Local governments are poised for a bigger role in protecting nature. Is your city on board?

“Humanity’s relationship with nature is broken.” That’s the unsettling observation UN Secretary General António Guterres made in a recent speech that Kobie Brand says helps keep things in perspective for her in her capacity as Global Director of the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center. “He said that we are in a crisis… and the defining issue 

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Malmö, Sweden: A testing ground for integrated sustainable solutions

The former industrial shipyard Western Harbour boasts a heavy concentration of green roofs and a heat pump plant that provides residents with heating and cooling. The neighbourhood of Augustenborg is known for its focus on climate adaptation and social and green regeneration initiatives. Hyllie for its smart energy solutions, Sege Park for its sharing economy, 

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Sustainability officers respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with renewed determination

This piece originally appeared in Cities Today. In Turku, Finland, sustainability meetings and events have gone virtual, reaching much larger audiences. The City of uMhlathuze, South Africa, has developed a programme to promote more home-based businesses. Oakland in the United States has established a new food systems ordinance to encourage more urban gardens. Far from 

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Daring Cities closing balances bold initiatives with challenges that lie ahead

Inspiring city initiatives in the fight against climate change have sprung up around the world, from the conversion of former landfill sites into wetlands in Buenos Aires, to Delhi closing its most polluting power plant, to Guangzhou electrifying its entire bus network. At the same time, questions linger over why cities like Lagos or Dakar 

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Cities rally around nature in the quest to become more resilient

In Montreal, they’re building Canada’s largest urban park. Once complete, the 8,000-hectare nature sanctuary will be eight times as large as New York’s Central Park.  In Bonn, green roofs are now mandatory for any surface larger than 200 square metres.  And 100 cities across Europe are currently involved in over 1,000 nature-based best practice solutions 

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Financing a post COVID-19 economy that’s green and inclusive

Cities are bearing the brunt of the combined effects of global warming and COVID-19. And far too many are contending with everything from limited health care systems to inadequate water sanitation services and transport systems to having enough space for public recreation and social distancing.  “These challenges are magnified in poorer communities where the pandemic 

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Methods and myths of sustainable development

Sustainable isn’t attainable when it comes to urban development and growth. Or at least that’s the prevailing perception many naysayers have, said Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s Minister of Environment  during the recent TEDxDaringCities session entitled: Embedding Climate Neutrality Ambition Through Sustainable Development.  Citing figures from the World Bank, Schmidt said that investing $40 billion USD in 

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With goal of becoming world’s first climate resilient country, Dominica inspires cities to better prepare for extreme weather conditions

Three years ago, the Caribbean island of Dominica was battered by Hurricane Maria’s winds of up to 250 km. Now, the island nation has announced plans to become the world’s first climate resilient country by 2030.  In the wake of that announcement, Dominica spokesperson Francine Baron took time to expand on the drive behind her 

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EcoLogistics’ big challenge: Reduce emissions, congestion, noise and deaths associated with urban transport while improving social equity

Create quieter delivery solutions. Declutter the roads and make them safer. Deliver goods more efficiently. Fast-track the development of alternative fuel technologies. Those were just some of the solutions Daring Cities’ presenters pondered, during two sessions on EcoLogistics last week: the first focusing on how to achieve lower carbon emissions in the transport sector; the 

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Opening Plenary, Session 2: Using nature to cope with climate change – and art to get people to care

“Urban development is recognized as an essential lever to foster sustainable development,” said Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI matter-of-factly during the second Daring Cities opening session.  But how do local governments balance much needed development with the preservation of our ecosystem… two global priorities which often seem at odds with one another? One 

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