New York, with 8.5 million people, heading for a sustainable future

July 17, 2018

New York has long been considered a pioneer – in fashion, art, music, and food, just to name a few. Now this city of 8.5 million is leading a shift in how we tackle today’s toughest global challenges like climate change, education, inequality, and poverty.


Maimunah Mohd Sharif Executive
Executive Director of the UN-Habitat

Divergent Definitions – Embracing a Holistic Understanding of Urban Resilience


Frequently referred to as a buzzword, the emergent focus on resilience has allowed it to become an increasingly normative framework to envision future urban development within – often in contemporary contexts, informing multi-dimensional facets of urban development. [1][2] (more…)

Sunjyot Singh
Urban Planner

Barcelona advances progress on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

24th April, 2018

Barcelona City Council is now equipped with the Pla Clima (Climate Plan). This cross-cutting strategy contains 242 actions running up to 2030 and complements the Paris Agreement on the fight against climate change. By implementing the plan, the City Council is picking up the pace towards reducing emissions and advancing towards the levels called for in the Paris agreement by 20 years.



Calling for a Gender approach to “smart” and “resilient” cities

March 14th, 2018

Given the policy imperative to develop “smart cities”, it is critical to explore the connection between gender and urban development in relation to urban resilience in smart cities.


Sunita Kotnala and Rajashree Ghosh
Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism and Brandeis University

The Battle of the Ages: How climate change is leaving its mark on cities

March 1st, 2018

“How can we be so arrogant? The planet is, was, and always will be stronger than us. We can’t destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface and carry on existing. Why don’t they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us?” – Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone.

© Go_greener_oz/Flickr.


Heleen Van Hecke (main editor)
Independant Consultant

Urban living in the context of climate change: holistic is the way to go

February 9th, 2018

A complex multidimensional system containing an endless number of elements constantly interacting among themselves. Functioning as a unit. Growing exponentially. Becoming more and more smart and intelligent. The cradle of cutting edge innovations. But still very vulnerable. Fragile enough to collapse like a house of cards just in one day. This is what our cities are like: the largest concentration of both the world’s biggest wealth and the most challenging issues. They are constantly facing impacts of different kinds due to natural, technological, social or other causes, which not only pose serious risk for the urban living, but also produce significant losses, both material and human.


Aira Buskute and Marc Velasco

Think piece: Arctic resilience is evolving to the urban sphere

February 6th, 2018

How can Arctic communities remain resilient to transforming surroundings? Can age-old resilience-thinking solutions be adapted to the Arctic today? And what does the Arctic have to teach the world about resilience? (more…)

UN-Habitat and Marie Francisco

Think piece: Gender Perspective on Urban Resilience

February 8th, 2018

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [1] acknowledges the link between gender equality and urban resilience. The vision of Sustainable Development relies on both goal 11, which calls for urban areas to be inclusive, resilient and sustainable, and Sustainable Development Goal 5, which highlights gender equality. (more…)

UN-Habitat and Madison Kennewell (Editor)

Barcelona places its bet on resilience

November 29th, 2017
 As announced in the article La Resiliencia Urbana, clave del futuro de las ciudades (Urban Resilience, Key for the future of cities), urban hubs across the world are initiating their journey towards becoming resilient and protecting their inhabitants, goods and functionality in the face of crisis. This is also the case of Barcelona, one of the partner cities of the City Resilience Profiling Programme of the United Nations, a Programme working to improve resilience and empower local governments to increase their capacity to face and recover from any hazard. For a city, being resilient guarantees the ability to function, advance and regenerate in a more sustainable manner.


Ares Gabàs Masip.
Director of the Urban Resilience Programme, Barcelona City Council

7 principles for building better cities

More than half of the world’s population already lives in cities, and another 2.5 billion people are projected to move to urban areas by 2050. The way we build new cities will be at the heart of so much that matters, from climate change to economic vitality to our very well-being and sense of connectedness. Peter Calthorpe is already at work planning the cities of the future and advocating for community design that’s focused on human interaction. He shares seven universal principles for solving sprawl and building smarter, more sustainable cities.


Peter Calthorpe

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