Opinions, ideas and knowledge you can apply to local and regional sustainable development.

Explore this blog to learn from local leaders, municipal staff and experts from around the world.


How local action can fight global land degradation

Land degradation is a growing barrier to sustainable development. It directly affects an estimated 1.5 billion people globally, impacting food and water security, increasing poverty and exacerbating vulnerability to climate change. The global response must acknowledge urban activities as a key underlying driver, drawing on local and regional governments as allies. Systematic public sector approaches 

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A mixture of visionary planning using water features, architectural relief, flexible envelope enabled natural cooling of Sikri Palace. Picture credit: Sanyam Bahga

Lessons in sustainability from India’s past

Agra, May 1579 The mercury has hit 40.2 degrees Celsius. The heat rises to form mirages across the city. In the palace of Sikri, Ranis – queens of Akbar – do not have the luxury of retreating into their rooms and turning on the air-conditioning. It is a good thing that they do not need to. 

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Hungry for more: Cities are shaping the global food agenda

It is clear that the food, urban, resilience and sustainability agendas must come together. At the Urban Food Forum at Resilient Cities 2017, Monika Zimmermann, Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI and Thierry Giordano, Decentralized Cooperation Advisor at FAO, drew an analogy between the way cities are seizing the food agenda and how they got a jump start on the 

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Responding to vulnerability and its root causes

By Bryce Appleby, human geographer, MSc Candidate at Universität Bonn / UNU-EHS – United Nations University of Environmental Risk and Human Security and communications volunteer at Resilient Cities 2017 Marginalized neighborhoods and slums are often disproportionately affected by climate change, given that they are often located in high-hazard areas, deprived of risk-reducing infrastructure and lacking adaptive 

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The blue, the green, the city in between

by Laura Spray, MSc Candidate in Geography at Universität Bonn / UNU-EHS – United Nations University of Environmental Risk and Human Security and Resilient Cities 2017 communications volunteer The City of Oslo, known fondly to its residents as “the blue, the green and the city in between” due to its unique position between the sea and 

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Join the budding conversation about resilient transport

Resilience is a tricky topic when it comes to urban transport. The Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals signal a sustainable, resilient path forward for urban transport. But is this translating into resilient transport systems in cities? Not exactly. At least not on a consistent basis. Transport resilience is way down on the priority list for 

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A growing menu for the urban food agenda

The regulars at the Resilient Cities congress might recall that when urban food first appeared as a topic in the congress series, it almost seemed out of place – a topic more fitting to the agricultural community than urbanists. The conversation started from the basics, emphasizing food as a system, which includes producers, consumers and many other stakeholders all along 

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How cities can better manage risks and save money, lives and carbon emissions

Climate change poses an existential threat to cities. This is especially true when we take into account the risks posed by changing weather patterns, which increase the frequency and intensity of cyclones, superstorms, flash floods and protracted droughts. Among many other things, resilience-building is about managing such risks within the city. Of course, this is 

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Learn how to learn with Quito

Quito appreciates learning from other cities. Last October, they demonstrated their spirit of sharing and collaboration during the EcoMobility Days – held during the Habitat III conference – where they presented their transportation plans to cities and transport enthusiasts from all over the world to collect ideas for more integrated transportation. Once again, at Resilient Cities 2017, they 

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