

The program will engage mayors, the private sector, city networks, UN agencies, multilateral development banks and many other partners to support national and city governments. It will also serve as a knowledge and learning platform to connect cities with global expertise and cutting-edge research, as well as offering a space to share experiences and forge partnerships.

“We are aiming for ambitious city-level transformation, which we plan to achieve in two ways,” said Rogier van den Berg, Acting Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. “One, by working directly with cities to promote integrated urban development approaches such as nature-based solutions, low-carbon public transport systems, low-emission zones and integrated waste management. Two, by offering a suite of capacity-strengthening activities to urban practitioners and leaders across the globe, from participatory workshops to online trainings, national-level dialogues, advanced climate action, urban labs, and much more.”

Objectives include mitigating more than 130 million tCO2e of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of one year’s emissions from 32 coal-fired power stations. UrbanShift will also improve the management and restoration of approximately 1 million hectares of land. With $146 million in GEF funding and $1.7 billion in co-financing, the program is  expected to impact the lives of more than 58 million people.

“In an increasingly encroaching urban world, investing in our cities is one of the best ways we can achieve global environmental benefits across sectors – from conserving biodiversity, to reducing carbon emissions and increasing resilience to shocks like climate events and pandemics,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson, GEF.

UrbanShift is aligned to the UN’S Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 vision to consider the social, environmental and economic dimensions integrated and indivisible. UrbanShift will particularly contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, but also several other SDGs such as SDG13, SDG3 and SDG15.

For more information, visit www.shiftcities.org.

About UrbanShift

UrbanShift is supporting 23 cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America to adopt integrated approaches to urban development, helping shape cities that are efficient, resilient and inclusive. UrbanShift is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and led by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI), C40 Cities and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank (ADB). For more information, visit: www.shiftcities.org.

About WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities is World Resources Institute’s program dedicated to shaping a future where cities work better for everyone. It enables more connected, compact and coordinated cities. The Center expands the transport and urban development expertise of the EMBARQ network to catalyze innovative solutions in other sectors, including air quality, water, buildings, land use and energy. It combines the research excellence of WRI with two decades of on-the-ground impact through a network of more than 370 experts working from Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Turkey and the United States to make cities around the world better places to live. More information at www.wrirosscities.org.

About the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

About the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature. It supports the implementation of international environmental conventions on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. Since its establishment 30 years ago, the GEF has provided $21.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $117 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs.

Article retrieved from https://wrirosscities.org/news/release-wri-unep-gef-and-partners-launch-%E2%80%9Curbanshift%E2%80%9D-transform-cities-people-and-planet

Cover Photo by Second-Half Travels/Flickr
Launch of The Local2030 Coalition - Localization of the SDGs
Local2030: Localizing the SDGs is a network and platform that supports the on-the-ground delivery of the SDGs, with a focus on those furthest behind.

Launch of The Local2030 Coalition - Localization of the SDGs

The Local2030 Coalition was officially launched at the SDG Moment 2021, convened on Monday 20 September 2021 during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

About Local2030

The success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development hinges on effective collaboration between all relevant actors. Knowledge, resources, skills, and partnerships will need to be mobilized on an unprecedented scale to implement all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It is a convergence point between local and regional governments and their associations, national governments, businesses, community-based organizations and other local actors, and the United Nations system. Local2030 supports local leaders in collaboratively incubating and sharing solutions, unlocking bottlenecks, and implementing strategies that advance the SDGs at the local level.

Via this online platform, Local2030 partners are sharing tools, experiences, new solutions, and guides to support SDG localization. A core feature is the toolbox, which contains a range of concrete, practical and adaptable mechanisms and instruments that support the development, implementation, monitoring, and review of locally-appropriate SDG actions.

Local2030 hubs include both local and thematic hubs. The local hubs are spaces where communities—together with the UN system and external partners—identify their priorities with respect to the SDGs and implement innovative solutions that address local needs. The thematic hubs develop best practices and raise awareness on issues that are key to the local implementation of the SDGs. They are designed as partnerships between thematic experts, local actors, and UN agencies, and work to showcase best practices that can be replicated globally.

With the aim of providing a one-stop-shop on SDG localization resources and tools for stakeholders, this platform combines prior work by Localizing the SDGs and Local2030.

Learn more about Local2030 here: https://www.local2030.org/

Launch of The Local2030 Coalition - Localization of the SDGs
Local2030: Localizing the SDGs is a network and platform that supports the on-the-ground delivery of the SDGs, with a focus on those furthest behind.

The Local2030 Coalition - Localization of the SDGs

The success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development hinges on effective collaboration between all relevant actors. Knowledge, resources, skills, and partnerships will need to be mobilized on an unprecedented scale to implement all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It is a convergence point between local and regional governments and their associations, national governments, businesses, community-based organizations and other local actors, and the United Nations system. Local2030 supports local leaders in collaboratively incubating and sharing solutions, unlocking bottlenecks, and implementing strategies that advance the SDGs at the local level.

Via this online platform, Local2030 partners are sharing tools, experiences, new solutions, and guides to support SDG localization. A core feature is the toolbox, which contains a range of concrete, practical and adaptable mechanisms and instruments that support the development, implementation, monitoring, and review of locally-appropriate SDG actions.

Local2030 hubs include both local and thematic hubs. The local hubs are spaces where communities—together with the UN system and external partners—identify their priorities with respect to the SDGs and implement innovative solutions that address local needs. The thematic hubs develop best practices and raise awareness on issues that are key to the local implementation of the SDGs. They are designed as partnerships between thematic experts, local actors, and UN agencies, and work to showcase best practices that can be replicated globally.

With the aim of providing a one-stop-shop on SDG localization resources and tools for stakeholders, this platform combines prior work by Localizing the SDGs and Local2030.

Learn more about Local2030 here: https://www.local2030.org/

Watch the opening video of the launch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNV-hX5dTv4

AIPH World Green City Awards Open for Online Entries: Enter Today!

The AIPH World Green City Awards are designed to champion ambitious nature-orientated approaches to city design and operation. Specifically, they seek to recognise public initiatives relying on a greater use of plants and nature to create better city environments – helping to fulfil local aspirations for improved economic, social and environmental resilience. The awards celebrate innovation, achievement, and commitment to the globally recognised imperative to embrace nature-orientated solutions that harvest the power of plants and associated ecosystems services to help address the major challenges facing cities today – or tomorrow.

AIPH initiated these awards to bring wide recognition to the value of plants in providing solutions for common city problems and create an enabling environment to shape and nurture a strategic shift in city governance and planning.

AIPH invites all cities to enter the inaugural 2022 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards. To learn more, and to enter, click here.

AIPH, the International Association of Horticultural Producers and the world’s champion for the power of plants proudly presents the AIPH World Green City Awards, which recently opened for entries for the 2022 inaugural edition.

The leading role of city authorities is recognised for promoting and supporting greater inclusion of nature and plants in urban environments. The AIPH World Green City Awards 2022 are designed to champion ambitious nature-orientated approaches to city design and operation. Specifically, they seek to recognise public initiatives relying on a greater use of plants and nature to create better city environments – helping to fulfil local aspirations for improved economic, social and environmental resilience. 

The awards celebrate innovation, achievement, and commitment to the globally recognised imperative to embrace a nature-orientated solutions that harvest the power of plants and associated ecosystems services to help address the major challenges facing cities today – or tomorrow. AIPH initiated these awards to bring wide recognition to the value of plants in providing solutions for common city problems and to create an enabling environment to shape and nurture a strategic shift in city governance and planning. 

AIPH invites all cities, large and small, to showcase their ambitious actions by entering the 2022 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards.

Enter the Awards today!

Cities worldwide are keen to learn best practice in city greening and to promote their own greening achievements. Cities strive to be ‘green cities’, and AIPH World Green City awards are offered in recognition of excellence in this regard. World city awards are highly coveted, bringing attention to a city that results in increased business, tourism and development as well as community pride. The AIPH World Green City Awards are therefore unique in the sense that they are the first global awards where plants and nature are the core focus. 

These prestigious awards provide an opportunity for cities to be associated with the only global awards in the world celebrating urban living green. 

The AIPH World Green City Awards is an ongoing competition, with entries open every 2 years, allowing approximately 18 months from the call for entries to the awards ceremony. Cities are invited to enter, and the winners are announced at a special gala event awards ceremony. Winners may also be invited to showcase their greening projects at an AIPH approved International Horticultural Expo. 

The AIPH World Green City Awards were launched on 22nd April 2021 at the AIPH Green City conference “Champions of Green Cities”, and online entries are now open for the inaugural 2022 edition. The awards themselves will be presented at a gala ceremony to be held in October 2022. 

The 2022 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards will be offered in six categories, with a final selection made from a shortlist of the best three in each category,  and presenting three category winners, and  one overall AIPH World Green City winner. The six award categories for the 2022 edition of the World Green City Awards are:

  • Health and wellbeing: Addressing the medical, behavioural, and social determinants of health for residents.
  • Climate change: Tackling the root causes and effects of climate change in order to build more liveable and resilient cities.
  • Economic recovery and inclusive growth: Creating systems and solutions that allow all city residents to overcome economic distress and thrive.
  • Biodiversity: Addressing the loss of species, habitats, ecosystem health, and genetic diversity.
  • Water: Ensuring that water resources are safeguarded and wisely used, with clean water available to all while also protecting residents from flooding risks. 
  • Social cohesion: Fostering belonging, trust and inter-generational as well as cross-cultural relationships to prevent exclusion, marginalisation and violence.

Entries  consist of a short, simple, written statement, made in English, through an online portal, and may be complemented by supporting evidence such as images, videos, publications (e.g. copy of a report), letters of support (e.g. from partners). The online portal is now open to receive entries by cities right up to the submission deadline of 14th March 2022.

For more information on how to enter the awards, click here.

There are many benefits in entering the AIPH World Green City Awards. It is the first international competition that cities enter to:

  • Gain recognition for the greening they have done and the benefits of this.
  • Promote their city at an international level.
  • Inspire a global movement for greener cities.
  • Demonstrate that their city is highly desirable to live and work in.
  • Showcase how nature can improve the health of citizens, increase job opportunities, and stimulate economic development and stronger greening regulations.
  • Demonstrate how ambitious local actions contribute to achieving global agendas

By entering, cities stand a chance to:

  • Have their initiatives featured on the AIPH website and integrated to the case study library associated with the AIPH Green City Guidelines. All shortlisted entries will be featured.
  • Win an award certificate and a trophy. Winners can nominate key partners and key staff so that additional award certificates can be prepared in their name.
  • Gain global recognition and profiling opportunities as winners will be promoted via AIPH and the World Green City Awards partners’ and sponsors’ media channels.
  • Have their city’s work displayed to a significant global audience in the AIPH pavilion of an International Horticultural Expo.
  • Receive up to 4 complimentary tickets to the gala event of the Awards ceremony for winners.

The awards will be judged over two levels. A technical panel of experts will assess the entries against their technical merit in using plants and natural systems to deliver benefits – essentially judging the impact and extending best practice. The second layer of judging will be by a jury of internationally recognised leaders in City, Nature, Resilience and Sustainability themes, and will judge the entries on their potential for influence – this is a mix of transferability, innovation, and distinctiveness (‘wow’ factor).

Award entries will be assessed on the basis of five evaluation criteria:

  • Vision: the initiative should be bold and include a fresh new model for using and/or delivering nature-orientated solution(s).
  • Significance: the initiative should be designed to address a serious local problem or set of problems.
  • Implementation: the initiative should have achieved or be well on its way to achieving its stated objective(s) and/or desirable outcomes.
  • Learning and Transferability: the initiative should have generated some learning content or mechanisms that enable enhanced local practice in the future and/or offer potential for customised replication in other cities.
  • Resilience: The initiative should be mindful of its impact on the planet and of its ability to be sustained over time.

Through the World Green City Awards, AIPH aims to ignite a global movement of cities who are demonstrating the principles of “Living Green” in action and inspiring other cities to raise their ambition through the development of a rich case study library which celebrates best practice. Thus, Award entries will contribute to building a global platform for cities to showcase their bold actions and benefit from the learnings from cities elsewhere.

For more information, check out the FAQs and Rules and Procedures.

The 2022 AIPH World Green City Awards timeline is as follows:

  • 22nd April 2021- Launch of the award and call for expression of interest. 
  • 16th June 2021- Entries open- the application guidelines and an offline version of the application submission form become available to help entry preparation 
  • 14th March 2022- Deadline to submit an entry online through the online portal
  • 31st May 2022- Shortlisted cities announced. 
  • 30th June 2022- Additional information requested by the technical panel must be submitted. 
  • 29th July 2022- Jury meets to select winners in each category and the overall winner. 
  • 15th August 2022- Winners of awards notified and invitations made to these cities to attend the gala awards ceremony.
  • September/October 2022- Awards ceremony and announcement of the overall winner of the AIPH 2022 World Green City Award.

Don’t miss this prestigious opportunity to demonstrate your city’s commitment to “living green” and showcase your ambitious actions for plants and nature.

Enter the AIPH World Green City Awards today!

For any queries, questions, feedback, or to get in touch with the AIPH team, mail timothy.blatch@aiph.org or audrey.timm@aiph.org

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