Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieving the Paris Agreement objectives will require increased investment in socially, economically and environmentally sustainable infrastructure. The main barrier to investment of the kind needed is not the lack of available finance, but rather a lack of well-prepared and investment-ready 'bankable' projects. Whether or not a project is bankable – i.e., attractive enough for investors to decide to invest – depends on a number of factors including the policy and regulatory environment, consultations with relevant stakeholders, capacity to engage with investors and manage transactions, quality of project documentation, and economic development issues such as creditworthiness and willingness to pay. The international community has launched numerous capacity building and technical assistance initiatives to address these factors, but greater effort will be needed to mobilise public and private investment in developing and emerging economies for sustainable infrastructure. This report considers the complexities that underpin efforts to attract investment into sustainable infrastructure with a focus on project preparation. It reflects on experiences with project preparation support for infrastructure and potential shifts in approach needed to deliver the scale of investment required in sustainable infrastructure to achieve the SDGs and fulfil the goals of the Paris Agreement.
This paper presents a synthesis of findings from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda on the role of social protection programmes in contributing to people’s capacity to absorb, anticipate and adapt to climate-related shocks and stresses. The paper reflects on the actual and potential contributions social protection can make to increase the resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable. The analysis is informed by an understanding that resilience to climate extremes and disasters cannot be built by one programme or sector alone, but requires a range of programmes that together increase the capacity of people and governments to reduce the diverse set of risks that underpin poverty and vulnerability and increase the risk of disasters. For this, the competitive advantage of different sectors needs to be identified and strengthened to form part of a wider cross-sectoral sustainable development agenda.
China’s phenomenal growth offers an opportunity to boost development in African countries. Moreover, China’s loans and concessional assistance financed a wide range of development projects. China also is reaping significant benefits from this relationship, through access to raw materials, expanded markets for exports of manufactures, the establishment of investment relationships which could generate significant profits over time and diplomatic influence. But leadership from African governments, particularly to strengthen domestic policies and governance and to harmonize regional policies so as to improve the continent’s bargaining position with China, are required to ensure that the China-Africa relationship contributes to sustainable growth and poverty reduction. The twin goals of this paper are to summarizes the analysis on the economic exchange between China and Africa, and to outline policy recommendations to improve the benefits to both parties.
This article focuses on policy to support adaptation to climate change, and the importance of good gender analysis in planning and following through. It first examines how vulnerabilities are understood by climate change specialists. Then it examines how, through these perspectives, African people – particularly women in environment-based livelihoods – can best be supported by governments and development partners to adapt to the effects of climate change.
In December 2014, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Lima Peru, decided that national contributions to the mitigation challenge and national adaptation actions should be aggregated into Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). As a result, 189 countries laid out their approach to tackle mitigation and adaptation by formally presenting their INDCs to the UNFCCC. On 4 November 2016, the Paris Agreement entered into force ahead of the 22nd Conference to the Parties calling for INDCs to be transitioned to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which will form the foundation of the post-Kyoto multilateral climate regime. Based on literature review and interviews with African stakeholders from the government, civil society and private sector, this study examines national developments and processes related to Paris Agreement ratification in six focus countries—Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa, The Gambia, Tunisia and Uganda. More specifically, the study provides a summary overview of the (I)NDCs of all African countries participating in the CIF and examines whether and how African parties are making changes to their INDCs in the process of ratifying the Paris Agreement. Further analysis reveals whether and how countries are planning dedicated policies and measures to implement and achieve INDC mitigation components.
This ten-year Strategy is designed to place the African Development Bank at the centre of Africa’s transformation and to improve the quality of Africa’s growth. The Strategy will focus on two objectives to improve the quality of Africa’s growth: inclusive growth, and the transition to green growth. It also outlines five main channels for the Bank to deliver its work and improve the quality of growth in Africa: Infrastructural development; Regional economic integration; Private sector development; Governance and accountability; Skills and technology. In implementing its ten-year Strategy, and as an integral part of the two objectives, the Bank will pay particular attention to fragile states, agriculture and food security, and gender.
This report, produced jointly by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), assesses the progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa.
Africa has seen an acceleration in economic growth, established ambitious social safety nets and designed policies for boosting education and tackling HIV and other diseases. It has also introduced women’s quotas in parliament, leading the way internationally on gender equality, and increased gender parity in primary schools. Although overall poverty rates are still hovering around 48 percent, according to the most recent estimates, most countries have made progress on at least one goal. Much more work lies ahead to ensure living standards improve for all African women and men. While economic growth has been relatively strong, it has not been rapid or inclusive enough to create jobs. Similarly, many countries have managed to achieve access to primary schooling; however, considerable issues of quality and equity need to be addressed.
Whilst we recognize that much work has been done in the main-streaming of gender equality in human settlement, UN-Habitat acknowledges that much more is required. This compendium of case studies is designed to bring into one document some of the gender main-streaming initiatives UN-Habitat implemented from 2008 to 2012. The case studies provide the most comprehensive examples of the field implementation of the UN-Habitat Gender Equality Action Plan of 2008 to 2013. The projects and programmes compendium brings recognition to UN-Habitat’s efforts to advance the internationally agreed agenda for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. The compendium serves as a good start towards capturing the successful efforts under way to advance the agenda on equality and empowerment of women. In addition, the compendium serves as a learning and resource tool to UN-Habitat and its partners
This report reviews recent urban planning practices and approaches, discusses constraints and conflicts therein, and identifies innovative approaches that are more responsive to current challenges of urbanization. It notes that traditional approaches to urban planning (particularly in developing countries) have largely failed to promote equitable, efficient and sustainable human settlements and to address twenty-first century challenges, including rapid urbanization, shrinking cities and ageing, climate change and related disasters, urban sprawl and unplanned peri-urbanization, as well as urbanization of poverty and informality. It concludes that new approaches to planning can only be meaningful, and have a greater chance of succeeding, if they effectively address all of these challenges, are participatory and inclusive, as well as linked to contextual socio-political processes.
This report addresses three major threats to the safety and security of cities: crime and violence; insecurity of tenure and forced evictions; and natural and human-made disasters. It analyses worldwide trends with respect to each of these threats, paying particular attention to their underlying causes and impacts, as well as to the good policies and best practices that have been adopted at the city, national and international levels in order to address these threats. The report adopts a human security perspective, concerned with the safety and security of people rather than of states, and highlights issues that can be addressed through appropriate urban policy, planning, design and governance.
This publication is a call to action for cities to address climate change. It presents information and practical case studies of what cities can do to respond to one of today’s leading challenges in 12 key messages. It takes the view that climate change presents cities with an opportunity to review urban policy and local strategies which would lead to more sustainable, liveable and vibrant cities.
This is an orienting document seeking to provide technical guidelines that will facilitate the design and implementation of policies and actions aiming at fighting the adverse impacts of climate change. It was drawn up in a participative fashion and was based on the empowering documents for the management of development in canton Esmeraldas in Ecuador. It is made up of two strategic objectives and three core themes. A series of Action Lines of each one of the areas identified as priority by the local population are proposed for each one of these components.
Part of a series of four, entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide (Working with Nature) focuses on the effect of unplanned, rapid growth of cities on the functioning of a city-region’s natural systems. It outlines how guided development can maximise the ability of ecosystems to support sustainable human and natural processes. It offers a perspective on how to work with nature and the ecological processes in regions, and looks at the need to work across scales; to understand regional systems; and develop principles and measures that can be applied at the regional, city and local scales.
Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide explores the compact city and its benefits within the developed and developing world’s contexts. The guide illustrates how the compact city concept and planned (versus unplanned) urban extension can support sustainable urban patterns that benefit the functioning of developed as well as developing world cities. Properly managed, compaction can positively enhance the life of the city dweller and support related strategies aimed at promoting a green economy and sustainable urban settlements.
Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide argues that strategic investment in physical infrastructure with the diversification of economies allows cities to play a specialized role in polycentric urban development. Furthermore, it suggests that green economic development can be achieved through the development of green clusters and green jobs. Finally, this guide argues that a number of green economy outcomes may be reached through efficiencies and shared infrastructure, rather than duplication.
Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide proposes that cities can act as agents for change that allow their large populations to live less wastefully. It considers how infrastructure systems can be viewed as an opportunity to shift cities onto a more sustainable path by paying close attention to the resources that pass through them, and the manner in which they support the activities of the city. Each city context differs, based on stage of development, pace of growth and available resources.
The Arab world has played a very important role in the history of urbanization. It is the region where urban civilization was born and where urban matters have been addressed for centuries. The Arab urban civilization, as it has evolved over the past millennium, has generated some of the most beautiful cities in the world. This publication is the first ever to comprehensively analyse urbanization processes in the Arab States through the review of its four sub-regions: the Maghreb, the Mashreq, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the least-developed Arab countries of the Southern Tier.
The efforts of UN-Habitat have been focused on building a brighter future for developing cities, which are most in need of support in guiding the process of urbanization. This catalogue of projects centres on three fundamental generators of wealth and employment in cities: planning and urban design, urban law and urban economy. It includes experiences in applying UN-Habitat’s methodology of community participation in the provision of basic services, housing and urban reconstruction. It also highlights how legislation, governance and soil treatment plays a key role in achieving urban transformation.
What this new edition of State of the World’s Cities shows is that prosperity for all has been compromised by a narrow focus on economic growth. UN-Habitat suggests a fresh approach to prosperity beyond the solely economic emphasis, including other vital dimensions such as quality of life, adequate infrastructures, equity and environmental sustainability. The Report proposes a new tool – the City Prosperity Index – together with a conceptual matrix, the Wheel of Prosperity, both of which are meant to assist decision makers to design clear policy interventions. The Report advocates for the need of cities to enhance the public realm, expand public goods and consolidate rights to the ‘commons’ for all as a way to expand prosperity. This comes in response to the observed trend of enclosing or restricting these goods and commons in enclaves of prosperity, or depleting them through unsustainable use.
The analysis of urban development of the past twenty years presented in this maiden edition of the World Cities Report shows, with compelling evidence, that there are new forms of collaboration and cooperation, planning, governance, finance and learning that can sustain positive change. The Report unequivocally demonstrates that the current urbanization model is unsustainable in many respects. It conveys a clear message that the pattern of urbanization needs to change in order to better respond to the challenges of our time, to address issues such as inequality, climate change, informality, insecurity, and the unsustainable forms of urban expansion.
Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility argues that the development of sustainable urban transport systems requires a conceptual leap. The purpose ‘transportation’ and ‘mobility’ is to gain access to destinations, activities, services and goods. Thus access is the ultimate objective of transportation. As a result, urban planning and design should focus on how to bring people and places together, by creating cities that focus on accessibility, rather than simply increasing the length of urban transport infrastructure or increasing the movement of people or gods. Urban form and the functionality of the city are therefore a major focus of this report, which highlights the importance of integrated land-use and transport planning.
For the last 40 years, UN-Habitat has been working to improve the lives of people in human settlements around the world. As our population has grown, so has the number of people living in cities, towns and villages on all continents. With around 3 billion more people expected to live in urban areas by 2050, it is more critical than ever that we plan and manage the way our cities expand. This publication demonstrates just a snapshot of UN-Habitat's overall portfolio and represents the ways in which, along with their partners, their work positively impacts the quality of life for people around the world. Working together we can, and must, promote economically, socially and environmentally sustainable urbanization and a better urban future for all.
The African continent is currently in the midst of simultaneously unfolding and highly significant demographic, economic, technological, environmental, urban and socio-political transitions. Africa’s economic performance is promising, with booming cities supporting growing middle classes and creating sizeable consumer markets. But despite significant overall growth, not all of Africa performs well. The continent continues to suffer under very rapid urban growth accompanied by massive urban poverty and many other social problems. These seem to indicate that the development trajectories followed by African nations since post-independence may not be able to deliver on the aspirations of broad based human development and prosperity for all. This report, therefore, argues for a bold re-imagining of prevailing models in order to steer the ongoing transitions towards greater sustainability based on a thorough review of all available options. That is especially the case since the already daunting urban challenges in Africa are now being exacerbated by the new vulnerabilities and threats associated with climate and environmental change.
With 80% of its population living in cities, Latin America and the Caribbean is the most urbanized region on the planet. Located here are some of the largest and best-known cities, like Mexico City, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Lima and Santiago. The region also boasts hundreds of smaller cities that stand out because of their dynamism and creativity. This edition of State of Latin American and Caribbean cities presents the current situation of the region’s urban world, including the demographic, economic, social, environmental, urban and institutional conditions in which cities are developing.
This report on the state of Asian and Pacific cities is the second in the series first published by UN-Habitat (the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) and ESCAP (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) in 2010 then 2011. Building on the findings and baseline data provided in the 2010 report, and in capturing both rapid change and new policy opportunities, The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015 seeks to further contribute to policy-relevant literature on the region’s urban change. Specifically, as reflected in its subtitle, the report highlights growing gaps between current urbanisation patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the role of the region’s cities is unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects.