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The cultural challenge for cities to meet the Paris climate targets

By Paul Owens, Director of the World Cities Culture Forum

Last week states, cities, major NGOs and business leaders gathered in Bonn for COP23 to collaborate on the frameworks and policy solutions that will support countries’ efforts to achieve Paris Climate Agreement targets. The summit cemented world cities’ already ascendant role as leaders of global efforts to address climate change, with mayors setting ambitious targets and working collaboratively with cities around the world.

As cities take on increasing responsibility for helping nations meet their Paris Climate targets, they have an additional unexpected, and until this point largely overlooked, tool at their disposal to enact their sustainability and resilience agenda – their local cultural and creative industries.

How Nature Is Nurturing Cities

Harini Nagendra has spent more than a decade studying the growth and functioning of cities in South Asia, supported in part by grants from the National Geographic Society in 2006 and 2011. In her new book, Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future she focuses in on the booming modern city of…

Back To School In The Garden, A Digital Lesson Guide For Educators

“I have a question,” Iliana said raising her hand and beckoning me over to her seat just before class ended. “Maybe you won’t be able to answer this,” she paused. “Well I’ll try, what’s up?” “So all this stuff with this environment and climate, is it irreversible?” Words piled up in my mouth, not sure…

Can São Paulo Avoid the Abyss of New York City in the 1970s?

By Alexandros Washburn and Philip Yang

São Paulo is the New York of the 1970s. The Cracolândia, the Campos Elíseos, Vila Leopoldina, and other central neighborhoods live the same problems with crime, drugs, homelessness, prostitution that Times Square, Bowery and Hell’s Kitchen experienced 40 years ago. The conflicts and dismay that mark São Paulo’s urban life today are identical to the violence and discouragement that prevailed among New Yorkers in the period that is seen as the gloomiest and most dangerous in the history of the Big Apple.

Is there any sign that São Paulo can follow the same path of recovery that New York pursued from the late 1970s onwards, in a process that reinvigorated the quality of public life and brought New York back to being one of the most lively and dynamic cities on the planet in one generation? We think so.

Nonfederal Entities Declare Commitment to Paris Agreement

Despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, nonfederal entities are saying they will continue to fight climate change. Twelve states and Puerto Rico have formed the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing to uphold the global climate accord, and leaders of 211 cities have declared themselves “Climate Mayors,” promising to work toward the…

Hundreds of mayors, governors, CEOs and others pledge U.S. commitment to Paris climate agreement

Mike Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, submitted yesterday an unprecedented statement of unity from hundreds of U.S. mayors, governors, state attorneys general, CEOs and others to achieve and eventually exceed America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In a letter to addressed jointly to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, Bloomberg presented this declaration, called “We Are Still In.”

Climate, Oceans, the United Nations, and What’s Next

For many of us jaded New Yorkers, the United Nations is merely a reason that traffic is periodically terrible on the Upper East Side, when world leaders gather. Perhaps now, after the US Administration has announced it will take steps to pull the United States out of the UN’s Paris Agreement on climate change, we…

Storytelling in a Slum’s Silicon Valley

“We have a different kind of Silicon Valley here,” Nawneet Ranjan explains. Founder of the Dharavi Diary: Slum and Rural Innovation Project, Ranjan tells how his students use storytelling, technology, and the power of their diversity to raise awareness and develop solutions for issues facing the Dharavi slum community in Mumbai, India.

Cities We Make

By Philip Yang, founder of Urbem

Every branch of knowledge is providing evidence that socially mixed urban areas are key to the future of cities’ cohesiveness and prosperity. Social and environmental sciences are showing both the opportunities of a deeper integration among different socioeconomic groups and the risks of dystopia generated by growing dissent and intolerance. Yet, all around the world, cities are engaged in producing urban territories that are ever more contributing to spatial segregation rather than connection. Is this a revertible trend? Are there other plausible ways to shape cities and the way people live and work in urban settings?

C40 Awards the 11 Best Cities of 2016 for Addressing Climate Change

The C40 Cities Awards recognize the world’s most inspiring and innovative cities tackling climate change. Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and BYD, the C40 Cities Awards ceremony was held during the C40 Mayors Summit, where more than 40 mayors from around the world gathered to create sustainable and liveable cities for citizens.

Urban Forests: What city trees do for us, and what we should do for them

It’s a bit of a no-brainer that the trees gracing our sidewalks, parks and other urban spaces are pleasing to the eye, providing soothing shade in the harsh, barren concrete landscape. In city parks, trees provide a place for citizens to relax and birds and squirrels to reside. What’s not to like about them? But not many of us…

UN Conference Sets Agenda for Rethink of How Cities are Planned, Managed and Inhabited

A major conference on the future of the world’s cities and towns, known as Habitat III, wrapped up in Quito, Ecuador, with delegations adopting a new framework that will set the world on a course towards sustainable urban development by rethinking how cities are planned, managed and inhabited, the United Nations announced in a news statement…

Mayors of the world’s major cities call for national governments and international financial institutions to help finance low-carbon and sustainable projects

Mayors of the world’s major cities have called for national governments and international financial institutions to help finance low-carbon and sustainable projects. These reforms are crucial for implementing the New Urban Agenda and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The C40 Cities Call for Action on Municipal Infrastructure Finance, details six…

Nations Can Now Deliver the Paris Agreement by Supporting Cities

By: Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris; Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro; and Miguel Ángel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City  The decision this week by European leaders to fast-track ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is historic. It is now certain that less than one year will have passed from the beginning…

A Commuter Revolution: How Cities Are Collaborating to Solve the Challenges of Sustainable Urban Transport

By Mark Watts, Executive Director C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, & Hany Fam, EVP Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas (by 2050 this number is expected to rise to two thirds) and cities are responsible for more than 70 percent of global energy related carbon dioxide emissions.…