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WEBINAR: There is no place like home – Cities making sustainable living a reality

The webinar objective is to envision what you can do to initiate change in your neighbourhood and hear the experience from people who co-created more liveable cities with their governments.

'There is no place like home – Cities making sustainable living a reality' is the second webinar from the broader series: ‘Sustainable Living 1.5: Empowering People to live better and lighter’.

DATE: 7 July 2020

TIME: 09.00-10.15 (TBC) Central European Time

COVID-19 has brought about changes that has forced us to consider more than ever cities and their neighbourhoods’ tremendous impacts, on not only climate change and resources consumption, but also on how a community is organised. In many modern cities, people live together in an urban form that builds and perpetuates severe inequalities that often disproportionately impacts marginalized groups. 

Access webinar presentation here

UNEP has developed a set of guidelines to help cities implement an integrated sustainable neighbourhood design around three core principles: Design, Integration and Local Context. These principles, combined, create places for people that make connections and bring a population together by working with the landscape while targeting carbon neutrality with innovative design adapted from every local situation. By doing so, it is a thorough transition towards a circular economy that would emerge. 

Join global experts on this fascinating topic envisioning the future of what sustainable cities and neighbourhoods ought to be like for vibrant local economies and strong local communities. 


09.00-09.05 - Welcome and introduction to the Webinar Series – Garrette Clark, UNEP  

09.05-09.10  - Introduction to session and moderation: Sharon Gil, UNEP and Kirstin Miller, EcoCity Builders

09.10-09.30 - Keynote presentation on urban design, citizen behavior, and sustainable urban development by Serge Salat: Founder of Urban Morphology Institute

09.30-09.45 - How traditional urban design supported/supports sustainable lifestyles in Lalitpur Nepal by Pradeep Amatya: Office of the Mayor, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Nepal.

09:45-10:00 - Urban design, community engagement, and local context – ideas from the Philippines and the COVID-19 experience; Veronica Hitosis: Deputy Executive Director, League of Cities of the Philippines

10.00-10:15 - Moderated discussion and Conclusions


Key messages - There’s no place like home: Cities making sustainable living a reality.

Nowadays most people live in cities and that’s where our (unsustainable) consumption patterns can be traced. Sustainable living and lifestyles requires rethinking all the systems that meet our daily needs around food, mobility, living and leisure. To enhance a more people-centric approach to urban development, cities and neighbourhoods need to be planned, designed and developed to become more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. In this second webinar from the broader series Sustainable Living 1.5: Empowering people to live better and lighter, three expert panelists offered visions on how to create places for people that make connections and bring a population together, by focusing on neighbourhood level, which is where there is the highest demand for resources and drive production in the world.

1. Local Context, Design and Integration

Serge Salat (Urban Morphology Institute and UNEP) presented a set of guidelines to help cities implement sustainable neighborhood design around three core principles: Local Context, Design, and Integration. Cities and neighborhoods are all different as are their histories, cultures and inhabitants. Thus, more sustainable development focuses on enriching or reconstructing existing urban spaces with new elements instead of entirely wiping them out while also being sensitive to a city’s context, natural landscape and intrinsic sense of place and identity! Integrated and sustainable urban design creates environments where people can meet their needs, live their aspirations, feel connected to nature and each other and promotes flexibility that leaves room for cities to evolve organically and adapt to new circumstances and needs. Redesigning or repurposing urban roads (which are limited to motorized transport) to support more sustainable lifestyles, promoting walking and cycling, thus transforming them into streets filled with life, is only one example of how cities can create sustainable change!

2. Traditional and sustainable urban design in the city of Lalitpur, Nepal

Next, Pradeep Amatya (Lalitpur Metropolitan City) presented how traditional urban design can be supported as it supports sustainable lifestyles in the city of Lalitpur. Lalitpur hosted a Roundtable Meeting of the 18 Mayors of Kathmandu Valley and an eco-community design workshop with local stakeholders (architects, engineers and university students). Cities in the Kathmandu Valley are examples of how traditional urban form can positively influence future sustainable development. Historically, early regional settlements were established in a sophisticated way to guarantee open spaces, ground water recharge and water availability. Today, the city promotes environmentally friendly forms of houses that use green and local materials and spacious green lands full of vegetation to ensure clean air and citizen well-being. There are many lessons to learn from older cities such as Lalitpur to build and design better urban spaces in the future!

3. Cities in the Philippines and COVID-19

Another case study was the Philippines use of Urban Design, Community Engagement, and Local Context, presented by Veronica Hitosis (League of Cities of the Philippines). She presented city experiences and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how leadership or governance style is critical in the COVID-19 context. Cities, with high informality and high population densities have become hotspots for the virus. However, they can also be the solutions. Therefore, we need an inclusive and co-created city vision for managing the pandemic and to respond effectively to future challenges.

To find out more check out the following links:

Research: What are sustainable lifestyles?

Tools and Resources for change

Unsplash - Martyna Bober

Published on June 25, 2020
Event start date
09:00 am
Event end date
10:15 am

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