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.

Nature in the Urban Century: Cities can offer solutions for biodiversity loss – if we act now

By Rob McDonald, Lead Scientist for Global Cities, The Nature Conservancy This century will be remembered as the urban century. Our generation will witness the most significant urban growth in human history. By 2050, there will be 2.4 billion more people in cities, a rate of urban growth that is the equivalent of building a 

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A farmer standing in front of a rice paddy full of water.

Lessons in sustainability from India’s past: Changing the nature of agricultural practices

The agricultural sector occupies a significant place in India’s economy, contributing 15 percent of the country’s GDP and employing 47 percent of its labor. It is also extremely sensitive to climate change, with estimates suggesting that climate shifts have already cost India 1.5 percent of its GDP. Unfortunately,  agriculture itself is also a major source 

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Why smart mobility needs a reality check

by Julian Dörr, Assistant, Smart Cities, ICLEI – Local Government for Sustainability _ The highly mobile lifestyles seen in cities today have become an increasingly complex headache for local governments worldwide to handle. Many cities struggle with greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion. With the highly anticipated and impending arrival of smart mobility, 

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Confronting the energy burden – Achieving energy equity for low-income communities

by Hannah Rothschild, City-Business Collaboration Officer, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability To learn more about the Urban Transitions Alliance visit www.urbantransitions.org _ Cities in the Urban Transitions Alliance are moving away from their industrial energy-intensive heritage and setting ambitious energy efficiency targets. A broad range of projects and programs have spearheaded sustainability efforts, reduced 

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New York moves to divest: Case study from the largest municipal pension fund in the United States

New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major U.S. city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels. At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. 

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Four steps to climate neutrality

Cities across the world are committing to climate neutrality and taking bold action to get there. Reykjavík, Iceland is using geothermal energy to achieve its 2040 neutrality target, New York City is divesting from fossil fuels and the Australian Capital Territory intends to hit 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020. The Paris Agreement aims for 

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Local and regional governments are driving the global transition to renewable energy

Cities consume about 75 percent of global primary energy, making it crucial that local and regional governments work alongside nations, businesses and civil society to drive the renewable energy transition . This will not only slash global greenhouse gas emissions but also improve energy security in urban areas worldwide. Local and regional governments around the 

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How can climate action find USD 480 billion?

At first glance, building the world’s sustainable infrastructure looks dauntingly expensive. There are, for example, figures like the one written by the International Institute of Applied Statistical Analysis: “To meet countries’ NDCs”, writes the IIASA, “an additional US$130 billion of investment will be needed by 2030, while to achieve the 2°C target the gap is 

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9 cities that lead on nature-based development

The health of natural ecosystems is crucial to the health of cities and urban populations. From essential services like water purification, flood control and climate regulation to a range of physical and mental health benefits, societies thrive by building a strong connection to nature. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem changes are a reality in our urban 

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Getting urbanization right: achieving the SDGs

“If we are to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, end extreme poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for everyone, we must strengthen collective effort to get urbanization right.” – Maimunah Sharif, Executive Director of UN Habitat   Sharif made this statement to the assembled leaders of the High Level Political Forum 

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