How to start a Bicycle Revolution!
Biking is more than just an environmentally friendly, healthy and cheap mode of transport. It is also a tool for empowering individuals and making the city accessible to all. Together with Botkyrka Municipality, Living Cities and Pedalista consulted with almost 500 individuals and organisations in Hallunda-Norsborg to come up with ideas on how the make the bike more accessible to new groups. The result was a multi-stakeholder proposal for how to make biking more fun, attractive, safe and practical. Next step is implementation!
PEOPLE x CITIES x CLIMATE x FOOD
What is the relationship between food, land-use, accessibility and quality of life in the City? In December 2017, change makers from different parts of the urban food system, and different regions of the world, met to discuss what a city would look like if we planned it around food. The roundtable was the final part of the project Climate City Leadership, funded by Climate KIC Nordic and led by Copenhagen, EAT, Stockholm Resilience Center and WNEAT – in cooperation with Malmö, Oslo, Paris Gothenburg, C40 and Nordic Council of Ministers.
12 Insights for Social Sustainability in Urban Planning
How can social sustainability become an integral part of the urban planning process? This quick guide gives inspiration on how to integrate soft issues from analysis, through vision to action. It is an output of the collaborative platform for sustainable suburban dynamics (Södertörnsmodellen) – a multi stakeholder platform with support from the Swedish Innovation Agency. Read more here.
Women on Wheels is on the move
In many parts of the world women do not ride bicycles simply because they are women. This lack of access to affordable and flexible personal mobility is an important source of gender inequality. Women on Wheels is a project aimed at changing the attitude towards women´s cycling, improving the bicycle infrastructure to enable safe mobility, and reinventing the bicycle to make it more practical and useful for women.
In October 2015, Sweden's innovation agency VINNOVA approved funding for a three year implementation project for Women on Wheels. The project is led by Living Cities, in collaboration with Big Words Publishing, Trafikutredningsbyrån, Göteborg University and Indonesian NGO Kota Kita.
Want to know more? Contact us, or visit our project website:
A holistic view of cities
A more holistic understanding of cities was the focus for the regional workshop of the International Training Program Enabling Local Democracy and Inclusive Urban Development through the SymbioCity Approach. The workshop gathered 25 participants from Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Georgia and was set in the historic center of Istanbul. Each participating city is developing a project for change, based on local priorities.
Read more here.
Innovation workshop on women and biking
In large parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle-East, the bicycle is a mode of transport for men only. If biking could become more acceptable for women, there could be a potential 1.5 billion new users. In January 2015, we gathered Swedish women with roots in countries like Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ethiopia and Thailand to discuss attitudes to bikes and biking.
We wanted to find out how biking could be made more functional and attractive to women users. Issues like safety, convenience, attitudes, design and culture were raised as barriers to biking. Getting more women on wheels will require changes to mind-sets, attitudes, infrastructure, and to the bike itself. The innovation workshop was a part of the project Women on Wheels which, funded by the Swedish Agency for Innovation, aims to develop new solutions and products to support this change.
To learn more about Women on Wheels, check out our project website here…
Local improvements in Nicaragua through micro-credits
PRODEL – the foundation for promotion of local development – has supported housing improvements, local economic development and infrastructure improvements in Nicaragua since the early 1990’s. In 2012, more than 22 000 micro credits at a value of over 25 million US$ were approved through its partners. To generate capital for micro credits, PDL Mikrofinans leverages the Swedish capital market by offering bonds to individuals, companies and organisations which are put to use for poverty reduction through PRODEL. Living Cities has joined the Advisory Board for PDL Mikrofinans to provide knowledge on urban development and infrastructure investments.
Social innovations in the urban landscape
The term ‘social innovation’ is on everybody’s lips. But what are they, and how can cities make use of them? Living Cities has launched an initiative to identify social innovations that can contribute to inclusive, creative and livable cities. Successful examples and innovative ideas have been collected globally to serve as a source of inspiration for change agents at all city levels.
Contact us to learn more and discuss how your organization can benefit from the results!
Green Cities in Indonesia
In 2012, Indonesian cities Probolinggo and Palu set out to find new ways of developing their cities for the future, through the SymbioCity Approach. The project, which was concluded in late 2013 produced an Urban Sustainability Review and proposals for inclusive and holistic solutions to the challenges identified. In Palu, the sustainable development of Palu Bay Area was selected as a priority project while Probolinggo developed a proposal for an ‘Eco-friendly village for better life’ as a pilot project to test new ideas.
The project was funded by Sida and implemented by SKL International in partnership with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, municipal association APEKSI and Swedish cities Helsingborg and Borås. Living Cities provided project management for the two projects, on assignment by SKL International.
Both cities have subsequently been approved support from the Cities Development Initiative for Asia to take the projects further. The International Center for Local Democracy has also approved financing for a continued partnership between Sweden and Indonesia.
Read more about the project here.
New Master's student
We welcome Erik Jönsson who will be joining Living Cities for the duration of the spring semester 2014, to work on a graduate thesis in Conservation. The thesis will study the links between architectural heritage and urban development in the Hanseatic Town of Visby.
Visby was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. The municipality has recognized the city's World Heritage status as an important cultural asset in the sustainable development of the region. Yet, there is no comprehensive knowledge of how this asset has been utilized since its inscription - or to what positive or negative gains.
Erik Jönsson has a background in contemporary art and history of architecture. He is now following a one year Master's program in Conservation at Uppsala University, Campus Gotland. His primary interest lies in exploring new tools of culture-led urban development.
Planning for Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Areas
The International Training Program on Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation, organized by Niras and WaterAid hosted a delegation to Sweden in November 2017. Participants are technical experts from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda and working with change projects to improve water related issues in their home towns. Living Cities led a module linking the ‘sector issues’ to the larger issues of sustainable urban development.
Biking and diversity in Hallunda-Norsborg
Who is biking in Hallunda-Norsborg? And more importantly; who is not and why? In partnership with the municipality of Botkyrka, Living Cities and Pedalista has made a social analysis of the current situation in the area. Through Street Surveys, Bike Talks and on site observation, we have identified barriers and opportunities for how to make the bike useful to new groups.
From Vision to Action
The Kenya SymbioCity Program has now reached a point where it’s time to move from Vision to Action. During a workshop in Nakuru, stakeholders from Homa Bay and Kisumu County worked together to identify innovative and inclusive solutions to their urban challenges. The projects will then be further developed and implementation will then be supported through a Seed Fund provided by the Embassy of Sweden. Project ideas revolved around public space, waste management, river rehabilitation, safety and livelihoods.
Lifestyles and food driving development?
The development program for the area Stora Sköndal south of Stockholm is currently under consultation. Living Cities has submitted ideas for using social sustainability a driving force behind the development. Specifically, the perspectives of Sustainable Lifestyles and Sustainable Food Systems could be used to develop a completely new type of urban area, with inspiration from all over the world.
Awareness-raising and Citizen Participation in Service Delivery
With support from Sida, the Ukraine Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development programme (U-LEAD) aims, among other things, at creating and improving administrative service centres and awareness raising of citizens on local self-governance. On assignment by SKL, Living Cities and White Architects explored best practice examples from around the world on how to incorporate participation in the actual operations of the service centres.
Developing Innovative Solutions
On March 7th, urban planners from Georgia, Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey arrived in Visby for a three-week intensive training on inclusive and integrated urban development. The first day was spent learning and testing new methods for developing innovative solutions to urban challenges. Sustainable food production, consumption, transport and disposal was used as a case by the participants. The training will continue in Malmö and Stockholm giving the participants a chance to visit and discuss Swedish approaches to sustainable cities.
How on earth can we live smarter?
Developing bold ideas and solutions for four locations in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine was the main task of the Smart Living Challenge creative workshop which took place on 5-6 October 2015. 25 people from different cities came together in a two-day creative session, process lead by Marten Janson and Mats Jarnhammar from Living Cities.
The event was organized by Swedish Institute, the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, Green Dossier, Teple Misto and Living Cities.
Participants worked together to generate business ideas and opportunities that foster more sustainable lifestyle with focus on how to live and move smarter.
Read more here: http://warm.if.ua/en/news/smart-living-challenge-2015
And here: http://2015.smartlivingchallenge.com/ukraine/
Know a great idea?
Every day, cities are making investments in water, sanitation, mobility, energy, waste and housing. The solutions adopted now will affect the development of cities for decades. Do we aim for large scale or small scale, high-tech or low-tech, centralized or decentralized systems? How do we work with behavior, attitude, incentives and disincentives to promote sustainability?
Living Cities is supporting SKL International in identifying Innovative Environmental Solutions that can be successfully implemented in developing countries.
Know a great idea? Read more here…
Södertörnsmodellen – A Collaborative Platform for Sustainable Suburban Dynamics
Financed by the Swedish Agency for Innovation, the Södertörn model brings together 8 local governments in the south of Stockholm with representatives from academia and the private sector. The initiative aims to develop integrated concepts for the development of ideas, methods and indicators that address the complexity of urban environments. On assignment by SKL International, Living Cities supports a test-bed focused on citizen’s participation and social analysis, and provides links to international experiences in the area.
SEiSMiC: project kick offs in 10 countries
The SEiSMiC project helps tackle Europe’s biggest urban problems by engaging citizens, identifying social innovation needs, and contributing to future urban policies and research strategies. It builds diverse networks of urban stakeholders to propose effective, widely agreed solutions. It then engages the public in creative ways, so that research learns from citizens, and citizens learn from research.
Recently the 10 participating countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom) gathered with their local and regional partners for a first national meeting.
Living Cities is a member of the Swedish SEiSMiC Network.
Strengthening Urban Spatial Planning to Reduce Social Vulnerability and Exclusion in South Cities
The training event, which took place during the World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia, explored the concepts of Vulnerability and Resilience in urban planning. The event was jointly organized by the Cities Development Initiative for Asia, CEPT University, Living Cities and SKL International. Some 50 participants from Latin America, Africa and Asia joined the discussions.
Living Cities invited to European cooperation for safer cities
COST Action Crime Prevention Through Urban Design and Planning (CP-UPD) is a 4-year European project with the goal to advance knowledge and practices for safer and more accessible cities. The Action will put together theoretical thinking from research with experience and know-how acquired through best practical experience of participating countries.
Professor Clara Cardia, Politecnico Milano, one of the leading international experts, coordinates the Action. Living Cities participates through Henrik Nolmark, Swedish delegate to the Management Committee of the Action. Other Swedish experts will be engaged in working groups and workshops.
Cities matter in Bosnia Herzegovina
In October 2013, more than 100 Mayors of Bosnia Herzegovina met to exchange experiences about urban innovation, good governance and environmental sustainability. On behalf of SKL International, Living Cities participated to present ways of improving the use of resources, improving the environment and engaging citizens through integrated planning.
We design Food for Tomorrow 24-hour Challenge
Entrepreneurs, thinkers, doers, and change agents from Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sweden joined for a 24-hour ‘cook-off’ in November 2017 at Malmö’s first Urban Food Space Gro’Up. Through working, cooking and laughing we together developed the overall concept for the Food for Tomorrow initiative, and developed ideas for switching to a more sustainable food system.
Olivia Svensson has joined Living Cities as an intern. Olivia is a Global Studies Masters student from the University of Gothenburg, who’s main focus is on sustainable development with emphasis on gender- and diversity. Her main tasks will be to generate a global best practice report on how to include gender- and diversity in bicycle planning, and to dive into interesting examples on sustainable urban food systems.
Food for Tomorrow
Living Cities in Media:
Article published in swedish Metro Magazine.