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RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND RAPID URBANISATION

GOOD PRACTICE PLATFORM

To supplement the Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth, this Good Practice Platform has been created to exemplify the sort of innovative and collaborative work already being undertaken locally to help advance sustainable urbanisation in the Commonwealth. The intention is to illustrate how, with a sharper focus and appropriate resources, the Commonwealth can come together to more effectively tackle the challenges of climate change, rapid urbanisation and the recovery from Covid-19. These examples have been shared by a number of organisations working in the field of sustainable urbanisation, if you would like to submit an example please email info@commonwealthsustainablecities.org.

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The 2020 SDGs Cities Challenge began on 13 May 2020 with ten initial cities from Malaysia, India, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Australia. There is a wealth of resources available for cities and business to support the implementation of the SDGs however it is not always easy to find a methodology that best fits a city’s local context and identifies appropriate local solutions. The SDGs Cities Challenge links cities with their urban partners in academia, business and community in a structured process of co-design.…

In Pakistan, the affordable housing challenge is vast with many bottlenecks. One of the main blockages is the lack of housing finance for people on low incomes. These people have been systematically misunderstood or excluded by mainstream mortgage lenders. Reall have invested in affordable housing property developer, the Ansaar Management Company (AMC), who has successfully launched a pioneering new mortgage product in partnership with the semi-state-owned lending institution HBFC.…

Rwanda has multiple, overlapping tenure systems, with no formal or consistent way of accounting for them in a land register or cadastre. This has resulted in a rise in informal land markets as well as associated increase in land prices and conflict. This has been addressed through a large-scale Land Tenure Regularisation Programme.…

Mukuru is a large informal settlement located in Nairobi’s industrial area, with about 300,000 residents. Mukuru residents face several risks simultaneously linked to low-quality shelter, infrastructure, and services, as well as the settlement’s insecure tenure and flood-prone location. About 95% of residents are tenants who rent rooms in shacks, typically built of mud and/or galvanised iron sheets. Residents usually have very limited access to water, sanitation, and hygiene; there is also elevated of tenure insecurity due to Mukuru’s prime location on contested private lands. Residents also face social and political exclusion, as in Nairobi’s other informal settlements. After years of advoc…

Small Islands in the Pacific face daunting challenges posed by their small size, narrow production and export bases, limited resources and capacity constraints. These challenges are exacerbated by climate change, urbanisation and now COVID 19. To get out of poverty and hardship people are looking for local solutions to generate economic activities in order to improve standard of living. The overall objective of the project is to create and increase the sustainability of local economic development at the local level through the strengthening of LGAs and Local Authorities and supporting their interaction with communities.…

In the Indian context, data on urbanisation is not released at an adequate spatial and temporal resolution. While data is collected by various government agencies, however, it is collected relatively infrequently and is not released at a fine-grained resolution that allows researchers to understand urban inequalities, vulnerabilities, risks and exposure. This prevents policymakers, practitioners and researchers from formulating adequate policies and theory to deal with the challenges raised by urbanisation in these contexts. In order to address this, the Urban Informatics Lab and the Geospatial Lab at IIHS have been collaborating to develop open source, scalable methods to generate fine-grai…

Uganda’s relatively young population, where close to 60% of the population below 18 years of age, and over 75% below the age of 35 years, is central to it’s country’s development towards a middle-income country. Traditionally having relied on donor funding for investment in social services, which is now in decline, there is a recognition of a need for greater transparency and accountability, and more efficient implementation. Value for money is now a priority, to ensure that with existing resources, integral services for child welfare and development can be maximised.…

Located at the meeting point of Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) city centre and Te Waitematā (Waitematā harbour), Te Wānanga is one of the new public spaces transforming our city centre waterfront. A design partnership with Mana Whenua (local Māori authorities) elevated design thinking to deliver a project that expresses local identity, culture history and aspirations for the future. This thinking brought a strong mauri (life force) focus to improving land and marine-based ecological health through the project. Te Wānanga has been designed as an ‘elevated tidal shelf’ which provides space for human, cultural and natural ecologies to interact.…

The Caribbean island of Antigua is extremely vulnerable to the threat of climate change and severe weather conditions, with areas of poorly constructed housing and little in infrastructure and climate defences. Within the community, Ruth Spencer has been organising a programme of educating the public on solar power technology and its potential to lower their cost of electricy. Partnering with local community groups, churches and local suppliers, they have been able to provide materials and training to be able to install solar panels and carry out building upgrades.…

The effects of climate change and socio-political factors are leading to increasingly large populations being displaced, with migrants often fleeing to poor countries with limited resources. The rapidly growing refugee community in Cameroon’s Minawao refugee camp has led to significant environmental and social challenges, including water shortages, damage to valuable grazing land, desertification and deforestation.…