Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda: a final call for cities


After the approval of the “urban SDG” just two weeks ago in New York, another decisive call for the mobilization of cities is looming. At the UN Habitat III Conference in Quito next year, member states will have to agree on a New Urban Agenda that will define how urbanization should unfold in the next 20 years. But how do we make sure that not only national governments but cities and local stakeholders are actually included in this process?

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October 13, 2015   No Comments

How can renewable energy help achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?


Sustainable development is an approach to development that takes the finite resources of the Earth into consideration and hereby respects the planetary boundaries. This week in New York, governments gather at the UN General Assembly to present 17 goals which should guide the right pathway to sustainable development. The so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) have been developed in a three-year process by national governments building on the expertise of international organizations and civil society groups.

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September 25, 2015   No Comments

Urban China: the challenge and the hope


An increasingly urban matter?

Humanity has become a predominantly urban species. This could not be truer in China, where the share of urban population went from only 19% in 1980 to 54% in 2014. Cities in China still today grow by roughly 12 million people every year. It is estimated that by 2030 they will house around 1 billion people – about 70% of China´s population. Clearly enough, if any meaningful action towards a more sustainable future is to be taken seriously, this will need to involve its cities.  While most Chinese cities are still affected by an incredibly high level of pollution, more and more people throughout the country are claiming their right to a “blue sky”. Could this growing public support joint with strong political leadership be the right drivers for rapid improvements in China´s environmental performance? 

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August 27, 2015   No Comments