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• India pioneers solar projects in city of Thane
• Why local governments must drive action on global warming
• Can compact planning help the urban poor?
Bringing blue skies
back to our cities
How China is tackling the threat of climate change
Volume IV · Issue 03 · October 2011
© I
India pioneers use of solar power in city of Thane
Andrés Luque
Message from the Executive Director
Why local governments must drive action on climate change
Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi
CLIMATE CHANGE AND CITIES Rising sea levels threaten the world’s biggest cities
Bringing blue skies back to Urumqi
Bernd Franke, Jiarheng Ahati, Ding Xuefeng, Peng Xiaoyan, Christian Hennecke, and Tang Hengzhi
Mayor reveals Liaocheng’s plan for an ecological city
Dr. Song Yuanfang, the Mayor of Liaocheng City
The need to build regenerative cities
Herbert Girardet, Stefan Schurig
and Nicholas You
Urban strategy must be uniied on climate change
Harriet Bulkeley, Vanesa Castán Broto and Gareth Edwards
Can compact planning help the urban poor?
Vanesa Castán Broto, Cassidy Johnson and Adriana Allen
How urban agriculture can help tackle global warming
Marielle Dubbeling and
Henk de Zeeuw
Why deny our climate is changing?
Edward T. McMahon
Towards a low-carbon future
James Kenny
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From grass to grace: UN-HABITAT builds new homes for Darfur migrants
Tom Osanjo
News and project round-up
Adaptation brings new challenges to indigenous peoples in the Arctic
John Crump
Ho Chi Minh City confronts
risk of looding
Harry Storch and Nigel K. Downes
News and project round-up
Environmental degradation in Mexico City
Fighting pollution in
São Paulo, Brazil
News and project round-up
News and project round-up
WESTERN EUROPE News and project round-up
NORTH AMERICA News and project round-up
News and project round-up
World water leaders support
Stockholm Statement to Rio+20
Nick Michell
Volume IV · Issue 03 · October 2011 39
46 48
October 2011
A message from the Executive Director
ach year on World Habitat Day, the irst Monday in October, we bring to the world’s attention a matter of great concern in our rapidly urbanizing world. This year we look at the impact of cities in cre-
ating climate change, and, in turn, the impact of climate disruption on cities, and what cities are doing about it. We live in an age where the world’s popula-
tion will have grown to 7 billion by the end of this month and where more than half of them live in towns and cities. Projections indicate that this will increase to two-thirds in just over a generation from now. How we manage this rapid urbanization is one of the greatest challenges facing us. We must bear in mind that the greatest repercussions of climate disasters both begin and end in cities. According to UN-HABITAT’s Cities and Cli-
mate Change: the Global Report on Human Settlements, it is estimated that by 2050, there could be as many as 200 million environmen-
tal refugees worldwide, many of whom will be forced from their homes by rising sea levels and the increased frequency of looding or drought. Prevention should be addressed through better urban planning and building codes so that city residents, especially the poorest, are pro-
tected as far as possible against disaster. Such measures can also help to keep their ecological footprint to the minimum. Climate induced risks such as rising sea levels, tropical cyclones, heavy precipitation events and extreme weather conditions can dis-
rupt the basic fabric and functioning of cities with widespread rever-
berations for the physical infrastructure, economy and society of cities. These include public health risks in urban areas. We already know that the impacts of cli-
mate disruption will be particularly severe in low-elevation coastal zones where many of the world’s largest cities are located. And always it is the urban poor, especially slum dwellers, who are most at risk when disas-
ter strikes. We need to stress the provision of adequate adaptation measures based on urban planning. Even though we are still trying to under-
stand some of these extreme climatic events, we have the know-how and the strategies to take preventive measures. Urbanization offers many opportunities to develop mitigation and adaptation strate-
gies to deal with climate change. Given that most global energy consumption occurs in cities, roughly half of it from burning fossil fuels in cities for urban transport, the solu-
tion seems obvious. This is due to the fact that the economies of scale produced by the concentration of econom-
ic activities in cities also make it cheaper and easier to take action to minimize both emissions and climate hazards.
The social, economic and political actors within cities must there-
fore become key players in developing these strategies.
Many towns and cities, especially in developing countries, are still grappling with climate change strategies, working out how to access international climate change funding and how to learn from pioneering cities.
We should relect on this World Habitat Day on how we turn our cit-
ies – arguably the greatest achievements of human civilisation – into better cities for the future. Dr. Joan Clos
Executive Director UN-HABITAT
October 2011
n cities around the world, local govern-
ment, the closest administrative body to citizens, is under increasing expectation to act effectively and optimally meet environ-
mental challenges and the needs of people. Expectations are also high for them to take measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time build a resilient environ-
ment and society. Nevertheless, their effectiveness to carry out these and related tasks will largely depend on the room, mandate and resources granted them to perform in the spheres of governance, education, technology and inance.
Facilitating this understanding of the critical role of local governments, is impor-
tant in both the shorter and longer term - to enable them to take concerted action at the local level to tackle climate change. It also requires proper and integrated planning and administrative reform within local govern-
ments themselves. Reform promoting eficiency in local gov-
ernments and tackling global climate change primarily at the local level must function in a symbiotic fashion. This dual process under-
scores the importance of decentralization and institutional arrangements that will enable lo-
cal governments to perform effectively.
Decentralization and climate change However, it is important to answer the fol-
lowing questions: Can decentralization really help reverse the effects of climate change? Will local governments be able to step up to the massive challenges associated with adapt-
Why local governments must drive action on climate change
Global discussions as well as national governments acknowledge that climate mitigation and adaptation will depend largely on co-opting local level stakeholders – local governments, the private sector, and the civil society at large – in all stages of decision-making. But writes Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, the Programme Director at CITYNET, the Asia-Pacific network of local authorities committed to urban sustainability, the key stakeholder to facilitate micro and local level action is local government. ing to and mitigating the impacts of climate change if they are given more authority? Are they ready to exercise the lexible decision-
making power that will be given to them in a fully-decentralized system? Subsidiarity of the decision-making processes – of the right decision taken at the right level to handle the myriad of issues of climate change ac-
tion and the ability to implement the decisions – is the key driver for decentralization. There are a number of current examples showing how governments are utilising ex-
isting decentralized structures for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In Japan, the critical role of cities in mitiga-
tion efforts is central. Large cities such as Yoko-
hama have institutionalised climate change is-
sues through the creation of a “climate change policy headquarters”, which primarily deals with greenhouse gas reduction efforts within Yokohama has created a climate change policy headquarters p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
the city, leaving disaster management and pre-
paredness to other units. While innovative, this effort also presents challenges. In the case of Yokohama, as there is no unit coordinating all sectors in terms of adaptation planning, it is a challenge to adapt climate risks, and in-
tegrating action into overall development and management of the cities. This is quite under-
standable as adaptation and disaster aspects at national government level in Japan are con-
ducted by different ministries. Despite these constraints, cities are cir-
cumventing these problems by implement-
ing broad multi-stakeholder partnerships. For example Kawasaki city, southwest of To-
kyo, has created a number of task forces on climate change adaptation drawing on the private and non-governmental sectors. In many cases, governance structures do not have an appropriate legal system to support regional mechanisms in addressing cross-border or cross-geographical matters.
As climate change measures are not limited by administrative boundaries, national govern-
ments are required to provide legitimate support for cross-border strategies and solutions as well. Yokohama city provides a good example of an initiative across the border, when it established an agreement with the neighbouring Doshi vil-
lage of Yamanashi Prefecture to combine the forest and water resources of rural mountainous areas and the human resources and technologies of urban areas to support carbon offset and wa-
ter resource conservation projects.
Indonesia, like a few others in Asia, is a country that is grappling with the complex challenge of ensuring that national climate policies and programmes relect aspirations and efforts at the local level. The decision to limit greenhouse gas emissions over sectors and over parts of the country is compelling provinces and districts to produce their own low-carbon development plans.
Although it is argued that most local gov-
ernments need to obtain external incentives to adopt climate strategies, studies have shown that adaptation measures taken by local gov-
ernments were mostly driven by their respon-
sibilities to protect the people’s lives and as-
sets in the cities, as well as facilitate economic stability of jobs and income for its residents. But many local governments do not have sufi-
cient capacity to coordinate all sectors. As a con-
sequence, local governments are seen as “weak” partners in planning climate resilient cities. Building resilient local government and society
The situation is particularly stark in devel-
oping countries.
Some cities have been focusing their activities on adaptation, mostly in responding to disasters. This is due to the fact that local leaders and stake-
holders consider cities as being lower emitters of greenhouse gas, and consequently expect cities in more developed countries (which emit more greenhouse gas) to take the onus of identifying and implementing climate change measures.
But this does not preclude them from taking action. Since they have limited resources, it is crucial for cities and local governments in devel-
oping countries to see risk reduction as part of securing and insuring longer-term investment. Sri Lanka has recently developed a national climate change adaptation strategy which de-
ines priority areas for strategic action, and then clearly delineates the responsibilities of national and local governments, as well as civil society actors, in delivering on each area.
The province of Albay in the Philippines, through the leadership of its governor and participation of various stakeholders, were able to prove that their attempts to reduce and mainstream risks in all of its economic sectors were signiicant. Albay Province has been a well-known supporter of the World Disaster Reduction Campaign, Making Cit-
ies Resilient: My City is Getting Ready coor-
dinated by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
In its effort to mainstream risks reduction in Asian cities, CITYNET together with its partners has used such successful practices to inspire other cities and local governments and illustrate the strategic approach of using risk reduction strategies as an investment to secure and insure the future of the cities.
Incentives offered by national governments for investment in infrastructure with co-ben-
eicial advantages, will deinitely enhance the capacity of local governments to build more resilient cities in the long term.
As climate disruption, in some cases, has also increased the vulnerability of marginal-
ised groups such as children and women, it is necessary for national and local governments to invest more in policies and strategies which help marginalised groups and which simulta-
neously deal with climate change impacts. Mitigation and creation of a
low-carbon society
Campaigning for climate change action at the local level is a challenge that both local and na-
tional governments need to face. A number of initiatives have been instituted in this regard, particularly related to the creation of a ‘low-
carbon society’ – a society that has minimum emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, as a result of its economic ac-
tivities. Promoting a low-carbon city or society is being advocated intensively by many local government networks (such as C40, ICLEI, CITYNET and others) and supported by in-
ternational organizations, such as the Clinton Foundation or UN agencies. Local governments can
and must do more ‘Pro-poor’ climate change infrastructure projects that simultaneously address both climate-related and development priorities should be applied in every aspect of development. As climate change is a complex matter, it should not be the respon-
sibility only of environment agencies. For a decentralized system to work in fa-
vour of climate change measures, however, local government should be suficiently em-
powered to make decisions on behalf of their constituencies. They must be provided with resources that would build capacity to deliver services and engage the citizenry. While national governments have not made much progress in climate change negotiations, and many are still in doubt about the outcomes of the upcoming Rio+20 meeting, on the other hand, local initiatives and innovation have been showing considerable promise.
These local initiatives should be enhanced and scaled up, to eventually slow down the impacts of climate change and help build re-
silient societies.
While national governments have not made much progress in climate change negotiations, local initiatives and innovation have been showing considerable promise.
Climate change and cities
October 2011
he results of this convergence threat-
en unprecedented negative impacts on our quality of life, economic and social stability.
Indeed, never before in history have more people lived in towns and cities. Projections show that as the world urbanizes faster than in any previous age, in little over a generation from now, our planet’s population will be two-thirds urban.
Dificult challenges
The fact is that in coming decades climate change may make hundreds of millions of urban residents – especially the poorest and most marginalized – increasingly vulnerable to loods, landslides, extreme weather and other natural disasters. City dwellers may also face reduced access to fresh water as a result of drought or the encroachment of saltwater on drinking water supplies. Indeed, thermal expansion of oceans and melting ice will lead to a rise in sea levels threat-
ening many coastal settlements. These are the forecasts, based on the best available science. While all coastal cities face such threats, the impact of those with populations of over 10 million inhabitants will be substantial. These big coastal cities are Los Angeles, New York, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lon-
don, Lagos, Cairo, Karachi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dhaka, Jakarta, Manila, Shanghai, Osaka-
Kobe and Tokyo.
And look at what some of these cities ac-
tually face: Without extensive adaptation efforts, a 1-metre sea level rise in New York could not only inundate coastal areas, but have a devastating impact on the subway system, sanitation facilities, power plants and factories.
Rising sea levels threaten the world’s biggest cities
The global population, today more than ifty per cent urban, faces a very dangerous threat from powerful, human-induced forces unleashed by development and manipulation of the environment in the industrial age. The latest research by UN-HABITAT tells us that the effects of urbanization and climate change are converging in dangerous ways. Urban residents are becoming increasingly vulnerable to loods p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
London is protected from high tides and storm surges by the Thames Barrier. But more frequent storms and the pressure of rising sea-
levels increases risk to the city.
Lagos, Nigeria, like other cities in the region, is built on low-lying marshy ground. Already sub-
sidence, coastal erosion, looding, salty ground-
water and soil, are problems which a rise in sea levels would render potentially disastrous.
It is estimated that the cost of adapting about 1,000 Japanese ports to enable them to function under a sea-level rise 1 metre is esti-
mated at USD 110 billion. Just days after Rio de Janeiro hosted the ifth session of UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Forum in 2010, many people died when unu-
sually heavy downpours washed away some shanty settlements or favelas nestled precari-
ously on steep slopes above the city centre. Besides the big cities, climate disruption also threatens much of the world’s cultural heritage: In 2002, looding in Europe dam-
aged concert halls, theatres, museums and li-
braries in the Czech Republic which lost half a million valuable books.
St. Mark’s Square in Venice loods about 50 more times each year today than it did in the early 1990s, caused by land subsidence, according to a European Union report. Rising sea levels will exacerbate the problem of the city’s structural integrity.
Severe loods threaten many historical sites in northeast Thailand, and have already dam-
aged the 600-year-old ruins of Sukothai, the country’s irst capital, and of Ayutthaya, the capital during the 14th-18th centuries. In the Caribbean Sea, the Belize Bar-
rier Reef, a World Heritage Site, has suffered “bleaching” because of higher water tempera-
tures, and will suffer further should sea tem-
peratures rise as forecast. But we have the know-how
“Yet none of these scenarios needs to occur, provided we act now with determination and solidarity,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “This is because alongside these threats, lie equally compelling opportunities.”
We have the science and the know-how to tackle many of the problems cited above. Cities and towns contribute signiicantly to climate change – from the fossil fuels used for electricity generation, transport and in-
dustrial production, to waste disposal and changes in land use.
It is here where we as individuals can make a difference. Cities after all represent the great-
est achievements of human civilisation, and al-
though urban areas, with their high concentra-
tions of people, industries and infrastructure, are likely to face the most severe impacts of climate change, urbanization will also offer many oppor-
tunities to develop cohesive mitigation and ad-
aptation strategies to deal with climate change.
The populations, enterprises and authorities of urban centres will be fundamental players in developing these strategies. While some cit-
ies are shrinking, many urban centres are see-
ing rapid and largely uncontrolled population growth, creating a pattern of rapid urbanization.
Urbanization and climate change
The fastest rates of urbanization are currently taking place in the least developed countries, followed by the rest of the developing countries – comprising three-quarters of the world’s ur-
ban population.
Since urban enterprises, vehicles and popu-
lations are key sources of greenhouse gas pol-
lution, understanding the dynamics of urban GHG generation is critical.
As arguably our planet’s biggest pollut-
ers, cities the heart of human innovation and knowledge, are surely able to reduce or miti-
gating emissions, adapt to climate change, and enhance sustainability and resilience.
The dynamics of urban centres are inti-
mately linked to geography, including climate and location in relation to natural resources. But urbanization is not only a source of risks – certain patterns of urban development can increase resilience.
The implications for urban centres
Temperatures are also rising. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there was an increase of 0.74°C between 1906 and 2005. Urban centres have played a key role in global warming, although the extent of their role is not yet fully understood.
Human activity in cities such as the combus-
tion of fossil fuels, large-scale industrial pollu-
tion, deforestation and land use changes, among others, have also led to increasing greenhouse gas pollution of our atmosphere together with a reduction of the capacity of oceans and vegeta-
tion to absorb ilter them.
Developing countries generated only 25 per cent of the per capita emissions of developed countries. A select number of developed coun-
tries and major emerging economy nations are the main polluters. These uneven contributions are at the core of both international environ-
mental justice issues and the global community’s struggle for effective and equitable solutions.
Humanity is therefore facing two main chal-
lenges which cities can help address: the need to adapt to climate change, and the urgent need to mitigate those human-induced forces driving climate change.
Rising sea levels will increase looding problems in Venice p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
Climate change and cities
“During the next 30 years, cities and their citizens will face an even tougher struggle to mitigate the causes of, and adapt to, in-
creased greenhouse gas emissions,” wrote World Bank specialists DH and PB in an ar-
ticle in Urban World (March 2009). “How humanity responds will deine much of the rest of the Urban Century.” Linkages between urban areas and climate change
How urban centres contribute to climate change requires an understanding of how transport, heating and cooling systems, industries and other urban activities and buildings act as emit-
ters and as direct causes of climate change. The climate and natural endowments and economic base of a city signiicantly shape en-
ergy-use patterns and GHG emissions. Moreo-
ver, afluence has been repeatedly acknowl-
edged as a signiicant driver of GHG emissions, along with the size, growth, structure and den-
sity of the urban population.
Urban development can bring increased vulnerability to climate hazards, but a focus on the exposure of urban settlements to climate change hazards alone is insuficient to under-
stand climate change impacts. Attention to ur-
ban resilience, development, socio-economic and gender equity, and governance structures as key determinants of adaptive capacity and actual adaptation actions is also necessary. Not all demographic segments of urban popu-
lations are equally affected by the hazards ag-
gravated by climate change.
The IPCC reported, for example, that wom-
en and children are 14 times more likely to die than men in a disaster. Many slum residents around the world are often environmental refugees who have led from loods, droughts or other calami-
ties in outlying areas. And in the slums themselves, the residents often live in places highly vulnerable to the impacts of disasters such as loods, and are also least able to cope with the effects. The President of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, the Vancouver City Council-
lor, David Cadman, told Urban World that it would take the same kind of resolve and com-
mitment to tackle climate change as it did to land a man on the moon.
“We must learn to live gently on the earth to make sure its bounty and abundance will be there for future generations,” he said.
Possible impacts on our cities: • As many as 200 million people will be displaced by climate change by 2050. • It is predicted that sea level rise and its associated impacts will, by the 2080s, affect ive times as many coastal residents as they did in 1990. • In coastal North African cities, a 1-2 degree increase in temperature could lead to sea level rise exposing 6-25 million residents to looding. • By 2070, almost all cities in the top ten exposure to looding risk category will be located in developing countries (particularly in China, India and Thailand). • Today around 40 million people live in a 100-year lood plain. By 2070 the population living at this risk level could rise to 150 million people. The estimated inancial impact of a 100-year lood would also rise from USD 3 trillion in 1999 to USD 38 trillion in this time. • In Latin America, 12-81 million residents could experience increased water stress by the 2020s. By the 2050s this number could rise to 79-178 million.
Source: UN-HABITAT Global Report on Human Settlements 2011
David Cadman, ICLEI President and Vancouver City Councillor p
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October 2011
Urban population
Proportion of total
population living
in urban areas ( per cent)
Urban population
rate of change
( per cent change per year)
2010 2020 2030 2010 2020 2030 2010–2020 2020–2030
World total 3,486 4,176 4,900 50.5 54.4 59.0 1.81 1.60
Developed countries 930 988 1,037 75.2 77.9 80.9 0.61 0.48
North America 289 324 355 82.1 84.6 86.7 1.16 0.92
Europe 533 552 567 72.8 75.4 78.4 0.35 0.27
Other developed countries 108 111 114 70.5 73.3 76.8 0.33 0.20
Developing countries 2,556 3,188 3,863 45.1 49.8 55.0 2.21 1.92
Africa 413 569 761 40.0 44.6 49.9 3.21 2.91
Sub-Saharan Africa 321 457 627 37.2 42.2 47.9 3.51 3.17
Rest of Africa 92 113 135 54.0 57.6 62.2 2.06 1.79
Asia/Paciic 1,675 2,086 2,517 41.4 46.5 52.3 2.20 1.88
China 636 787 905 47.0 55.0 61.9 2.13 1.41
India 364 463 590 30.0 33.9 39.7 2.40 2.42
Rest of Asia/Paciic 674 836 1,021 45.5 49.6 54.7 2.14 2.00
Latin America and the Caribbean 469 533 585 79.6 82.6 84.9 1.29 0.94
Least developed countries 249 366 520 29.2 34.5 40.8 3.84 3.50
Other developing countries 2,307 2,822 3,344 47.9 52.8 58.1 2.01 1.70
Urban population projections, by region (2010–2020)
Urban population in different ‘ecozones’, by region (2000 and 2025)
Share of urban population ( per cent)
Ecozone Year
Africa Asia Europe
2000 62 59 83 85 87 86 65
2025 73 70 87 89 90 92 74
Low-elevation coastal zone
2000 60 56 80 82 79 82 61
2025 71 68 85 86 83 90 71
2000 38 42 70 75 67 67 48
2025 48 55 75 81 72 80 59
2000 40 40 66 78 49 61 45
2025 51 51 70 84 60 75 55
2000 21 28 53 64 36 53 37
2025 31 41 59 72 40 68 47
Inland water
2000 51 47 78 84 77 71 55
2025 62 58 82 88 80 83 64
2000 21 27 46 50 11 54 32
2025 30 40 53 60 13 67 43
Continent average
2000 36 42 69 74 66 66 49
2025 47 55 75 80 70 78 59
Source: UN-HABITAT/Balk 2011 Global Report on Human Settlements 2011
Source: UN, 2010. COVER STORY
Climate change and cities
October 2011
Cities in relation to current climate related hazards
The greenhouse effect
City size
1m – 5m
5m – 10m
> 10m
Note: The urban areas included in this igure have populations greater than one million. The hazard risk represents a cumulative score based on risk of cyclones, looding, landslides and drought. ‘0’ denotes ‘low risk’ and ‘10’ denotes ‘high risk’.
Source: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011
Source: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011
The cost of hurricane Katrina
The city of New Orleans is located on vulnerable lands at the mouth of the Mississippi River on the Gulf of Mexico. Due to its proximity to the Missis-
sippi and the gulf, the area has strategic economic importance for the petrochemical industry, as well as international trade. New Orleans’s long-
standing infrastructure and population centres have become increasingly at risk from climate events; coastal defences and other land areas are subsiding as a result of groundwater withdrawal, man-made changes to the low of the Mississippi River prevents silting and the build-up of new land, and the below sea-level elevation of much of the city requires continuous pumping of water.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused exten-
sive damage to physical infrastructure and the economies of the gulf coast region. The eco-
nomic losses were in the hundreds of billions of US dollars. An estimated 1.75 million property claims were iled, totalling more than USD 40 billion. Over 250,000 claims were iled as a re-
sult of lood damage, which would have bank-
rupted the National Flood Insurance Program were it not given the right to borrow an addi-
tional USD 20.8 billion.
In the Gulf of Mexico, over 2100 oil and natu-
ral gas platforms and 15,000 miles (24,140km) of pipeline were affected. A total of 115 platforms were lost, with 52 suffering heavy damage; 90 per cent of total Gulf of Mexico oil production and COVER STORY
Climate change and cities
October 2011
80 per cent of natural gas were idled, with lost production equalling over 28 per cent of annual production. The damage to the petrochemical corridor, which produces half of the US supply of gasoline, caused disruptions in economic markets worldwide, resulting in the largest spike in oil and gas prices since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) embargo of 1973. In the irst two months following Hurricane Katrina, over 390,000 people lost their jobs, with over half coming from low-wage earning jobs. As of 2006, only 10 per cent of businesses in New Orleans had returned and reopened. The full macroeconomic costs of Hurricane Katrina of 2005 are estimated at USD 130 bil-
lion, while the gross state product for Louisiana (US) in the same year was USD 168 billion. (Source: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011)
Before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, New Orleans was the fourth largest port in the world in terms of transported tonnage. However, as a result of the damage from hurricanes, port operations were halted for a period of time, which forced a realign-
ment of shipping destinations and functions that, because of the high cost of realignment, could become permanent. Climate disruption and the insurance industry
• In 1992, Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida (US) and resulted in over USD 45 billion in damage (2005 dollars). In the aftermath, 12 insurance companies dissolved.
• The average annual damage from hurricanes in the US is estimated to increase by USD 8 bil-
lion (2005 dollars) due to intensiication, assuming a scenario in which CO2 levels double.
• By the 2080s, a severe hurricane season in the US would increase annual insured damage by 75 per cent, while in Japan, insured damage would increase by 65 per cent.
• Insured damage in Europe are estimated to increase by 5 per cent as a result of extreme storms, with the costs of a 100-year storm doubling from USD 25 billion to USD 50 billion by the 2080s.
• Miami (US) has over USD 900 billion of capital stock at risk from severe coastal storms, and London (UK) has at least USD 220 billion of assets located on a loodplain.
• The gross regional product of the New York City region (US) is estimated to be nearly USD 1 trillion annually and losses from a single large event could be in the range of 0.5 to 25 per cent, or as much as USD 250 billion.
• In Russia, insurance costs along the Lena River have increased during recent years as a result of more frequent and severe looding.
• By 2100, looding could cause over USD 94 billion in property damage in metropolitan Boston (US) if no adaptive actions are taken, with homeowners on 100-year and 500-year loodplains sustaining an average of USD 7000 to USD 18,000 in lood damage per household.
Source: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011
The economic losses from Hurricane Katrina ran up to hundreds of billions of US dollars p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
October 2011
Bringing blue skies
back to Urumqi The City of Urumqi, fast-growing capital of China’s Xinjiang Province, has embarked on an ambitious plan to combat air pollution and cut greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts are assisted by the Sino-German research project RECAST Urumqi. Here some of the people* helping bring back the blue skies, Bernd Franke, Jiarheng Ahati, Ding Xuefeng, Peng Xiaoyan, Christian Hennecke, and Tang Hengzhi tell their story. From 2007 to 2034, emissions from heating Urumqi’s buildings are expected to fall by 30 per cent p
© recaSt u
Climate change and cities
October 2011
he City of Urumqi, with a population of 3.1 million, is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region and calls it-
self the central city of Central Asia. It is growing fast and is expected to be home to 4.8 million people by 2020. More than 15 million tonnes of coal were burned in Urumqi annually, half of it for heating in the very cold winters when tem-
peratures plunge well below zero. This raised Urumqi’s air pollution above the 60 per cent level, and created health problems costing the city millions of dollars annually.
The energy eficiency master plan
To tackle this, Urumqi adopted an Integrated Heating and Building Energy Eficiency Mas-
ter Plan in 2010. It included an investment plan to retroit buildings and make them more energy eficient, boost the eficiency of district heating, and impose higher energy ef-
iciency targets on new buildings.
Between 2007 and 2034, CO
emissions for the heating of Urumqi’s buildings are expected to decrease by more than 30 per cent even though the total built up area will more than double. The heat will increas-
ingly be supplied by coal power plants with cogeneration and equipped with lue gas scrubbers. Thus, it is hoped that the skies of Urumqi will be blue again within the next decade, offering wonderful winter views of the beautiful Tianshan mountains. Currently 33 per cent of the heat is lost before it reaches private consumers. In April 2011, the World Bank approved a loan of USD 100 million to redress this. The aim is to reduce annual heating carbon emissions from the 2007 level of 112 million tonnes to 77 million tonnes by 2034.
The plan calls for an acceleration of the building retroit programme by 2020. The Sino-German project, RECAST Urumqi, funded by Germany’s Federal Department of Education and Research (BMBF) is support-
ing this effort with two key projects.
The irst zero emission building
in Urumqi
For the irst project, in the south of Urumqi, an agricultural education centre was trans-
formed into the irst zero-emission building in the provincial capital. The heat demand in the very cold winters is supplied by solar heat-
ing with an innovative seasonal storage. Com-
bined with better insulation and a loor heat-
ing system, it has helped cut heating energy demand by more than 85 per cent.
For this project, the Construction Commit-
tee of Urumqi, University of Xinjiang and the Xinjiang New Energy Institute worked with the German partners, IFEU Heidelberg, Culture-
bridge Architects and the Passive House In-
stitute. The energy certiicate for the irst zero emission building in Urumqi provides a trans-
parent picture of the improvements and serves as a role model for other projects. Experience gained in this project will help to tailor energy retroit options to other buildings. The irst “passive” building in Urumqi RECAST Urumqi is also supporting the con-
struction of the irst so-called passive building in Urumqi which is being built by Dacheng Real Estate Co., a major investor in public and private buildings in Urumqi. A passive building has a comfortable interior climate which can be maintained without active heating and cooling systems. It is heated mainly by sources inside such as lights, appliances and the body temperature of residents, hence it is “passive”. Its heating demand is just 13 per cent that of buildings built as per the 2010 standard for new buildings in Urumqi. The Xingfu Lu project combines a sustain-
able building design attractive to clients despite higher construction costs. It will demonstrate that a market for energy eficient buildings can be created. The experience gained in this project is of great value to Urumqi and beyond. *The authors form the energy group of RE-
CAST Urumqi, a Sino-German research project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and many Chinese partners. Bernd Franke is from the Heidelberg-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research; Jiarheng Ahati of the Xinjiang Academy of Environmental Protection Sciences is the project director. Ding Xuefeng and Peng Xiaoyan are from the Urumqi Con-
struction Committee; Christian Hennecke is from Culturebridge Architects, Grüns-
tadt/Beijing; Tang Hengzhi is director of Dacheng Real Estate Co., a major investor in public and private buildings in Urumqi and is the sponsor of the irst passive build-
ing on the Silk Road.
It is hoped that Urumqi will have blue skies within the next decade p
© recaSt u
Climate change and cities
October 2011
Mayor reveals Liaocheng’s plan for an ecological city
As China makes great strides in its modernization since embarking on its reform and opening-up policy in 1978, many cities are trying hard to speed up economic growth while at the same time ensuring environmental conservation. In this article, which portrays new thinking for cities dealing with climate change, Dr. Song Yuanfang, Mayor of Liaocheng City, says some of the answers lie in changing the way we think from “ighting against nature” and “conquering nature” to “a harmonious coexistence of people and nature”. Liaocheng, also known as the water city, is seeing substantial ecological improvements for its 5.85 million residents p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
s an inland city in the west of Shan-
dong Province, less developed than those along the coast, Liaocheng has also gone through momentous change and achieved unprecedented development. However, like many other cities in China, Liaocheng faces great challenges in accelerat-
ing economic growth and protecting the envi-
ronment at the same time. To address this, we have actively encouraged the creation of what we call an ecological civilisation. It conforms with both the Outlook of Scientiic Develop-
ment of the Chinese government and the Com-
munist Party, and the United Nations’ ideas on socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development.
The idea of ecological civilization is a new concept based on lessons learned from the in-
dustrial civilization and traditional industry. It is built on the premise of respecting nature and focuses on the harmonious coexistence of people, their culture, economics, nature and society in general and our way of life. This requires a new mindset. We have to change our way of thinking from “ighting against nature” and “conquering nature” to “a harmoni-
ous coexistence of people and nature”. We must also change from the extensive growth model of overconsumption of energy and causing environ-
mental damage, to a sustainable, fast and sound development track.
The simple ideology that growth is equal to development must be replaced by a compre-
hensive plan for the development of people. In concrete terms, our government has set out the strategic tasks required to construct an ecogical civilization. They are:
1. To improve the ecological
We are implementing the central government stipulation on energy conservation and emis-
sion reduction and have signed responsibility documents with towns (cities and districts) and key enterprises. We strictly conduct a responsi-
bility investigation, and ensure each measure is properly implemented. Thus in the past three years, 30 coal-ired power plants with 75 gen-
erators have adopted desulphurization tech-
nology while 50 large energy-consumption en-
terprises and 130 major polluting plants have conformed with the new standard. We have eliminated a number of outdated production works, and shut down dozens of en-
terprises unable to meet the standard. In 2009, COVER STORY
the city’s energy consumption per unit GDP decreased by 18.7 per cent compared to 2005, while carbon and sulphur discharges dropped by 16.51 per cent and 9.99 per cent respectively. We are actively committed to ecological construction. At present, we have built seven ecological demonstration sites and an eco-con-
servation zone at Dongchang Lake, cleaned up waste lands so that forest coverage now reach-
es 30.2 per cent, and green coverage in urban areas 42.3 per cent, while we have improved the percentage of days of good air quality to 94.2 per cent. In recent years, we have gained a number of honours: the National Sanitary City, the Top Ten Recreation Cities, the Top Ten Cities with speciic charms, and the Top Ten Green Ecological Cities. Last year, we passed the technical evaluation to be a dem-
onstration city for environmental protection.
2. To cultivate an ecological culture We encourage people to show respect for nature, and here, construction is a key point in cultivating ecological culture. We value cultural infrastruc-
ture construction, and have built facilities like a new museum, cultural centre, sports stadium and theatre. We have developed cultural tourism projects along the Tuhai and Majia rivers.
3.To develop an ecological economy
In accordance with the requirement for in-
dustry to be strong, steady, and sustainable, we have developed a number of well-known large enterprises. For example, the Xiang-
guang Copper Eco-industrial Park now un-
der construction, will have a copper output of 400,000 tons. Using the most advanced technology, it is classiied as one of the Top Ten Environment-friendly Projects. We are encouraging the development of a recycling economy and have developed many pilot com-
panies. Shandong Tralin Group, for instance, produces fertilizer with lignin, a side product of pulping, and irrigates farmland with recy-
cled water. This has led to huge cost savings. More than 80 per cent of our large and medi-
um sized companies have their own technical centres or learning departments. The electric bus produced by the Liaocheng Zhongtong Bus & Holding Co., Ltd is a key national sci-
entiic research project. It provided transport during the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. 4. To develop an ecological society In 2009, amidst the global inancial crisis, the expenditure on social security and employ-
ment promotion increased by 25.18 per cent, education up by 41.36 per cent, medical and health care 29.3 per cent higher, and agri-
culture, forest and water management up by 32.85 per cent. We continue to improve our social security system, and ensure affordable living standards. The oficial unemployment rate in urban areas is 3.18 per cent. More than 98 per cent of residents in rural areas have medical insurance, and there are 80 homes for the aged in rural areas. We make great ef-
forts in infrastructure construction and social undertakings in rural areas focusing on water, gas, power, roads, hospitals and schools. Al-
most every village in the Liaocheng Prefecture has access to telephone and cable TV, and is connected by roads and provided with bus services, while 80.3 per cent of people in vil-
lages now use tap water. We are committed to building a safe Liao-
cheng. Building an ecological city is a concept, and also a target. Liaocheng and our 5.85 mil-
lion inhabitants are proudly committed to building an ecological civilization. Dr. Song Yuanfang, p
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Mayor of Liaocheng City Climate change and cities
Patrimonio Hoy
In Mexico, about 330 000 low income families-
approximately 1.5 million people- have fulilled their desire to build or improve their home with the support of Patrimonio Hoy.
Originated in 1998, Patrimonio Hoy is a self-sustaining program that beneits families and low-income communities, by providing comprehensive and affordable solutions for self building, and assisting them in this proc-
ess with services such as: inancial, professional Cemex promotes
sustainable development
Having a decent place to live and an honest and legitimate job are essential for the well-being and development of societies. Therefore, as part of its various programs aimed at boosting sustainable development, CEMEX has set up two social programs that encourage self-employment amongst the low-
income populations: Patrimonio Hoy and Productive Self-employment Centers (CPA).
and technical advice, and free storage with pric-
es that do not vary over time.
The program provides inancing access at rates below the market average for families that are not normally subject to credit, without any requirement other than the commitment and perseverance of the family to the project.
To date, through Patrimonio Hoy 1,985,000 square metres in 47 countries have been built and the social impact has gone beyond the borders of the country beneiting also low-in-
come families in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nica-
ragua and Dominican Republic.
As the private social program that supports self-building for the biggest number of families in the world and as a model to other business organ-
izations designed to meet the needs of families at the bottom of the pyramid, CEMEX received the World Business Award from the United Nations Organization (UNO) in 2006 and the 2007 Cor-
porate Citizen Award of the Americas issued by the Organization of American States (OAS).
October 2011
Patrimonio Hoy provides affordable solutions for self-build homes p
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October 2011
Moreover, the Patrimonio Hoy model is a case study in the most prestigious business schools in the United States, like Harvard and Michigan.
Productive Self-employment Centers Another program that CEMEX promotes for low-income families is the Productive Self-
employment Centers (CPA), which gives un-
employed people the opportunity to work for-
mally in the manufacturing of prefabricated elements for self building
The scheme operates in partnership with municipal or state authorities, which provide the land on which the CPA is installed. CEMEX provides the materials, machinery and training for those selected for the operation. Recently, other companies, universities and nongovern-
mental organizations have joined this effort with important contributions in materials, counseling and other support for the popula-
tion served by this program.
These temporary workers registered with the CPA make prefabricated building materials. Half of the production is delivered to them as a payment, so that they take advantage to build or improve their homes, as part of a process of as-
sisted self building. The other half is bought by government authorities for the construction of infrastructure in the community.
The pattern of self-employment production center was used successfully to support families in the states of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and Coahuila, affected by hurricane “Alex”, which struck the northeast of Mexico in July of 2010.
In Mexico, 33 CPA´s operate in 31 cities, beneitting 48,261 families generating more than 3,390 temporary jobs.
Because of the positive social impact of these centers in 2010, CEMEX received the award for Best Corporate Citizen in the category of Eco-
nomic Opportunity, awarded by the Organiza-
tion of American States (OAS) and the Founda-
tion of the Americas.
CEMEX´s Sustainable Development Pro-
grams in Mexico, which include the Productive Self-employment Centers (CPA) and Patrimo-
nio Hoy have beneited more than ive million people in ten years. In Mexico, 33 CPA´s operate in 31 cities, beneitting 48,261 families p
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Because of the positive social impact of these centers in 2010, CEMEX was given awards p
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by the OAS and the Foundation of the Americas
October 2011
The need to build
regenerative cities
The Kyoto Protocol is up for renegotiation and it will hopefully be superseded by another framework for reduc-
ing carbon emissions. But even that is unlikely to provide strategic options on how to move to a low-carbon society where it matters most – in our cities. Here, *Herbert Girardet, Stefan Schurig and Nicholas You make a passionate call for low-carbon urban development.
Cities can substantially reduce their carbon footprint by producing more resources from their immediate surroundings p
© t
Climate change and cities
October 2011
ith just over half of humanity liv-
ing in urban areas, cities already generate 80 per cent of all wastes including greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, the future of urbanization - the most carbon-
intensive mega-trend of our millennium - will need to be addressed at international meet-
ings such as Rio+20 and Habitat III. The transition from a fossil fuel dependent society to a low-carbon eco-society needs to take place in all regions and across all sectors. Whilst there are numerous entry points to pursuing this transition, the outcome is none other than the regenerative city. Such a city minimises its ecological footprint by produc-
ing a substantial proportion of its resources from its surrounding environment. For such a city to become reality, urban de-
velopment will need to undergo a paradigm change. Most of the issues are known and many solutions already exist. These include: compact communities; energy eficiency in buildings; waste recycling and reuse; e-mobility; smart grids and renewable energy production.
Metabolism of the city
Much of the debate on carbon reduction has focused on reducing our dependence on fos-
sil fuels. Transforming our cities into regen-
erative systems, however, needs to go beyond the energy equation. The metaphor here is the ‘metabolism of cities’. The metabolism of modern cities is linear - resources low through the urban system and waste lows out. This is very different from nature’s circular metabolism, where the waste generated by one organism serves as a resource for others. In a predominantly urban world, cit-
ies will need to adopt circular systems to assure their own viability as well as that of the rural environments on which they depend. The water deicit
Water scarcity and poor water quality have gravely affected human health, especially in rapidly growing urban centres. While experts argue over governance and pricing structures to address the “looming water and sanitation crisis”, few are asking the right question: “Why do we lush fresh water down our toilets?” Each person needs about ive litres of water a day. Of the average 300 litres consumed per day, typically 30 litres are lost through leak-
age, 70 litres are used to lush toilets, 150 litres for washing and cleaning, which results in grey water, and up to 50 litres for gardening.
No city in the world would be seriously chal-
lenged to provide ive litres of drinking water per day. Most cities could also easily treat 70 litres of sewerage per day. Very few cities, how-
ever, have found a sustainable and cost effective solution to treating 70 litres of sewerage mixed with 150 litres of grey water per day. Grey water can easily be treated at the neighbourhood or building level for reuse twice: once for cleaning and gardening, the second time for sanitation. The result would be a two-thirds reduction in the volume, cost and energy required for sewerage treatment and up to 90 per cent reduction in fresh water demand. Are we confronted with a water crisis or a water management crisis? The nitrogen deicit
While considerable progress has been made in solid waste recycling and re-use, one area that is rarely addressed is the relationship be-
tween cities and the nitrogen deicit.
Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for sustain-
ing our food production systems. Limits on available nitrogen constrain how much plants can grow and the amount of carbon dioxide they absorb. In modern agriculture nitrogen is replenished using fertilisers that are mostly syn-
thesized from fossil fuels. Yet our cities discard vast amounts of nitro-
gen as well as phosphates and potassium, the main macro-nutrients required by plants. The human metabolism only absorbs a fraction of these nutrients contained in the food we con-
sume. For this reason, urea typically contains 70 per cent of the nitrogen and more than half the phosphorus and potassium found in urban waste water, while making up less than 1 per cent of the overall volume. Source separation and on-site treatment of urea can resolve several challenges. It can help close the cycle of nutrient lows required to grow our food. It can support one of the key elements of food security by using local re-
sources as a nutrient base. It can also help re-
duce the costs and energy intensity of sewage treatment and the ecological damage caused by disposing nutrient rich efluent into aquatic and marine ecosystems. More cities are turning to e-mobility in an effort to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
E-mobility and low-carbon urban design
The transport sector accounts for about a quarter of total urban energy use and contributes about a third of urban GHG emissions, as well as other pollutants which affect the health of urban inhab-
itants. More than 85 per cent of the energy used in urban transport currently uses fossil fuels. As economic growth and urbanization con-
tinue apace, demand for individual mobility and the transport of goods and services will multiply substantially. Unless there is a major shift from current energy and land use pat-
terns, transport energy demand could increase by 75 per cent by 2030 over 2002 levels. In the long run, land use planning, favouring compact urban settlements where daily needs for products and services can be supplied and ac-
cessed by non-motorised forms of mobility, will be critical to low-carbon urban development.
In the short and medium term, cities have little choice but to pursue alternative mobility options including public transit systems uti-
lizing regionally-supplied renewable energy. A new dimension of low-carbon urban development resides with e-mobility, or electric powered bicycles, pedi-cabs, cars, buses and light trucks. Architects have long used low-energy design to provide comfort-
able living and working environments. A key reason why these design innovations are not widely used is the need to insulate buildings in urban areas from noise pollution. This compels architects to seal their ediices and to rely on energy-intensive heating, ventila-
tion and air conditioning. The principle source of noise pollution in cities comes from vehicles using the internal combus-
tion engine. E-vehicles generate so little noise that they are now equipped in Japan with noise generators to signal their presence to pedestri-
ans. A promising option for low-carbon urban development will be to reserve access to entire urban districts by e-vehicles only, enabling de-
sign options that would far exceed the current benchmarks for energy-eficient buildings. Renewable energy and the promise of the green economy In mature economies, urban areas account for over 70 per cent of energy demand. Of that amount, three quarters is used to heat, cool, light and run residential and ofice buildings. For this reason, much attention has focussed on energy-eficient building design and the retro-itting of existing buildings. While the proportion in energy use varies considerably for emerging economies, the trend is clear: as urbanization continues apace, cities will rapidly account for a major portion of global energy de-
mand. The implications for rapidly urbanising countries are evident: invest in energy eficient buildings today and pay much less tomorrow!
The beneits of the green economy lie not just in energy eficiency. They reside in decentralized renewable energy production at the city-region level. This includes wind, solar, methane capture and, where applicable, geothermal and mini-hy-
dro. Such systems have numerous advantages: they substantially reduce the carbon footprint of cities while making them healthier; they make cities and national economies less vulnerable to COVER STORY
*Professor Herbert Girardet is co-
founder of the World Future Council, consultant and ilmmaker. He is an hon-
orary fellow of Royal Institute for Brit-
ish Architects (RIBA), a patron of the Soil Association, and a recipient of a UN Global 500 Award ‘for outstanding envi-
ronmental achievements’. Stefan Schurig is an architect. He is the Director for Climate Energy of the World Future Council and coordinates the Cli-
mate Expert Commission on Cities and Climate Change. He was the spokesperson of Greenpeace for nine years and authored numerous articles and publications on the subject of climate, energy and cities.
Nicholas You is an architect-planner and economist and former senior policy advisor at UN-HABITAT. He is the Chair of the World Urban Campaign Steering Committee and of the Assurance Group for the Urban Infrastructure Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustain-
able Development, and a member of the Expert Commission on Cities and Climate Change of the World Future Council.
luctuating oil and gas prices and more resilient to disasters; and, they make use of off-grid and mini-grid conigurations well-suited for small towns and unserviced settlements. But the true promise of the green economy, especially for most developing countries, is the ability of localised energy production to liberate and internalise large amounts of capital that are otherwise used to purchase oil, gas and coal. Oil imports alone for developing countries reached USD 80 billion in 2010 and are likely to reach USD 100 billion in 2011. An annual investment of USD 36 billion, focusing on renewable off-
grid and mini-grid options, would ensure uni-
versal access to modern energy by 2030, and generate millions of meaningful jobs. In summary, the regenerative city, while assur-
ing a high degree of eficiency in resource use, also replenishes the ecosystems on which its long-term wellbeing depends. The solutions and the creative spirit to put them into practice exist. There is no time to lose in developing the policies and strate-
gies to support their implementation. As part of an e-mobility strategy, p
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cities are turning towards electric-powered bicycles Climate change and cities
October 2011
ver the past decade, climate change has evolved from an issue champi-
oned by a few pioneering urban au-
thorities to an increasingly mainstream agen-
da for the world’s cities. Relecting a growing realisation about the potential vulnerability of cities to the impacts of climate change and the growing concentra-
tion of greenhouse gas emissions in cities, the number of municipal networks engaged with the climate change has increased, and their membership diversiied to include cities in all regions of the world. Simultaneously, a growing range of ac-
tors, including national governments, inter-
Urban strategy must be uniied on climate change
Harriet Bulkeley at the Department of Geography, Durham University and Vanesa Castán Broto and Gareth Edwards, both with the Development Planning Unit, University College London, assess urban responses to climate change in global cities.
national agencies, charities, foundations and multinational corporations, have sought to mobilize action to address climate adaptation and mitigation at the urban level. There is, however, a paradox at the heart of this new found enthusiasm for urban responses to climate change. On the one hand, research suggests that the translation of political commit-
ments and policy rhetoric into substantial and systemic municipal responses has been limited.
Very few municipalities have pursued a comprehensive, planned, approach to cli-
mate governance, and most that have tried have encountered significant challenges. Viewed from this perspective, it may ap-
pear that, despite the growing resources and political commitment, cities are able to do little to respond.
On the other hand, despite the absence of integrated urban climate policy, numerous in-
itiatives and interventions in cities which seek to address climate change appear to be rapidly proliferating. Whether related to eco-develop-
ments, new technologies, speciic measures, community-based initiatives, corporate build-
ings, infrastructure renewal programmes or the like, climate change is increasingly viewed as a critical dimension of urbanization. This paradox – of the apparent lack of ur-
ban climate policy accompanied by a constant Many cities have a high political commitment on climate change but action remains weak p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
stream of climate-related projects and initia-
tives – requires that we look more closely at how and where we might expect to ind cli-
mate governance in the city.
To date, when seeking to explain the nature and implications of urban climate governance, attention has primarily focused on how and why climate policy has emerged within munici-
palities and on designing policies to improve urban planning and to address the challenges of limited institutional capacity. These are very real challenges, particularly in low-income neighbourhoods where vulnerability to the ef-
fects of climate change is greatest and the abil-
ity to cope most limited. As a result, calls are frequently made for more resources, the development of new institutions, or the further integration of climate change into other urban agendas.
There are many cities where levels of gov-
ernance capacity and political commitment are high, but action on climate change remains weak. This suggests that the challenges of urban climate governance cannot be overcome simply by addressing the institutional basis.
Additional challenges relate to issues of politi-
cal economy, of the conlicts emerging between addressing climate change and other fundamen-
tal goals of urban economies, as well as manag-
ing everyday use of energy, transport and water.
Our analysis identiied 627 experiments tak-
ing place in 100 cities. It showed that urban cli-
mate change experiments are a relatively recent phenomenon, with 79 per cent of initiatives hav-
ing started in the past ive years. It also showed that experiments are as likely to be found in cit-
ies in the global South as in the North, and that their regional distribution approximates that of the cities in our sample. Clear regional differences
We did, however, ind clear regional differences in the types of experiment undertaken. Those in Asia, North America and Africa most frequently take place in the urban infrastructure sector, while in Europe and Oceania the built environ-
ment sector dominates.
Following the pioneering experiences of cit-
ies such as Curitiba, Bogotá and Mexico City, it is perhaps not surprising that most Central and South American experiments in our sample take place in the transport sector. Carbon sequestration projects are also con-
centrated in Central and South America, driven by the interest in the Amazon (Brazil) and urban tree planting programmes (e.g. Bogota, Caracas, Lima, Quito), but are relatively rare overall. Finally, adaptation projects which are exper-
imental in character are relatively rare, though in our sample they are concentrated in cities in North America and Asia. While experimentation is predominantly technical in character, a large number of ex-
periments seek to develop novel forms of social 250
Urban Form
North America
South and
Central America
Types of climate change experiment in different regions
Social Innovation
Urban Form
Technical and social innovation in climate change experiments intervention – for example in the form of new partnerships, behavioural change campaigns, or voluntary codes of conduct.
Despite this, however, few experiments explicit-
ly consider issues of social and environmental jus-
tice, raising questions about whether such urban responses to climate change incorporate concerns about unequal relationships of access to resources and protection from climate-related risks.
Climate change and cities
October 2011
Reconiguring energy use
In much of the world, the ability of cities to both adapt to and mitigate the effects of cli-
mate change centre on reconiguring existing housing and energy systems. Many existing buildings are not thermally eficient, meaning that residents must use more energy than ideal to heat or cool their homes. But in most cases, demolishing and rebuilding with more energy-eficient designs is neither practical nor desirable.
Take, for instance, the case of Philadelphia. The ifth-largest metropolitan area in the US, Philadelphia is famous for its ‘row houses’, which make up 75 per cent of the city’s resi-
dential housing stock. Most were constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and be-
cause of their age and the fact that their lat or gently sloping roofs are typically coated with black asphalt, row houses in Philadelphia are energy ineficient. This means more energy is required to heat and cool them, which both contributes Acknowledgement: This research has been supported by Harriet Bulkeley’s ESRC Climate Change Fellowship, Ur-
ban Transitions: climate change, global cities and the transformation of socio-
technical networks (Award Number: RES-066-27-0002). to greenhouse gas emissions and results in higher energy bills for residents.
However, signiicant improvements to the energy-eficiency and thermal comfort of row houses can be achieved by retroitting them with just a few energy eficiency upgrades. Firstly, in-
stalling a ‘cool-roof’ which relects the sun’s heat; secondly, installing or upgrading insulation, and thirdly, air sealing to minimize draughts.
Carrying out these three steps on 15 per cent of Philadelphia’s housing stock (around 100,000 homes) is the third target of the City of Philadelphia’s 2009 ‘Greenworks’ plan. To raise awareness of energy eficiency and promote its Weatherization Assistance Program, the City of Philadelphia partnered with the Energy Coor-
dinating Agency and the Dow Chemical Com-
pany in 2010 to sponsor a competition called the ‘RetroFIT Philly “Coolest Block” contest’. This competition gave residents the opportu-
nity to win a cool roof, air sealing and insulation upgrades by joining together and submitting an entry for their block. Seventy-four blocks en-
tered the competition, and the upgrades were installed on the winning block during 2010-11. Examining how successful this competition was in promoting understanding of energy ef-
iciency in homes and the options available to successfully weatherize them is the subject of ongoing research, but the competition itself is an example of how the interests of multiple actors can converge in ways that may simulta-
neously facilitate the transformation of urban socio-technical systems whilst constraining the modes of their transformation. Philadelphia’s ‘row houses’, once retroitted, can substantially increase their energy eficiency p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
n developing countries, unintended con-
sequences of climate change action may have disproportionate impacts on those who have little access to inluence policy-
making. This is particularly true for people in slums and other informal settlements.
For example, increased levels of hazard risk linked to climate change threaten the Can compact planning
help the urban poor? During the last decade, cities have demonstrated that they can lead climate change initiatives by implementing a wide rage of adaptation and mitigation measures through interventions in urban form, planning, transport systems, service provision and green infrastructure. But as *Vanesa Castán Broto, Cassidy Johnson and Adriana Allen explain, these actions have profound effects on the lives of urban citizens, especially the urban poor.
Only 200 families out of 2,000 were relocated before the mudslides in Teresópolis, Brazil p
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tenure security of those living in informal settlements, especially those located on steep slopes or nearby lood-prone areas. It is often argued that these settlements which have an increased likelihood of disaster events (such as looding, inundation or land-
slides) should be removed and their dwellers relocated to safer areas.
This is the case, for example, in Rio de Ja-
neiro State, where experts have linked grow-
ing informal urbanization with hillside ero-
sion leading to mudslides. Before mudslides in the towns of Teresópolis and Novo Friburgo in January 2011, the State had identiied 2,000 and 4,000 families in each city respectively living in high-risk areas, and had started re-
Climate change and cities
October 2011
locating some of them to safer areas. One of the main criticisms raised against the govern-
ment, in this case, was that only about 200 families in these areas had been relocated be-
fore the tragedy struck. However, before advocating relocation, government policies should question whether being relocated could actually make people worse off. Relocation may negatively affect access to livelihoods, municipal services and social networks. Moreover, in rapidly growing cities, land scarcity may mean that alterna-
tives for relocation may pose additional risks to those being relocated. In short, policies must tackle the structural causes of informal settlements rather than blaming these settlements and their dwellers for their increased vulnerabilities. Another measure which often affects urban informal settlements is the drive towards in-
creased density to achieve low-carbon urban forms. Increased density is often correlated with a decrease in carbon emissions, as it is exempli-
ied in the cities of Barcelona and New York.
This has led to a trend towards implement-
ing compact city principles in urban plan-
ning, as the city of São Paulo pledged its Cli-
mate Change Action Plan. Following Western models of urban development, compact city planning is often identiied with high-rise buildings. However, high rise development responds directly to land scarcity problems and business-inspired models of urban de-
velopment rather than to the creation of a liveable and low-carbon city. But high-rise may not be the answer for those living in informal settlements. For exam-
ple, in a meeting with Thailand’s CODI (Com-
munity Organization Development Institute) in Bangkok in May 2011, community leaders working towards the upgrading of their com-
munities rejected high-rise building models as an option for housing.
This is not only due to cultural values, but also relates to the way societies and economies are or-
ganized in informal settlements. The renowned architect Arif Hassan argued that “poor people can create liveable high-density settlements as long as community control, the right technical assistance and lexible designs are in place.” Furthermore, in thinking about density, there is a need to recognize the capacity of in-
formal settlement dwellers to reinvent the city in sustainable ways. For example, cities contain many spaces which are generally considered unsuitable for building; yet, people living in in-
formal settlements can transform these unused spaces into productive places. *Ms. Broto, a lecturer at the Development and Planning Unit in University College London, served as a consultant for the 2011 Global Report on Human Settlements on Cities and Climate Change. Ms. Johnson, is also a lecturer at the same department, and Ms. Allen a senior lecturer.
In Bangkok, for instance, local residents have demonstrated the housing and produc-
tive potential of spaces alongside canals and transport infrastructures which otherwise would remain abandoned.
A study in the Korail district of Dhaka, Bangladesh, shows that people build their houses to reduce the effects of heat, without relying on costly fans or air-conditioners, by placing windows and roof openings to capture wind and by using plants to offer shade cover in outdoor working and gathering spaces.
As part of a study visit in Rangsit, a munici-
pality in the peri-urban area of Bangkok, Thai-
land, in May 2011, we interviewed a community leader who had attended a workshop which inspired him to develop his community as an energy-saving model for other communities. He saw potential in windmill energy as a way to secure electricity for the whole community, for which he was looking for an external inves-
tor. He estimated the investment needed as 40 million Baht (USD 1.5 million). Furthermore, he was lobbying for a collective methane plant which could secure their supply of cooking gas while dealing with their organic waste, two ini-
tiatives not beyond the realm of possibility. Understanding how current climate change policies are affecting informal set-
tlement dwellers is therefore an urgent task, especially when considering that some inter-
ventions are likely to produce unintended consequences detrimental to the lives and livelihoods slum dwellers.
In addition, urban planners and profession-
als would be foolish to overlook the capacity of people in informal settlements to develop innovative strategies to deal with climate vari-
ability, whether it is in building designs or in community organization practices. Climate compatible development can be understood as a synonym of transformative development: this is, inding out the strategies which in the long term will deliver both climate protection and enhanced quality of life. Bangkok residents take advantage of canals for transport routes and unused spaces p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
How urban agriculture
can help tackle global warming
In its 2010 report, the World Bank pleads for innovative “outside-the-box” solutions to climate change adaptation. Here, Marielle Dubbeling, Senior Advisor Urban Agriculture ETC AgriCulture and Global Coordinator RUAF-From Seed to Table Programmes, and RUAF Foundation* Director, Henk de Zeeuw, explain how urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry is one of these “outside-the-box” solutions.
Rooftop gardens can help reduce heating and cooling requirements p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
rban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry can play a strong role in en-
hancing food security for the urban poor, greening the city and improving the ur-
ban climate, while stimulating the productive reuse of urban organic waste and reducing the urban energy footprint. This was recognized at the International Tripartite Conference on Urban Challenges and Poverty Reduction in African, Caribbean and Paciic countries as having high potential for improving the urban environment and urban adaptation to climate change (UN-
HABITAT 2009).
Urban agriculture cities become more resil-
ient by reducing the incidence and impacts of loods and landslides on the urban poor, and by diversifying food sources, income opportunities and green job creation. Urban agriculture also acts as a safety net in times of economic crisis.
City strategies
To strengthen climate change adaptation in urban areas, city governments can stimulate sustainable agriculture and forestry in lood zones and wetlands to prevent construction. Urban wastewater can be recycled and safely applied in a number of uses including loricul-
ture, fruit crop and forest irrigation.
They can encourage planted rooftops to re-
duce heating and cooling requirements, pro-
ductive parks, home and community gardens with fruit trees. Examples here include Amman, Jordan, where urban forestry has been adopted as a pillar of the four major components of the World Bank supported city-wide Clean De-
velopment Mechanisms project.
Freetown, Sierra Leone has zoned all wet-
lands and low-lying valleys for urban agricul-
ture. Toronto, Canada has a climate change plan which includes inancial support to community based orchards and gardens. Durban, South Af-
rica, is promoting productive green rooftops for storm water management. Likewise, Brisbane, Australia. Makati City, the Philippines promotes fruit tree planting in open areas. The way forward
To better integrate agriculture and forestry in city climate adaptation and mitigation strate-
gies, it will be important to make available plan-
ning guidelines and “best practice” manuals.
It is also important to train municipal staff and local organizations on how to integrate ur-
ban agriculture in city climate change strategy and land use planning. There is also a need for demonstration projects, as well as the development of indica-
tors and tools to monitor the adaptation and mitigation impacts of urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry. Reclaiming peri-urban areas in Trinidad, Bolivia
Trinidad, Bolivia is surrounded by sea-
sonally looded plains. The city is growing fast due to climate-induced migrations and population growth. Urban poor and migrants have occupied low-lying areas vulnerable to loods. Trinidad depends to a large extent on outside food supply trans-
ported along an one road for 500 km from Santa Cruz. Weather conditions, increasing fuel prices and social unrest often disrupt supplies. Transport represents about up to 20 per cent of monthly expenses of small food traders and households. In an attempt to support development and reducing vul-
nerability to food imports and looding, the Municipality as part of its Five-Year Development Plan, and with the support of FUNDEPCO and OXFAM, has established 100 hectares of raised cultivation ields in the peri-urban areas, prone to both lood-
ing and illegal occupation for settlements. These raised structures resemble an an-
cient agricultural technique common in the region, and have a ring ditch-and-wall to protect it from loods, wildires and to re-
tain water in the canals during drought. The crops are grown, and ducks and chick-
ens raised along the canals. The beauty and elegance of the system are expected to become a major tourist attraction. Plans are afoot to build observations posts, a museum, a crafts centre, provide canoe visits, and to serve the local fare in restau-
rants. Thanks to this innovation, farming again becomes viable in marginal and lood-prone areas.
* The RUAF Foundation is an international network of seven regional resource centres and one global resource centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security. In 1996 the international Support Group on Urban Ag-
riculture (SGUA) took the initiative to set up a Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF), in response to the expressed need of organizations and lo-
cal governments in the South for effective mechanisms for the documentation and exchange of research data and practical experiences on urban agriculture
Toronto provides inancial support to community-based orchards and gardens p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
Why deny
our climate is changing? Looking at extreme weather events around the world, Edward T. McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute, asks why some politicians’ views on climate change are so at odds with the scientiic community – and for that matter, with the rest of the world. This article was carried on, a UN-
HABITAT World Urban Campaign partner.
Fires that raged across Arizona, USA, is one example of increases in extreme weather from climate change p
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Climate change and cities
October 2011
riends who live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado recently complained that pine bark beetles were bringing dev-
astation to local forests and throughout the Rocky Mountain West. According to recent reports, Colorado and Wyoming have lost 3.5 million acres of mountain forest to the bark beetle, with up to 100,000 trees on average falling every day.
As bad as the problem is, scientists with the US Forest Service say the problem is likely to get even worse in coming decades as coniferous forests adjust to climate change. Warmer win-
ters allow the beetles to survive and multiply.
Like a canary in a coalmine, the bark bee-
tles are just one of the many early warning signs of accelerating global climate change. Climate change is here. It is affecting us now, in numerous ways, both seen and unseen. Even those who deny the reality of climate change are having trouble denying the accu-
mulating evidence that something is going terribly wrong with our natural world.
According to the National Oceanic and At-
mospheric Administration, 2010 was the hot-
test year in the hottest decade ever recorded. The 2010 heat wave in Russia killed an estimat-
ed 15,000 people. Apocalyptic loods in Aus-
tralia and Pakistan killed 2,000, and left large swaths of each country under water.
This year, things have not improved. In the US alone, nearly 1,000 tornados have roared across the heartland, killing more than 500 people and inlicting USD 9 billion in damage. Historic looding has plagued communities all along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
The largest wildires in memory razed hun-
dreds of thousands of acres in Arizona and New Mexico. Parts of Texas are in the worst drought in more than a century as heat waves plague large tracts of North America.
The US Weather Service announced that July 2011 was the hottest month in Washington, D.C. since record keeping began in 1872. Peo-
ple may blame this on hot air from Congress, but the mercury has been rising from coast to coast. In early August, 18 states had tem-
peratures over 100 degrees. Dallas reported 35 straight days of 38 C heat. The sustained high temperatures and drought have turned parts of the Southwest and Great Plains into a parched landscape of cracked earth. Indeed, wherever you look around the globe, communities are reporting extreme weather events of unparalleled scope and severity: the hottest temperatures, the most severe droughts, the biggest mudslides, the worst wildires, the longest heat waves, etc.
Scientists have been saying for years that as the planet heats up, we will have to deal with more severe weather. While we can’t attribute any particular heat wave or tornado to global warming, the trends are clear: global warming loads the atmospheric deck to deal out heat waves and intense storms more often.
Jay Gulledge, Director of the Science and Impacts Program at the Pew Center says: “Climate change is a risk factor for extreme weather just as eating salty food is a risk factor for heart disease.”
Despite overwhelming scientiic consensus and mounting evidence all around us, why are so many elected oficials unwilling to accept that climate change is a serious threat that de-
mands immediate attention?
One theory is that climate change is now “part and parcel” of America’s “culture wars”. Similar to abortion, gay rights, school prayer and other social issues, climate change has be-
come a partisan political issue.
This might explain why House Republi-
cans recently pushed legislation to overturn a 2007 law, signed by former President George W. Bush, that would gradually phase out old-
fashioned incandescent light bulbs in favour of new energy eficient bulbs.
“Having to buy energy eficient bulbs is an affront to personal freedom ,” they said; nev-
er mind the fact that the average home owner would save almost USD 90 a year by switch-
ing to the energy saving bulbs, and also never mind that the law, once fully implemented, would eliminate the need for 33 large power plants, according to one estimate.
A Gallup poll conducted earlier this year found that a majority of Americans support the energy eficiency bulb law and that most Amer-
icans have already switched to more energy ef-
icient bulbs. So what else explains why some politicians’ views on climate change are so out of sync with our scientiic community — or for that matter, with the rest of the world? A cynic might say that fossil fuel interests, like coal companies, have used the tobacco industry’s playbook of: disinformation, high priced lobbyists and their own so-called “ex-
perts” to confuse the public and delay action. However, a new study published in the Spring 2011 issue of Sociological Quarterly suggests another reason. It inds that conservatives’ failure to acknowledge the real threat of cli-
mate change, has more to do with its implica-
tions rather than scepticism of scientiic facts.
Conservatives believe in small govern-
ment, reduced spending, and a go-it-alone foreign policy. But solving climate change will undoubtedly require robust government, increased expenditures, and a great degree of international cooperation.
People will go to great lengths to rationalize their deeply held beliefs. Science and logic are a lost cause in the face of ideological rigidity. To accept climate change is to question the wisdom of some people’s core beliefs.
“I believe the world is getting warmer and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said recently. “It is important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gas-
es that may be signiicant contributors.” While Romney’s statement wasn’t the least bit radical or controversial, some conservative commentators called it “political suicide”. Hopefully, like the groundbreaking visit of the late President Richard Nixon to China, thought-
ful conservatives will eventually embrace what has become abundantly clear: our climate is changing and we ignore it at our peril. “Climate change is a risk factor for extreme weather just as eating salty food is a risk factor for heart disease.” Jay Gulledge
In 2011, Washington DC had p
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the hottest July since records began in 1872 COVER STORY
Climate change and cities
October 2011
Climate change and cities
ranslating aspirations for a low-carbon future into real-world progress is noto-
riously complex, challenging and often expensive in the short-term.
To advance, regional and local govern-
ments must accept the premise that a more sustainable way of life is worth working to-
ward by investing time and energy in the out-
comes. Government authorities at all levels have to be convinced it is worthwhile. Busi-
nesses have to be able to see where they it in so they can invest. The vast array of tech-
nology needed to build a low-carbon future has to be viable – in both the functional and inancial sense. And most importantly, the needs and behaviour of the citizens have to be hard-wired into the plans if they are to have any real prospect of success.
Add to all of this, the massive discrepan-
cies in geography, climate, resources, culture and economic standards in towns and cities around the globe and it is easy to see why eco-
developments, and low-carbon schemes can be so dificult to build.
Yet even in face of all these challenges, and against a backdrop of global recession, there has rarely been such great interest in building for a better future.
Practically zero
The ambition of creating truly zero-carbon cities worldwide may be just a step too far at present – indeed some would argue that it is barely worth considering at a time when global emissions are still rising fast. But the good news is that there is great interest in making practical contributions to a low-carbon future today.
In recent years, Arup’s experts, designers and engineers have found a huge appetite for practical change among governments, researchers, stakeholders, NGOs, developers and city authorities around the world as the sustainability debate gains traction.
Towards a low-carbon future
Sustainable urban planning, eco-developments, smart cities, zero carbon cities – each of these terms represents an aspiration for a better way of life. Here, James Kenny discusses zero-carbon cities and eco-development with some of his colleagues from the global design engineering group, Arup.
London, like Stockholm and Milan, has introduced congestion charging to cut vehicle numbers p
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October 2011
Climate change and cities
“People are not just making a token nod in the direction of the latest green engineering trend for the sake of looking good. In many cases, they are fundamentally reappraising the struc-
tures, networks, infrastructure and technolo-
gies that support people’s daily lives to build a low-carbon future,” says Mark Watts, Director at Arup. “We are still a very long way from mak-
ing the changes we need, and of course fund-
ing remains a huge issue, but the momentum is slowly shifting in the right direction.”
The C40 Cities Climate
Leadership Group
The C40 represents large cities around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sus-
tainable policies to help address climate change and its report – Climate Action in Megacities – suggests progressive thinking is taking root in cit-
ies as diverse as New York and Addis Ababa.
In the area of transport, for example, Lon-
don, Stockholm and Milan have introduced congestion charges to cut vehicle numbers and carbon emissions. Beijing, Rome and Seoul also operate time/day restrictions on cars entering the central business district.
Combined with bus mass transit, smart ticketing, hybrid electric vehicles and popular bike schemes such as the Paris Vélib’, it seems that transport is proving to be fertile ground for carbon reduction. This is just as well, since transport is the sector where greenhouse gas emissions are rising most quickly and the number of road vehicles on the world’s roads is set to nearly double from just over 1 billion in 2010 to 2 billion in 2020.
The C40 report also highlights the impact of energy use in buildings, which accounts for 45 per cent of the C40 cities’ carbon emissions.
There is evidence that more cities are taking the situation seriously, and not just on build-
ings. São Paulo, for example, has installed thermoelectric power plants to burn biogas at two landill sites, while Johannesburg and Warsaw are among the vast majority of cities which have set clear targets to cut waste vol-
umes and CO
Bangkok, for example, is creating early warning systems for severe weather and pol-
lution risks, while New York is preparing for increased lood risk through better stormwater management in the form of green roofs and planting schemes.
Meanwhile, Addis Ababa is planting an incredible 3 million new trees to reduce vul-
nerability to climate stress, while Arup’s engi-
neers are increasingly working with cities such as Manila in the Philippines and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to tackle water resource and lood management.
David Singleton, Director and Global Planning Leader at Arup, says: “Inevitably, the world must transition to a low-carbon economy where we live within environmental limits. We must focus on building the health, resilience and well-being of communities in all that we do.”
Integrated places
Progress in existing towns and cities around the globe has inspired many developers and govern-
ment authorities to imagine a zero-carbon future – or at least a future where economic develop-
ment is decoupled from environmental impact.
And clearly, it is easier to imagine achieving the ultimate goal working from a blank page where every building, infrastructure link and waste management system can be designed with low-carbon outcomes in mind. In Helsinki, for example, the Finnish Innova-
tion Fund, Sitra, is working with Arup and de-
velopment partners, SRV and VVO, on a EUR 60 million low-carbon housing and commercial building complex at Jätkäsaari, a reclaimed goods harbour to the west of central Helsinki.
The Director of Strategic Design at Sitra, Marco Steinberg, said: “Our design approach will allow the community to become carbon negative within 10 years.” A global approach
If global development is to continue at the pace witnessed in large emerging economies such as China, Brazil, India and Indonesia, for ex-
ample, then they will all have to ind common cause with other countries around the globe in tackling climate change.
First, it is not enough to tinker around with green engineering and technological quick ixes. If we are serious about the climate threat then planners, architects, engineers, develop-
ers, stakeholders and governments at all levels need to understand the need to analyse how communities and businesses interact with the entire eco-system. That means looking at all the linkages in a holistic way, from energy sources and transport modes to lood resil-
ience, health and well-being, all of which are capable of very rapid change.
Second, we need to ind solutions that take all these variables into account in our ecological urban designs, embedding low-
carbon goals in our thinking alongside busi-
ness need, risk, and social and cultural pa-
rameters, for example.
And inally, we need the vision, leadership and imagination to make our aspirations for a better quality of life and a low-carbon future a reality for those on the planet we all share – as well as for those who will come after us. Copenhagen leading the way
The Danish capital, Copenhagen (popula-
tion 540,000), has just published a ma-
jor report on the lessons it has learned, Copenhagen: Solutions for Sustainable Cities. It details the progress the city has made in cleaning up the city its ports to the point where there is now recreational swimming in the harbour, boosting well-
being and tourism, coping with escalat-
ing water demand, creating sustainable, integrated transport networks, using wind for renewable energy making the most of waste (the city sends less than 2 per cent of its waste to landill, much of which is used to generate heat), and heating and cooling the city more eficiently to the point where 97 per cent of buildings are now connected to a district heating system, which has cut carbon emissions by over a third.
The aim of the study is to inspire other urban authorities to follow Copenhagen’s lead by explaining the approach to green growth. Says Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen: “It was thought that environmen-
tally friendly development would limit economic growth. However, quite the re-
verse turns out to be true. Green growth can, indeed, boost economic development and the quality of life.”
“Inevitably, the world must transition to a low-carbon economy where we live within environmental limits.”
David Singleton, Arup
October 2011
Healthcare Development Conference
26-28 October 2011, Chicago, United States
10th International Conference on Urban Health
1-4 November 2011, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
World Toilet Day Summit
22-25 November 2011, Haikou, China
Emergency Medicine in the Developing World
15-17 November 2011, Cape Town, South Africa
Safe Roads Middle East Conference 21-22 November 2011, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
IRF International Conference: Innovation in Road Infrastructure
22-24 November 2011, Moscow, Russia
International forum on Integrated Water Management
23-25 October 2011, Sherbrooke, Canada
Asia Water Summit
17-18 November 2011, Jakarta, Indonesia
2011 World Green Energy Symposium
19-21 October 2011, Philadelphia, USA
2011 International Conference on Oil,
Gas and Environment
21-23 October 2011, Cairo, Egypt
Clean Futures 2011 28 October 2011, Sunshine Coast, Australia
4th NUR International
Scientiic Research Conference – Energy
16-18 November 2011, Butare, Rwanda
International Seminar on Climate Change
and the Role of Local Government
27-28 November 2011, Dhaka, Bangladesh
International Conference on Sustainable Development
5-7 December 2011, Putrajaya, Malaysia
Future Cities
18-19 October 2011, Stockholm, Sweden
Asian Urban Forum 2011: Financing Future Cities
16-17 November 2011, Manila, Philippines
Gendered Violence Conference
23-25 November 2011, Bristol, United Kingdom
Inaugural Trans Urban International Conference (ITIC)
12 November 2011, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2nd Annual Building Partnerships within Urban Indigenous Communities
29-30 November 2011, Melbourne, Australia
Calendar of events
The United Nations
Climate Change Conference, COP 17 / CMP 7
Date: 28 November – 9 December 2011
Destination: Durban, South Africa
Description: The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011, will bring together representatives of the world’s governments, international organizations and civil society. The discussions will seek to advance, in a balanced fashion, the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan, agreed at COP 13 in 2007, and the Cancun Agreements, reached at COP 16 last December.To feature your events in the Calendar section,
please send details to
October 2011
Renewable energy
ome to some two million people, Thane is one of eight municipalities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. As a result of its proximity to Mumbai, the city has experienced rapid growth for the past decades. Such explosive growth dates back to the 1980s, when the population was just over 400,000.
Today, Thane District is one of the most popu-
lous in India. And politicians and public oficials are concerned about how to cope with this ex-
panding population and at the same time provide the infrastructure to meet growing demand. The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has thus taken steps to increase renewables and energy eficiency for the entire city.
Over the past decade, the Corporation has experimented with novel energy schemes for public buildings such as theatres and hospi-
tals, and in 2005 the local legislative body enacted a building by-law making the use of solar water heating mandatory for all new public and private construction. More re-
cently, in 2009, Thane became one of the irst cities to join India’s Solar Cities Programme and committed to a city-wide 10 per cent en-
ergy reduction over the next ive years. India’s Planning Commission considers that in order to meet the energy needs of the country whilst maintaining a GDP growth of 8 per cent per year, electricity generation capacity will have to be increased more than ive times over in the next 20 years. Innovation: public services running on renewables
The Thane Municipal Corporation has pushed for energy innovation in its operations through differ-
ent small to medium-scale projects, such as solar powered trafic lights, solar water heating for the India pioneers use
of solar power in city of Thane
Local energy governance plays a key role in the transition to low-carbon urban infrastructure. However, energy planning and local energy governance are largely absent from the agenda of most cities around the world. Here, Andrés Luque of the Department of Geography at Durham University’s Energy Institute, tells the interesting story of the alternative offered by Thane on the outskirts of the Indian metropolis, Mumbai.
Thane has committed to a 10 per cent city-wide reduction in energy p
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use in the next ive years 38
October 2011
Renewable energy
city’s hospitals, thermal storage at the city’s main public auditorium and even a 50 kW photovoltaic system for the municipality’s ofices.
One of the most recent innovations, for ex-
ample, is an air conditioning system running on parabolic concentrated solar energy at Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the city’s main public hospital. Over 90 solar parabolas are located in the roof of the hospital to generate water steam, which is then directed to a vapor absorption unit acting as a heat exchanger for the purpose of cooling air.
The hospital provides air conditioning only for the operation rooms and other sensitive medical areas that run during the daytime, so the solar system is appropriate for the spe-
ciic needs of the building. Local government taking the lead
Perhaps one of the most notable things of this energy innovation is that the leadership comes from a local government, rather than the private sector or a regional or national level energy agency. As with any other innovation, risks are part of the experience. However, the municipality’s en-
ergy eficiency ofice known as the ‘Energy Con-
servation Cell’, convinced the local legislative body to assign funds for this energy innovation. The Maharashtra Energy Development Agency provided additional funding and private sector partners committed to techno-
logical delivery.
Payment to the private partners occurs only upon delivery, testing and third party veriica-
tion, and their terms of reference include a ive year maintenance period that extends their re-
sponsibility and accountability. In this way the Thane Municipal Corporation has succeeded in distributing and managing risk.
Scaling up:
mandatory solar hot water systems In 2005, Thane was one of the irst Indian cit-
ies to enact a building by-law making the use of solar hot water systems mandatory for all new constructions. Such local policies had already been recommended by the Indian government, although very few cities went on to implement it. But in Thane, builders do not get a inal occupa-
Acknowledgements The author would like to thank ICLEI-SA, the Thane Municipal Cor-
poration and the solar industry in Maharashtra for their support in the development of this research. Research leading to this article has been funded by the Durham Energy Institute and the Department of Geography at Durham University, UK. tion certiicate unless they show proof of instal-
lation of solar water heaters. Thane is an excep-
tion in this regard, and today its growing urban landscape can be distinguished by its extensive use of solar hot water systems on roofs. The results of Thane’s mandatory policy on solar hot water systems can be seen as a suc-
cess. Just in public hospitals solar hot water is saving the municipality up to 500MW per year and almost USD 50,000 in energy bills.
The users’ experience of solar hot water sys-
tems is often tarnished by cheap, low quality and undersized installations and solar industry leaders in the state of Maharashtra are wor-
ried that Thane’s mandatory requirements for solar hot water have resulted in of low quality systems, potentially damaging the reputation of what still today could be considered as an emerging technology. Energy planning Whilst energy eficiency and renewable energy can deliver signiicant inancial and energy secu-
rity beneits to cities, their implementation often receives a low priority in local agendas. On the one hand, energy decisions are often outside of the remit of local authorities, while on the other, local governments tend to focus on more pressing urban needs, such as water provision, sanitation, lood prevention, waste collection and transport. Through the funds provided, the Municipal Corporation is planning to establish a public energy information and resource centre, the Solar City Cell. It is expected to generate pub-
lic awareness on energy issues, engage with inal users, and help iron out some of the quality problems encountered.
Local energy governance
Thane’s experience shows the multiple pos-
sibilities associated with energy governance activities at the local level. It also points to the pivotal role that local governments will play in a world characterized by resource constraints. Matters of energy conservation, renewable technologies and low-carbon transitions gain a new meaning when seen from the local lens. A by-law makes the use of solar-powered hot water systems mandatory p
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for new buildings 39
October 2011
From grass to grace:
UN-HABITAT builds new homes for Darfur migrants
Tom Osanjo, a staff writer with UN-HABITAT’s Information Service, recently visited a new housing project for displaced people in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. He sent this irst-hand account of
UN-HABITAT’s work in the ield. A new classroom offers hope to residents of Sakali camp p
© un-haBItat / t. o
October 2011
hese are some of the most vulnerable victims of conlict anywhere in the world. Displaced in one of Africa’s worst conlicts, the residents of the Sakali camp outside Nya-
la, the state capital of South Darfur, occupy a parched corner of the world on the southern fringes on Africa’s Sahara desert. Today, the camp is home to some 4,000 people. The residents initially led to a camp called Kalma, also on the outskirts of Nyala, but subsequent hostilities forced them to lee again and they set up camp at Sakali. Enter UN-HABITAT
It was at this point that UN-HABITAT came on the scene and built six model homes to show the internally displaced survivors of conlict how they can build back better.
The agency later entered into an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to improve living con-
ditions in the camp.
Using the Stabilized Soil Block (SSB) tech-
nology, the two agencies embarked on a train-
ing programme teaching the residents how to make cheaper bricks for their homes. The use of SSB technology means that people do not have to cut down trees for kilns to ire their bricks, thus contributing to environmental conservation in a part of the world more and more threatened by climate change.
The residents were then encouraged to participate in building houses for their fellow survivors fortunate enough to be chosen as the irst beneiciaries of the project.
A block of classrooms followed for the local girls’ primary school. To cater for the health of the residents, a clinic has also been built at the camp. The Paramount Sheikh of Sakali, Mohamed Lein, says that the project has seen his people move from their former grass and straw houses to new houses of grace.
According to the Sheikh, after the training on SSB, nearly all of the 866 households at Camp Sakali participated one way or another in building the irst six homes, an exercise he said contributed to better bonding for the residents.
“By working communally, I witnessed a strong bond being developed among my peo-
ple and this to me was very encouraging,” he says. To him, the education the young people received in making the special blocks was the most important.
In addition to the girls’ school, Sheikh Lein is appealing for more classrooms to be built so that as many young people as possible can go to school. Talking to other parents at the camp, what comes out is that the need to offer one’s children better opportunities in life seems to be an inborn human trait. Be it in Paris, Rome, Bogota or Saakali, most parents want their chil-
dren to have a better start in life than they had.
Take the case of another beneiciary at the camp, Ms Mariam Ibrahim. The widowed mother of 10 says her biggest dream is for her children to inish school so they can better their own lives. And the house she got at the project is a good launching pad for her chil-
dren’s education, she says.
“This house has more rooms and the chil-
dren can concentrate more on their studies. I am praying that they may excel because edu-
cation is crucial in this modern world,” said the 55-year-old.
Similar sentiments are expressed by yet another beneiciary Khalifa Mohammed. The blind father of six doesn’t want his children to go through life relying on well wishers as he himself has done. “Having become blind soon after my primary education there was nothing much I could do and when this op-
portunity to get a house came I could only be grateful. Now my biggest worry is to get my children through school.
Both Mariam and Khalifa expressed the hope that a benefactor would help them es-
tablish some small-scale business to see them manage sustainable livelihood. “A business of my own would be me self-reliant and I am sure my life and that of my family would improve for the better,” said a conident Khalifa behind his dark sunglasses.
A model housing project
The UN-HABITAT project has won accolades from many – including top United Nations oficials – saying it was a pioneer in housing the needy.
One of the oficials to heap praise on the project was the UN Emergency Relief Coor-
dinator and Undersecretary-General, Valerie Amos. Others include oficials of the State Government of South Darfur as well as a sister agency, the United Nations High Com-
missioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Speaking recently after a visit to the camp, Amos said the importance of inding durable solutions for displaced populations was raised during her discussions during the visit.
Everyone, she said had the right to return home or settle in an alternative location of their choosing in appropriate conditions with their safety and security guaranteed. “By working communally, I witnessed a strong bond being developed among my people and this to me was very encouraging.” Mohamed Lein
Mohamed Lein p
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October 2011
“Humanitarian workers are ready to as-
sist where there is clear humanitarian need, and where the government is not able to provide the required support,” said Amos. “When displaced people do not want to re-
turn to their area of origin, we need to assist their integration into existing communities and support the development of sustainable livelihoods.” Also expressing satisfaction with the project were the Senior Engineer in South Darfur’s Ministry of Planning Eltayib Abdelrahman and the Director of National Housing Project Mansour Abdallah Yahya.
“SSB is a cheap technology which is very rel-
evant to our situation and we are happy with the progress so far made,” Abdelrahaman said in an interview in Nyala.
“When we were looking for cheap ways of helping to resettle the IDPs (internally dis-
placed people), UN-HABITAT approached us with the SSB technology and we fully em-
braced it,” said Yahya.
No trees required
The superiority of SSB over the ired brick is that it is environmentally friendly. For example, for one typical 4 x 4 metre room built with ired bricks, 14 mature trees have to be cut to feed the kilns, while with SSB technology no trees are cut. Considering the growing deforestation problem in Darfur and the number of IDPs this is a huge contribution to environmental conservation.
The beneiciaries on the ground are even more enthusiastic. Take the example of Al-
surrah Awad. “It is a move from grass to grace and we are really thankful because our people now live with some measure of dignity. And this, I believe, is how human beings are supposed to live.” Mohamed Lein
The elderly widow is one of the benei-
ciaries who were moved from the informal settlement of Salama within the city to Al Rasheed, some 40 kilometres away. Instead of the hovel she was living in, Alsurrah now has two rooms and a verandah and there is also space to build a pit latrine within her walled compound. “I had lost hope that I would live the rest of my life in the slums but now I am living my dream,” she says as she cuddles her two granddaughters, Zubar, 7, and Mashaar, 4.
UN-HABITAT Field Oficer Emmanuel Uwurukundo said the agency was now explor-
ing ways of replicating it in the camps it runs for refugees especially in neighbouring Chad.
“We want to sensitize the host govern-
ment oficials to the suitability of this tech-
nology in addressing the habitat needs of the refugees,” he said.
But the inal words come from Paramount Sheikh Mohamed Lein: “It is a move from grass to grace and we are really thankful be-
cause our people now live with some measure of dignity. And this, I believe, is how human beings are supposed to live.” The new school at Sakali camp p
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October 2011
Capacity building
Lake Victoria Initiative launches
capacity building programme in Rwanda
A capacity building programme for Rwanda, as part of the second phase of Lake Victoria Water Initiative, has been launched at a Stakeholders Workshop in Kigali. The programme, to be im-
plemented by UN-HABITAT, will provide technical assistance and training to the East African Community and ive East African countries to ensure the effective implementation and long-
term sustainability of the second phase of the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation, which is being funded by the African Development Bank.
The workshop was attended by representatives of the Government of Rwanda, the Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) and the mayors and vice-mayors of the three towns in Rwanda that will be targeted by the programme.
“It is important to start the capacity building activities as early as possible to ensure that the infrastructure facilities are well integrated into the long-term development plans of the towns and that the necessary capacity is in place to effectively manage the facilities once they are com-
pleted,” said Robert Goodwin, Chief of the Lake Victoria Section, in his remarks at the opening ceremony. “UN-HABITAT is committed to working closely with the government, the imple-
menting agency and town councils to ensure the success of the programme.”
The Deputy Director-General of EWSA, James Sano, who opened the workshop on behalf of the Rwandan government, called on UN-HABITAT to give early attention to building the capacity of EWSA in utility management and operations and to assisting the towns in establishing eficient systems for the delivery of solid waste management and environmental sanitation services.
During the workshop, a number of priority capacity building activities were identiied and fo-
cal points established to facilitate the work of UN-HABITAT in the participating towns. A work plan for the capacity building programme will now be prepared to enable UN-HABITAT to start the capacity building activities in late 2011.
NEWS: Africa
Executive Director highlights role of humanitarian staff
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos has praised the agency’s humanitarian staff and their colleagues working in disaster zones in many coun-
tries around the world, especially in the Horn of Af-
rica which is gripped by conlict, high food prices and drought. The food crisis there is the gravest in the world with over 12 million people already in desperate need of help in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia.
Strengthening urban climate change education
in Africa
In collaboration with Uganda’s Makerere University, UN-HABITAT held a workshop for African Universities aiming to strengthen urban education by integrating climate change dimensions. The meeting conceptual-
ized generic modules to be used in urban planning and related courses. These modules covered: an in-
troduction to climate change and urban planning; urban vulnerability assessments; climate change and disaster risk reduction; and climate change and water cycle management.
East African towns beneit from new training programme
Eleven towns in the Lake Victoria Basin are now able to provide improved urban management and basic services following the recent completion of an inte-
grated programme of training and capacity building which targeted municipal councils, service providers, NGOs, Multi-Stakeholder Forums and Community-
Based Organizations. The programme is a compo-
nent of the Lake Victoria Region Water and Sanitation Phase I, which aims to deliver water, sanitation and solid waste management improvements in the 11 towns of Kisii, Homa Bay and Bondo in Kenya; Masaka, Kyotera Mutukula and Bugembe in Uganda; and Bu-
koba, Muleba, Mutukula and Bunda in Tanzania. YOUTH
First urban youth assembly held in Nigeria
At the irst African Urban Youth Assembly, held in the Nigerian capital Abuja, young people from 53 African countries called on world leaders to provide justice, dignity and empowerment for youth. With a theme of ‘Youth and Prosperity of Cities’, the meeting took place over three days with young people deliberat-
ing on how to inspire, empower and enable youths to learn from a network of young active citizens in Africa to promote open societies.
Stakeholders at the workshop in Kigali
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October 2011
NEWS: Africa
Football helps communities in Korogocho slums
The United Nations at Nairobi (UNON) football team recently joined hands with Mathare United Football Club for a football clinic, as well as a cleanup exer-
cise of the Korogocho slums in Nairobi. Korogocho is one of the slums earmarked to beneit from the ‘Dream Balls for Hope and Development Initiative’, which aims to promote sports development in urban areas. (See main news story)
Understanding residents’ needs key to slum upgrading
At an international meeting called ‘Change by De-
sign’, held at the UN Headquarters in Nairobi and co-organized by Architecture Sans Frontieres UK, The Pamoja Trust, and UN-HABITAT’s Housing Poli-
cy Section, local and international actors working on slum upgrading emphasized the importance of understanding the wide range of views of resi-
dents when working to improve the standard of living in urban areas.
Kenya Vice-President inaugurates UN-HABITAT water project in Kisii prison
The Vice-President and the Minister for Home Af-
fairs of the Republic of Kenya, Kalonzo Musyoka, the Commissioner of Prisons, Isaiah S.M. Osugo, Robert Goodwin, Chief of UN-HABITAT Lake Victoria Programme and S.M.F. Karioki, Chairman of Global Victims Support Programme, have inaugurated a new water and sanitation facility for the staff and inmates of Kisii Prison. The objectives are to provide a sustainable supply of clean water for prisoners and detainees, to improve hygiene and sanitation systems at prisons and detention centres, and to ensure prisoners’ basic human rights.
UN-HABITAT announces inalists for Zanzibar Urban Youth Fund UN-HABITAT, together with the Revolutionary Gov-
ernment of Zanzibar and Ministry of Social Welfare Youth, Women and Children Development, marked International Youth Day, with the announcement of the inalists of the 2011 UN-HABITAT Urban Youth Fund “Zanzibar Window”. The fund was launched in February 2011 by Ms. Zainab Omar Moham-
med, Zanzibar’s Minister of Social Welfare, Youth, Women and Children Development, and Mr. Erik Solheim, Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development.
Ugandan President launches youth centre in Arua
As part of activities to mark this year’s International Youth Day celebrations, Ugandan Presi-
dent Yoweri Museveni opened a One Stop Youth Centre (OSYC) in Arua, a town in the northern part of the country. The aim of the project is to enhance the capacity of the Ugandan government and the mu-
nicipality council of Arua to empower vulnerable urban youth and improve socio-economic in-
clusion and development. Through the establishment of a One Stop Youth Centre (OSYC) in Arua, the municipality will enhance the capacity of youth and youth organizations to acquire entrepreneurship skills for income generation and also strengthen their capacity to undertake youth development activities.
Establishing youth centres in several towns across East Africa is part of a project contributing towards goal three of the UN Joint Programme on Population, which aims to ensure that youth and vulnerable groups have competitive skills and opportunities to participate in the economy including urban development. This goal looks to contribute towards building youth skills and providing op-
portunities to actively participate in the economy for sustainable livelihoods.
President Museveni also launched the Ugandan phase of the ‘Dream Balls for Hope and Devel-
opment Initiative’, where Right To Play, a Canadian-based NGO and UN-HABITAT will distribute 30,000 footballs across the country. The aim of the project, jointly implemented by Hyundai and UN-HABITAT, is to promote youth development, responsible citizenship and peace, urban develop-
ment and harmony. The Hyundai Motor Company has donated 874,000 footballs (‘dream balls’) to UN-HABITAT as a part of their corporate social responsibility programme to support disadvantaged children and youth in Africa. UN-HABITAT, through its partners and Youth Branch, has agreed to provide technical support for the distribution of the balls to selected countries in Africa. Other activities to mark the International Youth Day included tree planting throughout the week, cleaning up the town, painting of zebra crossings in the town to reduce accidents, a radio talk show, a football tournament, Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), blood donation and public dialogue with young people. The discussions in the dialogue focused on the national theme of the youth day, which was ‘accelerating youth empowerment through skills development’.
The youth centre will help develop young people as entrepreneurs p
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October 2011
lthough people in the Arctic have learned to adapt to changing en-
vironments, rapid climate change there is making adaptation more dificult and has signiicant implications for commu-
nities and cultures.
Since many indigenous peoples continue to rely on their environment for their food, cli-
mate induced change has the potential to affect not only human health but the complex system of sharing of food that is an integral part of many indigenous cultures. Traditionally nomadic hunters, herders, ishers and gatherers, Indigenous Peoples moved across the land, sea and ice following a seasonal cycle. Throughout the Arctic, indigenous peoples were required to adapt in varying ways to the efforts of the State to assimilate them. Despite having been relocated into settlements, they have managed to retain strong links to the land and environment which has nurtured their cul-
tures for generations. Resettlement took place throughout the Arctic -- mostly in the mid-20th century -- for a number of reasons including facilitating the administration of government services like education and welfare, such as in Canada; or promoting a vision of industrialization, as in the former Soviet Union. Indeed, indigenous cultures are not fro-
zen in time. But they have adapted to many changes -- from the use of new tools, clothing, food and technologies to living in communi-
Adaptation brings new challenges to indigenous peoples in the Arctic
The Arctic was once a region out of sight and out of mind. If it was considered at all it was seen as frigid, inhospitable, unimaginably wild and untouched. But, writes John Crump, Senior Advisor/Climate Change, at the UNEP/GRID-Arendal Polar Centre in Norway, the Arctic has always been a homeland, inhabited in some places for nearly 30,000 years by successive waves of people and cultures. The Arctic is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world for climate change p
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October 2011
ties. In fact, Inuit advocate and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier likes to point out that her people have been adapting to outside forces for centuries. But, she says, climate change poses new challenges to that ability to adapt. Climate change the new
adaptation challenge
According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Re-
port of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Arctic is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world when it comes to climate change. “There is strong evidence of the ongoing impacts of climate change on terrestrial and freshwater species, communities and ecosys-
tems,” throughout the region, says the report. Its indings echoed those of the 2004/05 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). The irst regional assessment of its kind, the ACIA stated that surface air temperatures in the Arctic have been warming at twice the global rate. Supporting evidence comes from the widespread melting of glaciers and sea ice -- and the latter phenomenon has gained speed since the ACIA report came out.
Accelerating Arctic climate change will also affect vegetation zones, the diversity, range and distribution of animal species. It is further expected to disrupt transport and other infra-
structure and will directly affect indigenous peoples. The threat to local food supplies will also affect indigenous peoples’ local resource-
based economies, food sharing practices and cultural and social identity. In many places, indigenous peoples are ind-
ing it more dificult to travel, hunt and harvest as the ice thins. Governments in the Arctic region have, to varying degrees, begun to look at the need for adaptation.
But the key role in design of integrated cli-
mate strategies should belong to regional and local authorities and to planners. However, eficient outcomes also require co-ordination between decision-makers, business represent-
atives, academia, civil society and the general public at various administrative levels: local, regional and federal.
Only by such open, inclusive and coordi-
nated action will Arctic peoples be able to adapt to the climate change challenges they face now and will face in the future.
The Arctic region encompasses approximately 40 million square kilometres or about 8 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Yet it is home to only 4 million people, many members of indig-
enous cultures which have survived and thrived for millennia. The largest population is in northern Russia (about 2 million people, of whom approximately 250,000 are indigenous), followed by Scandinavia and Alaska. Inuit comprise the majority in Greenland (88 per cent). Half the population of the Canadian Arctic are Inuit, First Nations or Metis. In Norway, Fin-
land and Sweden, Saami constitute about 5 per cent of the population. In Russia, the percent-
age is smaller with 44 distinct Indigenous Peoples making up less than 4 per cent of the total. According to the 2004 Arctic Human Development Report about two-thirds of all the people in the Arctic live in “relatively big” settlements of 5,000 or more people. However, there is a great variety in this pattern as well, ranging from 80 per cent in Russia to just over 40 per cent in Arctic Canada to only one-third in Greenland. In Alaska, Anchorage is the largest city with 260,000 people (40 per cent of the total state population). There are nine cities over 50,000 each in Russia which are home to about one million people (49.5 per cent). On the other end of the spectrum, there are only three small cities in the Canadian Arctic, the largest of which is Whitehorse, Yukon (19,000). Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, has a population of 15,000. There is a trend towards migration to larger centres throughout the Arctic, a process that has been going on for decades. In the Canadian Arctic, only 11 per cent of the population lives in settle-
ments of 100-499 people; in Russia, it’s below 1 per cent. SOURCE: Arctic Pollution Issues: A State of the Arctic Environment Report. Stefansson Arctic Institute, 2004. Arctic Human Development Report. Graphic design: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
October 2011
Ho Chi Minh City
confronts risk of looding
The threat of a changing climate is likely to inluence Asian delta cities in both the nature of their urban space and profoundly in their liveability and functionality write Harry Storch and Nigel K. Downes of the Brandenburg University of Technology (Cottbus) in Germany.
The city has a network of 8,000 km of canals exposing it to looding p
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October 2011
ituated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 kilometres from the South China Sea and northeast of the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh is Vietnam’s largest and most populous city, home to some 7.2 million people (2009 igure).
However, if the estimated 2 million migrants and individuals residing on a non-residential and seasonal basis are included, the actual popu-
lation may well be closer to more than 9 million. This megacity in the making is currently under-
going further urbanization to such an extent that by 2020 oficial estimates forecast a population of approximately 10 million.
The city has pushed rapidly into former wetland surroundings, primarily at the ex-
pense of urban green space and valuable natural areas. The city has a network of some 8,000 kilometres of canals. These water-
ways are affected by a semi-diurnal tide which peaks in September and October at the height of the monsoon season, causing loods in many neighbourhoods. The dimensions of this looding are however constantly chang-
ing due to the ongoing rapid urbanization.
The results of a planning assessment study show that a signiicant proportion of the actual built-up area is already exposed to looding. Across Ho Chi Minh City, about 160 square kilometres (32 per cent of the total currently built-up area of 500 square kilometres) is ex-
posed to looding at the current max-tide level of 1.5 metres above mean sea level.
Most areas with the highest exposure to looding are low lying recent urban develop-
ments carried out in the last ten years. With-
out any further urban development, a climate change induced sea level rise of 1 metre would expand the exposed built-up area to 230 square kilometres (45 per cent of the present-
day built-up area). By implementing the land-use plans for the years 2010 - 2025 and thus increasing the total built-up area to 750 square kilometres (an increase of 50 per cent), the total built-up area exposed may double. The combined effect of urbanization and cli-
mate change (a sea-level rise of 1 metre) could see total exposure grow even more dramatically up to 450 square kilometres. This level of expo-
sure would multiply by three times the present-
day area at risk of tidal looding by 2025. The current Ho Chi Minh City development strategy, focuses development which began in the year 2000, towards the sea in a south-
easterly direction into low-lying risk prone ar-
eas. This was encouraged by the development of the Hiep Phuoc port project in the southern Nha Be district. The aim has been to move port activities towards the sea to receive much larger container ships and create space for in-
ner city renewal of the old port areas. However, the degradation of low-lying wet-
lands will increase and lead to the creation of more hardscape features, the loss of space for water, including natural detention and reten-
tion areas, which ultimately will exacerbate the surface water lood risks signiicantly. It is envisaged that these new developments will face enormous dificulties to effectively incor-
porate and adapt to the effects of both the cli-
matic and non-climatic drivers of future risk.
The concentration of future exposure to sea-
level rise in rapidly growing cities in Southeast Asia, such as in Ho Chi Minh City, emphasises This article is based on results of the Integrative Urban and Environmental Planning for Adaptation of Ho Chi Minh City to Climate Change study, part of the Sustainable Development of the Mega-
cities of Tomorrow research programme of the German Federal Ministry of Edu-
cation and Research.
IPPC Emission Scenarios
2020 2030 2040 2050 2060 2070 2080 2090 2100
High A1F1 High 11.6 17.3 24.4 33.4 44.4 57.1 71.1 86.1 101.7
Projected sea level rise scenario’s for Vietnam (in centimetres)
the urgent need to take steps to integrate the considerations of climate change into land-use planning, urban development strategies, and lood risk management. Any delay to develop and integrate effective adaptation strategies into the spatial planning system would inevitably have not just city-
wide, but regional or even nationwide eco-
nomic repercussions. Rapid urbanization means Ho Chi Minh’s population will be 10 million by 2020 p
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October 2011
NEWS: Asia-Paciic
New smart town for Japan
Panasonic is teaming up with eight private sector com-
panies to build a revolutionary sustainable smart town in a project with Fujisawa City in Japan. One thousand homes will be itted with energy eficient solar panels and storage batteries and the solar power systems that will be used are the irst of their kind in the world. Com-
pletion of the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fuji-
sawa SST) is scheduled for the end of March 2014.
Singapore to be a ‘city in a garden’
Singapore is rolling out a 10-year development plan to become even greener, with trees and plants per-
meating every aspect of city life. At the National Day Rally 2011, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the aim to create a ‘City in a Garden’. Singapore’s vision has three components: pervasive greenery, rich biodiversity and a strong sense of community ownership. Despite continued urbaniza-
tion, the city has steadily been increasing its green spaces. Satellite photographs show that almost half of Singapore (47 per cent in 2007) was covered in greenery, compared to about 36 per cent in 1986.
New UN-HABITAT report on Asian cities
New light is shed on the issues and challenges faced by Asian cities in the latest UN-HABITAT report, ‘The State of Asian Cities 2010/11’. The report high-
lights innovative practices from countries with dif-
fering demographics and concludes that sustainable human settlements are within reach. UN-HABITAT outlines the need for cooperation between public authorities, and the private and voluntary sectors in order to achieve sustainable urban development, and also highlights critical issues relating to poverty, inequality, the environment, climate change and urban governance. The report can be downloaded from UN-HABITAT’s website. ICT
Singapore develops IT solutions for cities
Future cities could be developed with an IT back-
bone to allow integrated urban management thanks to Singapore Management University (SMU). Cloud technology and business knowhow are being used by experts from SMU and IT services irm Tata Con-
sultancy to create interactive iCities, which will offer an improved quality of life for citizens. The new tech-
nology will be particularly relevant for fast-growing economies such as China and India and will offer cloud-based IT service delivery solutions for health-
care, education, transport and other services.
USD 7 million retroit planned for Sydney’s buildings
Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, has revealed an ambitious new plan to overhaul the energy and water systems in major public buildings with the aim of saving energy and reducing carbon emissions. The project will cost AUD 6.9 million (USD7.37 million), but will ultimately reduce the city’s energy bill by an estimated AUD 1.3 million per year.
“Retroitting the city’s buildings with energy and water eficiency technologies will signii-
cantly reduce our costs – in fact, the project will pay for itself within six years,” the Lord Mayor said. “It will also cut 7000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, taking the city’s overall emissions reductions from 6.8 per cent to 19.9 per cent – well on the way to our target of 70 per cent by 2030 (on 2006 levels).”
A total of 46 buildings will be retroitted, including the town hall. Measures taken will include energy-eficient lighting, air-conditioning and heating, centralized power management systems to monitor energy use by computers, and voltage reduction units for pumps, fans and lights. Devices to help save water will also be installed on taps, showers and cisterns.
The energy saved per year will be the equivalent of that consumed by about 1,000 homes – 7.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh), a saving that equates to AUD 840,000 (USD 897,036) annually. Water consumption will also drop signiicantly by 61,360 kilolitres a year, saving AUD 200,000 (USD 213,580) annually. Maintenance costs will also be reduced.
“This project shows what a local authority can achieve in delivering rapid, large- scale reduc-
tions in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Allan Jones, the city’s energy eficiency expert.
The project was put out to tender and awarded to Origin Energy Systems. To ensure the tar-
gets are met, the contractor is obliged to guarantee the reductions, and energy and water per-
formance will be veriied independently.
Sydney expects to reduce its energy bill by AUD 1.3 million a year p
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October 2011
NEWS: Asia-Paciic
Success in saving energy after Japan earthquake
To combat the threat of blackouts following the earth-
quake in eastern Japan this year, Kanagawa Prefecture initiated a ‘Power-Saving Challenge’ campaign calling on governments, businesses and households to mini-
mize their use of energy. The aim was to reduce energy consumption by 15 per cent compared with the same day the previous year. Households were asked to raise air-conditioning temperatures to 28 degrees Celsius – or use fans, factory lights were switched off and people utilized public facilities. The campaign achieved a 13.4 per cent reduction in energy usage (and a 20.5 per cent reduction at the prefectural government build-
ing). Power-saving efforts are set to continue.
Guangzhou bus system produces
big cuts in CO
A new study by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) says that Guangzhou’s 22.5-kilometre Bus Rapid Transit system will reduce CO
emissions by 86,000 tonnes annually. The Bus Rapid Transit corridor was opened in 2010 with the aim of cutting congestion on one of the city’s busiest roads. The ITDP began collecting data prior to the BRT’s opening. The buses have led to an im-
provement in travel time for motorists and bus riders along the corridor of 20 per cent and 29 per cent respectively. Part of the project is also a bike-sharing scheme, which has seen the number of rides increase by 50 per cent since its inception. URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Shanghai plans seven new satellite cities
Development in downtown Shanghai will cease and seven new satellite cities will be created in the sub-
urbs. The city’s latest ive-year plan for 2011 to 2015 was unveiled this summer and is focused on avoiding overcrowding in the centre. The new cities will house industrial and manufacturing businesses, as well as emerging industries. Schools, hospitals and cultural centres will be constructed in the seven new cities in an attempt to attract residents, and links are to be de-
veloped with other cities in the Yangtze River Delta.
China copies Austrian town
The Austrian UNESCO village of Hallstatt could be recon-
structed in an identical form in China. A secret team from a Chinese state corporation have been in the Alpine vil-
lage for months, measuring buildings and taking photos so they can rebuild an exact copy near Hong Kong. The news came to light when a Chinese guest at a 400-year-
old inn showed sketches to the inn’s owner. Climate change
UN Secretary-General warns of climate change threat
to Paciic islands
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, have stressed that climate change poses the most serious threat to the livelihoods, security and survival of the island nation’s residents and the inhabitants of the wider Paciic region, saying the phenomenon is under-
mining efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Both leaders reafirmed the need for urgent international action to reduce emissions of harm-
ful greenhouse gases and underlined the need to make climate change adaptation funding avail-
able to inance the implementation of critical programmes to tackle the impact of climate change on communities in vulnerable Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
President Tong welcomed the irst ever visit by a UN Secretary-General to Kiribati. During his visit Ban took note of the measures undertaken by Kiribati, including mangrove forest management, ma-
jor biodiversity conservation initiatives such as the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, water resource management, and efforts to enhance coastal resilience.
The Secretary-General acknowledged the value of initiatives like the Tarawa Climate Change Conference, organized by Kiribati in November last year ahead of the Cancún Climate Change Conference in Mexico.
The two dignitaries joined young islanders to plant mangroves on a beach at Stewart Causeway to help protect the area from the effects of rising sea levels. Planting mangroves is one of the cheapest and surest ways to protect coastal environments.
“Planting mangroves may be simple and may not [seem] much,” said Mr. Ban. “But it even helps the economy. It generates some income. Planting mangroves gives us a good lesson that if we are for nature we will be better off in making the Earth more environmentally hospitable and environ-
mentally sustainable.”
The Secretary-General has described Kiribati as being at the “front of the frontlines” on climate change. “I have seen for myself the real threats that are impacting on people,” he said. “People are afraid of their own future, particularly young people. I am urging world leaders to act now. The high tide shows that it is high time to act. I was so surprised to see the impact of these high tides, inundating these villages and roads. That can be prevented if we act now.”
Anote Tong, President of Kiribati p
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October 2011
Those water users who already face recurrent shortages during the dry season, or when droughts hit Mexico City, will be especially affected.
Latin America and the Caribbean T
he water management system of Mexico City has developed features which do not allow it to cope with loods and droughts. It is overexploiting not only its water resources by between 19.1 and 22.2 cubic metres per second, but also the water of two providing basins (Lerma and Cutzamala). According to projections where no consideration is given to global warming, between 2005 and 2030 the population of Mexico City will increase by 17.5 per cent, while between 2007 and 2030 available water will diminish by 11.2 per cent. The situation might get worse if, as expected, cli-
mate change brings lower precipitation to this area. Those water users who already face recurrent shortages during the dry season, or when droughts hit Mexico City, will be especially affected. For ex-
ample, 81.2 per cent of people affected by droughts during 1980 to 2006 live in Netzahualcoyotl, one of the poorer municipalities of the city. This overexploitation of water resources cre-
ates two sources of vulnerability: irst, problems of water availability (scarcity) that make water users (especially poor sectors already facing scar-
city) vulnerable to the changes in the availability of water that are expected from climate change. Second, groundwater levels are continuously falling, which historically has caused subsidence (and continues to do so in some areas), thus un-
dermining the foundations of buildings and urban infrastructure and increasing the vulnerability of these areas and the populations within them to such hazards as heavy earthquakes and rains. Source: Romero Lankao, 2010
Environmental degradation
in Mexico City
Mexico City is facing a water crisis because of overexploitation of its resources p
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October 2011
Latin America and the Caribbean T
he São Paulo Metropolitan Region has a population of 18 million and is the largest urban area in Brazil. The city is a major driving force for the national economy, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of USD 83 billion in 2003. The service industry is the main driver, accounting for 62.5 per cent of GDP. This is followed by the industrial sector, which accounts for 20.6 per cent. A comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory was conducted in 2005. It shows that energy use ac-
counts for more than three-quarters of the city’s emissions (see igure below). Approximately two-thirds of this was associated with diesel and gasoline, and 11 per cent with electricity generation. However, the contribution of urban transportation to GHG emissions is still rela-
tively low as a result of the mandatory blend of Fighting pollution
in São Paulo, Brazil
ethanol (23 per cent) and gasoline (77 per cent) used in most of the private leet. Similarly, the contribution of the electricity generation sector is low as the city relies heavily on hydroelectric generation. Solid waste disposal accounted for almost one quarter of the city’s emissions, or 3.7 million tonnes of CO2eq. However, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects at the Bandeirantes and São João landills will prevent the generation of 11 million tonnes of CO2eq by 2012 – almost removing the contri-
bution of solid waste to the city’s emissions. Per capita emissions from the city are low, at about 1.5 tonnes CO2eq per year (in 2003), compared to a national average for Brazil of 8.2 tonnes (1994 igure). Despite this, the growing impor-
tance of reducing global GHG emissions means that cities in middle-income countries will increasingly need to identify their emissions reduction potential and act on this. It is impor-
tant to note that although the city of São Paulo accounts for 6.8 per cent of the population of Brazil, its GHG emissions are relatively small. This is because Brazil is a large emitter of GHGs from agriculture, land-use change and forestry. In the case of deforestation, due to high rates, emissions account for 63.1 per cent of total national emissions of CO2 and methane. The agriculture sector as a whole is responsible for 16.5 per cent of the same gases, mainly because of the size of the national herd. In the case of the extremely urbanized city of São Paulo, these emissions are insigniicant. Sources: Dubeux and La Rovere, 2010; La Rovere et al, 2005; Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia, 2004
Energy use accounts for 75 per cent of São Paulo’s emissions p
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October 2011
Urban development
UN-HABITAT launches its irst country programme in Cuba
Cuba’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade, Mr. Orlando Hernández Guillen, and UN-HABITAT’s Oficer in Charge of the Regional Ofice for Latin America and Caribbean Countries, Mr. Alain Grimard, have announced a USD 2.5 million programme for Cuba for 2011 to 2013.
The programme has three main work areas: urban governance and climate change, urban in-
frastructure/basic services, and the environment, as well as support for the housing sector. Re-
sponding to the priorities of the country programme, UN-HABITAT has started implementing two projects totaling USD 570,000 with funding from the Spanish Agency for International Develop-
ment Cooperation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Colombian NGO Back to the People (Volver a la Gente).
These two projects consist of the systematization of housing recovery experiences in three Cu-
ban provinces and a South-South cooperation with Colombia to strengthen citizen capacity in adapting to climate change and fostering disaster risk reduction in seven municipalities. Furthermore, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the National Housing Insti-
tute, the Institute of Physical Planning, and Municipal governments, UN-HABITAT will imple-
ment a recovery project and support improved housing policies. This project is in line with Cuba’s updated economic and social policy guidelines discussed during Cuba’s sixth party congress.
Following the congress, which opted to support limited privatization of the housing sector, including issues related to ownership and construction materials, among others, UN-HABITAT will spearhead a breakthrough technical cooperation with national institutions that consist of creating a housing proile, carrying out exchanges and specialized studies, developing an institutional and inancial monitoring strategy and implementing demonstrative projects throughout the country.
Aguascalientes, Mexico to host World Habitat Day
Mexico’s Minister for Social Development (SEDES-
OL), Heriberto Félix Guerra, has announced that Aguascalientes will host this year’s World Habitat Day. He made the announcement at a news confer-
ence lanked by his Vice Minister, Ms. Sara Toppel-
son, the Governor of Aguascalientes, Luis Armando Reynoso Femat, United Nations Resident Coordina-
tor, Magdy Martinez-Soliman, and other oficials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SEDESOL and UN-
HABITAT. Martinez-Soliman welcomed the hosting of World Habitat Day in Aguascalientes, a city that is taking the lead in urban planning and climate ad-
aptation and mitigation strategies.
IDB supports renewable energy investment in Uruguay
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has ap-
proved a USD 200 million loan for Celulosa y Energía Punta Pereira S.A. and Zona Franca Punta Pereira S.A., two companies belonging to the Montes del Plata Group in Uruguay. The loan will help inance the con-
struction and operation of a mill to produce pulp from eucalyptus wood and generate power, meeting high environmental and social standards and adding value to Uruguay’s renewable forest assets.
Eastern Caribbean countries to protect fragile marine ecosystems
The World Bank has approved an USD 8.75 million grant from the Global Environment Facility to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable man-
agement of fragile marine ecosystems in the Eastern Caribbean, including the protection of over 100,000 hectares of marine habitat. The Sustainable Financing and Management of Eastern Caribbean Marine Ecosys-
tem Project will establish conservation trust funds to provide reliable and consistent sources of funding for biodiversity preservation.
Spain grants USD 25 million to Honduras Honduras will receive a USD 25 million grant from the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanita-
tion in Latin America and the Caribbean to expand and improve drinking water and sanitation services in rural communities with fewer than 2,000 peo-
ple. The programme, which will be implemented by the state water and sanitation utility SANAA, will provide 13,700 households with new water connections, 15,900 homes with individual sanita-
tion solutions, and 2,200 homes with rehabilitated drinking water systems.
NEWS: Latin America and the Caribbean
The Cuban programme will strengthen citizens’ capacity in adapting to climate change
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October 2011
NEWS: Latin America and the Caribbean
Migration UN calls for an end to forced evictions in Haiti
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, has made an urgent plea to put an immediate stop to all forced evictions of earthquake survivors in Haiti. During a visit to the country where she toured camps that are now home to survivors of the earthquake, Ms. Rolnik, described every eviction of persons without the provision of an adequate housing alternative as “a grave human rights violation”.
“There is a vital need for rapid reconstruction and the safe return of internally displaced persons to their neighbourhoods of origin,” said Rolnik. “Reconstruction must be seen as an opportunity for improving housing conditions in unplanned settlements, but this has to be guided by sound urban planning.”
The earthquake on 12 January 2010 was one of the most devastating to hit the country in 250 years, claiming an estimated 250,000 lives and destroying homes, property and large sections of the capital and other major towns.
Rolnik supported UN-HABITAT’s proposal for a comprehensive strategy for reconstruction and return, and participated in a workshop on the right to adequate housing in post-disaster Haiti, or-
ganized jointly by UN-HABITAT, the Ofice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Mission for the Stabilisation of Haiti. Participants agreed on the importance of a rights-based approach to reconstruction that does not leave out tenants and other vulnerable groups.
The Special Rapporteur welcomed an initiative presented by President Michel Martelly to launch large-scale reconstruction through the sustainable return of the residents of six camps, facilitated by owner-driven repairs and reconstruction of homes and the provision of improved services in their neighbourhoods of origin.
“Criteria of vulnerability should be used to identify priority camps, such as those most prone to disasters and loods, as we enter the cyclonic season,” said Rolnik.
Rolnik recognized the successful work carried out by UN-HABITAT in Haiti. She also cited a sur-
vey initiated by UN-HABITAT and adopted by other agencies to establish the pre-earthquake occu-
pancy status of residents in unplanned neighbourhoods, as an effective means to strengthen tenure security and inform reconstruction and return.
New partnership to beneit one million children
in Colombia
The World Bank Group has endorsed a new Part-
nership Strategy for Colombia, which will help the country consolidate economic reforms and improve results in infrastructure development and the social sectors, with the aim of aligning itself more closely to the standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The partner-
ship will beneit 1.2 million vulnerable children, who will be able to access early education programmes from 2014. The initiative will also contribute to the formulation of a national policy for the promotion of low-carbon development. SECURITY
UN-HABITAT targets safety in Latin American cities In its quest for safer cities around the world, UN-HABI-
TAT has teamed up with the Universidad Alberto Hur-
tado in Santiago, Chile, to produce a new set of guide-
lines aimed at the Spanish-speaking world, where many cities, especially in Latin America, are notorious for high levels of violence and crime. “Improving a neighbour-
hood involves an overhaul of all dimensions of its life, including the right of citizens to lead lives free of risk of injury, danger, and crime,” said Elkin Velasquez, Coordi-
nator of UN-HABITAT’s Global Safer Cities Programme.
IDB launches photo contest to challenge
gender stereotypes
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-
American Development Bank (IDB) has invited ama-
teurs and professionals to participate in its 2011 photo contest, which seeks to show how women and man in Latin America and the Caribbean are challenging traditionally held gender norms and stereotypes in the workplace. The winning and inalist images will be part of the permanent photo gallery that will be showcased on the IDB website and in MIF publications.
World Bank backs improved healthcare in El Salvador
Two million people in El Salvador, living in the 92 poorest municipalities, will have access to better qual-
ity health care services as a result of a USD 80 million project approved by the World Bank. The initiative will inance investments in medical equipment, infrastruc-
ture rehabilitation and the strengthening of institu-
tional capacities to provide medical and emergency services. El Salvador’s “Strengthening the Public Health Care System” project will be managed by the Health Ministry (MINSA) and is aligned to MINSAL’s National Health Strategy (2009-2014).
Raquel Rolnik at the Tapis Rouge camp for displaced people in Port-au-Prince p
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October 2011
Warsaw Metro to introduce new energy-eficient trains
Warsaw Metro will purchase 35 metro trains, consisting of 210 individual wagons, as part of the modernization of its network with more energy eficient rolling stock.
The new trains will run on Warsaw’s existing metro line as well as a second line which is under construction. The second line is a long-awaited investment in the expansion of high-
capacity public transport in Warsaw. It is expected to substantially reduce trafic congestion in the city centre and create crucial linkages with the irst metro line by allowing users to transfer eficiently from the east side of the Vistula River to the west side of the city.
“The project is an important step contributing to the improvement of the operational eficiency of the Warsaw Metro system,” said Jerzy Lejk, the President of the Management Board of the Warsaw Metro Company.
“The new metro trains to be supplied by the consortium of Siemens and Newag will require less frequent maintenance reviews than the existing rolling stock while the regenerative breaking technology, together with other advanced technology solutions, will be able to reduce energy con-
sumption by approximately 30-40 per cent as compared with the existing rolling stock.”
The existing metro line requires 15 new trains and the new line 20 new trains. Once the sec-
ond line is inished, the annual number of passengers using the underground system is expected to rise from 117 million to 179 million by 2014.
The project is an important step towards implementing Warsaw’s sustainable urban trans-
port strategy, which aims to shift people away from using motorized transport – private cars and buses – to zero-emission public transport. By expanding its metro system, Warsaw city council believes it will be able to reduce its CO2 emis-
sions by approximately 200,000 tonnes a year. The principal carbon beneit is expected to come from a shift by residents to a cleaner, quicker and more energy eficient metro with new innovative rolling stock and regenerative breaking technology that helps to reduce energy consumption. Finance will in part come from a EUR 80 million (USD 114 million) loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
NEWS: Central and Eastern Europe ENERGY
Uzbekistan signs energy eficiency agreement with World Bank
The World Bank and the Government of Uzbekistan have signed a USD 25 million credit agreement for the Energy Eficiency Facility for Industrial Enterprises Project (UZEEF) in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The project’s objective is to improve energy eficiency in industrial enterprises by energy saving investments. Typical energy eficiency investments will involve re-
placements or upgrades of boilers, replacement of out-
dated equipment and machinery, and the use of waste for heat and other purposes.
Europe opens doors for heritage
The Europe-wide festival, Heritage Open Days, will see 50 countries open their doors to cultural heritage sites for free. Fifty countries across Europe, from Albania to Serbia, will be throwing open the doors of their historic monuments and buildings from 10-12 October, all in the name of heritage. The Council of Europe created the Heritage Open Days to bring people closer to their cultural heritage and to spark an interest in local his-
tory and includes properties that are normally off-limits to the general public. The Heritage Open Days aim to highlight not only the diversity of Europe’s heritage, but also its intercultural links. TRANSPORT
Bulgarian capital expands e-ticket system across transport network
The Bulgarian capital of Soia aims to modernize its pub-
lic transport system with assistance from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The inancial package, worth a total of EUR 24.96 million, will increase the quality, safety, accessibility and also the energy efi-
ciency of transport in the city. One area of focus will be to support eficiency improvements by introducing an e-ticketing system across all public transport modes, cur-
rently only available on the city’s trolley buses.
Kosovo citizens draft vision for a new municipality
A workshop organized by UN-HABITAT brought to-
gether civil servants, business leaders and citizens to deine a vision statement including a declaration and motto for the new Partesh/Partes municipality. A vision statement was agreed to that aims to be eco-
conscious and sustainable. Two mottos that came out of the workshop included: “Visited, observed, re-
mained” and “New municipality, new opportunities”. The results from the four-day workshop will be used as a foundation for guiding the process of drafting the municipal and urban plans document. The new trains will run on Warsaw’s existing metro line p
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October 2011
NEWS: Central and Eastern Europe Governance
Tajikstan signs development inance deal
with World Bank
The government of Tajikistan and the World Bank signed Financing Agreements for three devel-
opment projects that will support the government’s reform efforts in social protection, improve the water supply services in Dushanbe, and develop hydro-meteorological services in Central Asia.
“The current Country Partnership Strategy is aimed at poverty reduction and overall econom-
ic development,” said Mr Safarali Nadjmiddinov, the Tajik Minister of Finance. “These projects are an integral part of these efforts, and are expected to provide social protection and support to the most vulnerable people, cleaner water for residents of Dushanbe and better hydro-meteoro-
logical services throughout our region.”
The Tajikistan Social Safety Net Strengthening Project has the overall development objective of improving the capacity of the government to plan, monitor, and manage social assistance for the poor through the development of a national registry of social protection, and the provision of training, equipment and related items for improving this capacity.
The Second Dushanbe Water Supply Project, with a total investment of USD 16 million, intends to improve water utility performance and water supply services in selected areas of Dushanbe through water treatment and distribution infrastructure upgrades. New metering programmes and improved billing and collection systems together with technical assistance and capacity-building activities will strengthen the Dushanbe Vodokanal management and opera-
tional performance.
The objective of the USD 27.7 million Central Asia Hydrometeorology Modernization Project is to improve the accuracy and timeliness of hydro-meteorological services in Central Asia, with a particular focus on the Kyrgyz Republic and Republic of Tajikistan. The project will help re-
duce human and economic losses from hazardous weather events and diminish economic losses related to the high degree of uncertainty for businesses and agriculture caused by weather and climate-related risks.
Istanbul renews city buses
As part of a leet renewal project, which aims at provid-
ing a safe, eficient and affordable mass transport service to the people of Istanbul, Istanbul Bus Operations Inc. will put 250 new buses into service for public transport. The winners of the tenders are expected to deliver services on the bus routes that deliver value for money, and that balance the expectations of passengers against the costs of improvements, said Istanbul Bus Operations Inc.
Tackling cybercrime in eastern Europe
Representatives from the six Eastern Partnership coun-
tries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) met in Chisinau, Moldova, to discuss chal-
lenges and best practices for enhancing regional and international law enforcement and judicial co-operation against cybercrime. Strengthening the co-operation be-
tween high tech crime units, increasing the eficiency of the 24/7 network as well as mutual legal assistance were some of the issues addressed at the seminar. ENERGY
New wind farm for Romania
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, are supporting Romania’s strategy to increase its renewable energy production by lending EUR 73.3 (USD 104) mil-
lion to co-inance the operation of the 90 MW Pestera wind farm. The Pestera and Cernavoda wind farms in the Dobrogea region of Romania will together comprise one of the largest wind farms in the country, with a total capacity of 228 MW. This will represent roughly 40 per cent of the total wind generation capacity in Romania.
Istanbul residents vote for safer taxis
Istanbul will shortly introduce a new taxi chosen by popular plebiscite by its citizens. The Taxi Design Contest, run by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM), ended with Istanbul residents choosing the B model as their new taxi design.The vote took place over the Internet with 340,000 people participating. The B model taxi received 41.2 per cent of the votes. Istanbul residents have also chosen the designs for buses, trams and ferries in recent years. The IMM Taxi Design Contest aimed to provide more comfort-
able services for the city’s residents. The new taxi design is geared towards new technological developments and focuses on security and accident-prevention technologies as well accessibility features for the disabled. The taxi will utilize the most up to date plug-in hybrid technology. Inside the spacious interior a large LCD display will be made avail-
able to passengers to use the Internet and passengers will be able to pay by credit card.
Central Asia is developing its hydro-meteorological services p
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October 2011
Urban planning
Greater social space needed in city planning
UN-HABITAT called for better urban plan-
ning to provide greater space for walking in cities, at the 5th Cities for Mobility Congress in Stuttgart, Germany.
Speaking at a workshop session, Mr Chris-
tian Schlosser, Chief of UN-HABITAT’s Urban Transport Section, said that pedestrian space is paramount. “We need to plan for walk-able streets and active neighbourhoods; we should not waste space and thus plan for compact cit-
ies,” he emphasized.
Building dense, people- and transit-orient-
ed urban districts where land use planning allows people to walk, cycle and use transit options was overwhelmingly supported by delegates. UN-HABITAT, through its Sus-
tainable Transport Solutions for East Afri-
can Cities project, promotes an approach that supports compact cities, non-motorized transport options as well as transit systems working towards more sustainable mobility scenarios. Redesigning public space and transforming it into a social space where people not only move around as quickly as possible but where they feel comfort-
able, where space for social interaction is available and at the same time preserves natural resources, was on top of the congress’ agenda. Cities for Mobility is a worldwide network aimed at the promotion of urban mobility. The network brings together more than 600 members from 82 coun-
tries representing a diverse range of sectors such as politicians, economists, science and civil society leaders to support sustainable mobility solutions.
The workshop also served as a platform to share the ideas of the United Nations Committee of Local Authorities on their 2011 key theme ‘Urban Mobility’. The United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA) advises UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director on sustainable urban development and consequently on the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. The activities implemented under the annual theme ‘Urban Mobility’ will centre on knowledge dissemination promoting the implementation of more eficient mobility systems.
EU bans traditional light bulbs Since the beginning of September most frosted incandescent light bulbs have been banned within the European Union (EU), in the continent’s latest attempt to cut greenhouse gas emissions by forc-
ing people to switch to energy saving light bulbs.
Less powerful clear bulbs will be slowly phased out by 2012 when all incandescent bulbs will no longer appear on shop shelves. More energy eficient luorescent or halogen lamps that use up to 80 per cent less electricity will be the only option for consumers.
The law came into force after all 27 EU countries agreed to the measure last year. While retailers can continue to stock the bulbs, the manufacture or import of them has been banned. Many people across the continent have begun to stockpile the bulbs as they feel the new ones are not bright enough and can cause headaches, reading dificulties and other problems in people with light sensitive disorders.
The new bulbs are up to 20 times more expensive compared to the traditional incandescent bulbs that have been in use since the 19th century. However, EU oficials say that the new bulbs provide energy savings of up to EUR 50 (USD 71) a year for each household, meaning a total savings of EUR 5 billion, continent-wide.
Other nations including Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and the Philippines have also announced plans to phase out traditional bulbs.
Participants took to the streets to see irst hand the beneits of city walking p
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Old bulbs will be banned p
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NEWS: Western Europe
October 2011
US First Lady helps build 2,000th playground US First Lady, Michelle Obama, joined more than 500 volunteers to celebrate building the 2,000th playground by KaBOOM! at a Washington DC elementary school as part of The Congressional Day of Service Event.
The First Lady, members of Congress, vol-
unteers from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and hundreds of volunteers from the Southeast Washington DC community built the new 1,200 square metre playground in less than eight hours to celebrate Ka-
BOOM’s! 15th birthday.
“I’ve known and worked with KaBOOM! long before being First Lady,” said Obama. “To see this organization grow as it has, impacting so many com-
munities, so many schools, so many young people, it is really a source of pride to be here today to celebrate the 2,000th build.”
This was Mrs Obama’s second time helping to build a playground with KaBOOM!, and her third visit to one of their playground sites.
KaBOOM!, a national non-proit organization founded by author, Darell Hammond, is dedicated to saving play for children and has raised more than USD 200 million dollars to support the cause since 1996. In that time, the organization has directly led the construction of 2,000 play spaces across North America that collectively serve 5,501,334 children.
“When KaBOOM! started at a table in a Washington D.C. deli 15 years ago, no one believed play was important or thought we would even last a year and here we are celebrating our 15th birthday and our 2,000th playground build,” said Hammond. “For 15 years, KaBOOM! has fought the ‘play deicit’ among children and the participation of the First Lady and members of Congress in this playground project validates the notion we have irmly believed since our inception, which is that every child deserves a great place to play.”
The project is one of more than 160 playground builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2011 in an effort to ight the ‘play deicit’ and provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
“KaBOOM! playground builds create a sense of community spirit that drives residents toward taking action for the improvement of their neighbour-
hoods,” said Damian Thorman, national programme director for Knight Foundation. “Knight Foundation is focused on increasing community engage-
ment and we believe these playground projects will inspire individuals to take on additional projects that will enhance their communities.”
New ‘Toronto Rocket’ subway train launched
A next generation subway car has been launched in Toronto that improves ride experience, reliabil-
ity, energy eficiency and increases passenger capacity.
Dubbed the ‘Toronto Rocket’, government members hope that through the new design, the subway system will become the major mode of transport in Canada’s largest city.
“The launch of the next generation subway car is an important step in our strategy to build a trans-
port city that will make subways the backbone of rapid transit in Toronto,” said Mayor Rob Ford. “The new cars will also make public transit a more eficient and pleasant experience for commuters.”
The Ontario government believes the Toronto Rocket will provide families and businesses with greater transit options while reducing trafic congestion.
“Our government is committed to helping the City of Toronto increase its public transit use, improve air quality and build stronger communities,” said Ontario Transport Minister, Kathleen Wynne. “We are improving public transport and creating jobs to ensure the province remains strong and competitive for years to come.” The overall cost of the 78 cars is CAD 231.2 (USD 236.5) million. These cars are a portion of the 234 new subway cars being supplied to the City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission between 2010 and 2013. Over the next two years, older cars on the Yonge-University-Spadina line will be replaced with the new Bombardier model. The full-length open design of the train and extra-wide cab doors allow for more comfort and accommodate more passengers.
US First Lady, Michelle Obama, helping out on her second KaBOOM! playground build p
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NEWS: North America
The new Toronto trams p
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October 2011
NEWS: Middle East and North Africa
USD 200 million loan to improve rural sanitation in Egypt
A World Bank loan of USD 200 million will beneit 1.2 million people in rural Egypt with improved waste-
water and sanitation services. The loan is supporting Egypt’s Second Integrated Sanitation and Sewerage Infrastructure Project in the Delta Region and in Upper Egypt. Wastewater infrastructure systems will be constructed in 19 village clusters in collaboration with the National Organization for Potable Water and Sanitary Drainage and the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water and its four subsidiaries.
“We are particularly pleased to continue supporting improved access to sustainable rural sanita-
tion services in Egypt, given its strong linkages to health and environment,” said David Craig, Coun-
try Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.
The Egyptian government has a National Rural Sanitation Master Plan speciically designed to improve wastewater disposal in rural areas. The aim is to achieve comprehensive sanitation coverage to populations of all rural governorates by 2037. Priority is also being placed on en-
couraging sector investments.
Support from the World Bank began in 2008 with a loan for USD120 million to help inance an Integrated Sanitation and Sewerage Infrastructure Project in Beheira, Gharbeya and Kafr El Sheikh (ISSIP1). The project is now in its second phase (ISSP2), which involves providing sanitation cover-
age to the less-developed areas of Upper Egypt.
“With ISSIP2, the government is scaling up the sanitation coverage in the Delta and Upper Egypt and, in the process, building the capacity of the implementing agencies,” said Parameswaran Iyer, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist and the project’s Task Team Leader.
The project is helping the government to reach its goal of accelerating development in Upper Egypt, whilst also adhering to the World Bank Country Assistance Strategy goals of reducing dispari-
ties between Upper and Lower Egypt, enhancing the provision of public goods through expanded supply and improved eficiency of infrastructure services, and strengthening the accountability of public sector agencies such as those in the water and sanitation sector.
Reforestation helps poor in north Africa
Poor rural communities can benefit from increased revenue from carbon markets generated by refor-
estation schemes, according to a new report by the World Bank, which was released at the Africa Carbon Forum in Marrakesh. The report docu-
ments seven years of experiences in afforestation and reforestation from 16 developing countries involved in the Bank’s BioCarbon Fund. Despite regulatory, capacity, finance and land tenure is-
sues, the report concludes that reforestation is successful in mitigating climate change, improv-
ing rural livelihoods, restoring degraded land and conserving biodiversity. BEST PRACTICES
UN-HABITAT DIA Best Practices Award
2012 launched
The ninth UN-HABITAT DIA Best Practice Awards will be hosted by Dubai in March 2012. The city has sponsored the Awards since their inception in 1996 recognising innovative urban programmes that demonstrate a balance of success and sustain-
ability. Prizes also go to cities that have successfully transferred such programmes to other cities, and to individuals who have made an outstanding contri-
bution to such programmes. HEALTHCARE
UAE launches ‘Cure One Million Children’ campaign in east Africa
The UAE’s global campaign to cure one million children arrived in the Kenya-Somalia border zone this Septem-
ber. The campaign was launched by the Zayed Giving Initiative through the UAE Humanitarian Field Hospital for Children (Riaya) and visited several countries in Asia before it moved on to Africa. Volunteer doctors and surgeons are offering help to assist malnourished and diseased children as part of the initiative. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Masdar unveils carbon capture project Clean fossil fuel is a step closer thanks to a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project between Masdar and the independent non-proit research institute, RTI International. The initiative is being co-funded by the US Department of Energy and Masdar. Masdar hopes that the project will revolutionize both the economies and technology of CCS practices. Carbon capture and storage technology aims to capture car-
bon dioxide released into the atmosphere during the combustion of fossil fuels for power production or other industrial purposes.
1.2 million people will beneit from better sanitation in Egypt p
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October 2011
NEWS: Middle East and North Africa
African ministers to set renewable energy strategy
Representatives from African countries have agreed to begin mapping their readiness for renew-
able energy in a collaborative process to assess the current status of renewable energy and establish where opportunities lie for further development.
The decision was announced at a conference in Abu Dhabi organized by the International Renewa-
ble Energy Agency (IRENA) to discuss partnerships to accelerate renewable energy uptake for Africa.
Ministers of Energy and Heads of African delegations, together with the African Union Commis-
sion and the Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA), met at the invitation of IRENA in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in July 2011. Participants included regional economic communities, the UN-Economic Commission for Africa, the EU-Africa Energy partnership, the World Bank and UN-HABITAT.
An oficial communiqué from the meeting said: “We will use the 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All to carry forward Africa’s renewable energy strategies. We agree to work towards formalizing IRENA’s strategic presence in Africa and concretizing institutional arrange-
ments for cooperation with African regional bodies and strategic partners in the sector; further-
more, we urge all African states who have not done so to become full members of IRENA.”
Discussions were guided by the February 2009 African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government decision to develop renewable energy resources in order to provide clean, reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly energy and the November 2010 Maputo Declaration from the Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa to promote renewable energy in a joint effort with others to address issues relating to climate change.
Saudi Arabia devotes 80 million square metres of land to new housing
The Saudi Ministry of Housing has announced that 80 million square metres of land is to be given to hous-
ing projects. The land will be made available in various provinces in the Kingdom in order that 500,000 hous-
es can be built at a cost of SR250 billion (US$66.66 billion). Prince Dr. Mansour Ibn Meteb Ibn Abdulaziz, Minister of Municipalities and Rural Affairs, has agreed to deliver the land to the Housing Ministry.
Dubai’s Index is one of the Best Tall Buildings
of 2011 The Index building in Dubai has been named as one of the Best Tall Buildings for 2011 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The other three win-
ners were ‘New York by Gehry’, New York; Guangzhou International Finance Centre, and KfW Westarkade, Frankfurt. Winners were chosen for their design, technical innovation, sustainability and the manner in which they enhance the lives of their inhabitants. The award ceremony will take place on 27 October in Chicago. On the night, an overall ‘Best Tall Building Worldwide’ winner will be selected.
EUR20 million investment in north African SMEs
Transport, agribusiness, IT, telecoms and food process-
ing businesses are to beneit from a EUR20 million equity investment in the Maghreb Private Equity Fund III (MPEF III). The investment from the African Develop-
ment Bank is destined to fund SMEs in Morocco, Alge-
ria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. The strategy is that the funds will help create cross-border jobs and employ-
ment opportunities triggered by the multiplier effect of direct investments.
New motorway to create two thousand
jobs in Tunisia
Unemployed workers in one of Tunisia’s poorest regions will beneit from the creation of 2,000 new jobs with the construction of a new Tunisia-Libya highway – and up to 30,000 jobs could later be created in the tourism sector once the road is operational. A 195km, twin-lane motor-
way will be built between Gabes, Medenine and Ras Jedir at the Tunisian border. The project is part of Tunisia’s 11th Social and Economic Development Plan, which foresees work starting on the new road by 2015 in order to allevi-
ate the predicted saturation of the national RN1 motor-
way. The African Development Bank has approved a loan of EUR137.34 million to fund the project.
2012 will be the year of International Sustainable Energy for All p
© c
October 2011
Conference report
World water leaders at the 2011 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, made an impas-
sioned plea for water and sanitation to be pro-
vided to all by 2030, by supporting a Stock-
holm Statement to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20 Summit).
The Stockholm Statement calls on leader-
ship at all levels of government to commit to achieving ‘universal provisioning of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services by the year 2030’ and to adopt intervening targets to increase eficiency in the management of water, en-
ergy and food.
“It is important that we focus on increasing the eficiency of our water production and use if we are make real strides towards sustain-
ability,” said UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Joan Clos. “This is particularly important in ur-
ban areas, where the misuse of water for food production and industrial and domestic use is often high. By planning now for the cities of the tomorrow we can reduce the cost and eficiency of providing basic services like water.”
Over 2,600 politicians, business leaders, representatives from international organi-
zations, scientists, mayors and water pro-
fessionals gathered in Stockholm for World Water Week, which this year carried the theme ‘Water in an Urbanized World’, to discuss ways of advancing water and sani-
tation provision. World water leaders support
Stockholm Statement to Rio+20
World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden, 21-27 August 2011.
by Nick Michell
The number of people living in cities is expected to reach 80 per cent of the world’s population by 2050, outnumbering the total world population of today. Most of this growth is happening in areas at risk of both water shortages and disastrous loods.
“If we do not take dramatic, immediate strides to create more resource-eficient so-
cieties, then water shortages will constrain economic growth and inhibit food and energy production in many regions,” said Anders Berntell, Executive Director, of Stockholm International Water Institute. “There are tremendous opportunities to save water and stimulate development by cutting water loss-
es in energy production, by generating energy from water reuse and by reducing the losses and waste of food from the ield on its way to the consumer.”
The targets of the Stockholm Statement, to be achieved by the year 2020, include 20 per cent increases in total food supply-chain eficiency, water eficiency in agriculture, wa-
ter use eficiency in energy production, the quantity of water reused, and a 30 per cent decrease in water pollution.
“The Rio+20 Summit is a great opportunity to review how water, energy and food are perceived and managed by human society,” said Adeel Za-
far, Chair of UN-Water. “UN-Water, through its members and partners, has identiied ways in which the global water, energy and food security challenges can be addressed - leading to a cli-
mate resilient and robust green economy.”
UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Joan Clos, addresses delegates p
© t
at the opening of World Water Week “It is important that we focus on increasing the eficiency of our water production and use if we are make real strides towards sustainability.” Joan Clos
October 2011
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