Collaborate Groups, projects & programmes, discussions, Q&A

Posted on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 10:48
Climate change is leading to significant migration in Kenya, dividing loved-ones and driving families apart. Meet Teresina, whose husband Julius has been forced to move hundred of miles away to earn an income to keep his children in school. It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. As couples around the world look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day, Teresina Karimi from Kenya dreams of being with her husband, who lives hundreds of miles away. “I miss him but there are no options here. There is nothing else that we can do,” Teresina Karimi (45) says, sheltering under the rim of... Read more
Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 09:28
Sufficient fresh water; universal access to cleaner energy; the ability to travel efficiently from one point to another; a sense of safety and security: These are the kinds of promises modern cities must fulfill if they are to stay competitive and provide a decent quality of life to their citizens. By 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas. The challenge will be to supply these populations with basic resources like safe food, clean water and sufficient energy, while also ensuring overall economic, social and environmental sustainability. Already today,... Read more
Posted on Monday, January 25, 2016 - 12:34
The typical modern Chinese city leaves a lot to be desired — and everybody seems to know it. Their streets tend to be extremely wide, cutting off one side from the other, but are still clogged with traffic that is unhindered by road rules. Their expansive sidewalks would be good for walking except for the fact that cars park and drive on them. Their populations are housed within 500×500 meter apartment complexes that are shut up behind high gates, inhibiting street life — socializing is best done at the nearest shopping mall. Their appearance is monotonous, it is a common complaint that China... Read more
Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 10:45
Selling food in Nairobi's informal settlements can provide cheap meals and create vital livelihoods, especially for women, but these providers are usually ignored and remain invisible. Food vendors play a key role in nourishing their fellow residents in informal settlements, offering ready access to fruit, vegetables, snacks, and cooked foods. But unlike food vendors in markets or downtown streets, vendors in informal settlements are often hidden and overlooked by policymakers. The Kenyan slum-dweller federation, Muungano wa Wanavijiji, has explored why vendors sell in informal settlements,... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 10:22
Do big cities have more in common with each other than with the rest of their own countries? Are there meaningful comparisons between cities such as New York, London and Shanghai, rather than between nation states? That is the suggestion of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Such mega-conurbations have bigger populations and economies than many individual countries - and the think tank argues that they face many similar challenges, whether it is in transport, housing, security, jobs, migration or education. In a report on global trends shaping education, the... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 19:02
City mayors from around the world have gathered in Paris at the Conference of Parties (COP21) to discuss green solutions, with many pledging to pursue a suite of sustainability initiatives to tackle climate change. Some of these discussions hold valuable lessons for smart Indian cities of the future. Today, unchecked and growing resource consumption and waste generation in Indian cities are commensurate with the populations they sustain. As economic growth triggers greater urbanisation, the cities of tomorrow need to break away from this traditional paradigm. New urban development models... Read more
Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 12:42
Many places being cited as examples of cities reborn - including London, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney - owe their renaissance to growing populations of the foreign-born, writes  William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It’s an inescapable truism that’s begun to sink in with leaders worldwide and which, very soon, will become obvious even to those most opposed to our current wave of human mobility. Could a million African, Asians and Middle Easterners really be bound for Europe this year? Certainly—and arguably numbers almost as... Read more
Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 10:34
Africa's urban population will double in 25 years, and it will have a slum prevalence level of 61% COMING OUT of the conversations at the Africities summit it is clear that the African reality requires a new way of thinking to do with the transformation and growth of its cities. These urban realities include a population that will double in 25 years, a slum prevalence level of 61% (higher than any other region in the world),  a labour force where 63% are in vulnerable employment, where congestion can equate to 2% of a country’s economy and where 400million more people will need water... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 11:17
"Even poor Kenyans are starting to get developed-world diseases' TERESA MAGESA, who lives in Mukuru, a slum in the south of Nairobi, did not realise for years that she had type 2 diabetes. “I was always feeling that I was carrying a burden,” she says. But despite her frequent headaches and dizziness, diabetes, she thought, was a disease for “fat people”. Only in late middle age did she begin to learn that she needed to manage her blood sugar and eat a more balanced diet. Historically, non-infectious diseases such as diabetes, cancer or asthma have been more prevalent in the rich world than... Read more
Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 10:31
Imagine you live in a village in which, 40 years ago, everyone was able to work the land and live off the proceeds of their labour, but now climatic conditions and changes in land-use patterns have reduced agricultural yields. As you worry about food security, you hear that a new mine has opened in the next village and is hiring. What would you do? For many people the answer is obvious: I would go to the next village in search of work. The 2011 census noted continued high levels of urbanisation and urban expansion, with the greatest pressure being in Gauteng. Given this pressure, the National... Read more