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.
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.
Supporting Kenya's urban transition
The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) and the Kenyan Council of Governors (COG) are starting up a multi-year programme focused on sustainable urban development in Kenya. The Kenya SymbioCity Programme will build the capacity of urban development stakeholders to guide Kenyan urban development in a more sustainable direction.
Living Cities is providing advisory services on urban development to the program. During a visit in November 2015, the project team discussed the details of how to make the program adapted to the Kenyan context, and effective and relevant to its urban areas.
Read more here.
A Global Agenda for the local level
In March 2015, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) hosted a global consultation on urban challenges in intermediary cities. The purpose of the consultation, which gathered some 30 mayors, academics, NGO-representatives and urban development specialists globally, was to prepare input to the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and towards Habitat III. Recognizing that a vast majority of the world’s urban population does not live in megacities, but rather in small and intermediary cities, the meeting focused on defining the role, priorities and needs facing this type of cities in the context of global social, economic and environmental challenges. Living Cities participated on behalf of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) and SKL International.
ADB launches guidelines for people-friendly cities
The Asian Development Bank has published a guidance note on ‘Poverty and Social Dimensions of Urban Projects’, to be used by staff and specialists during project design. The document, which was developed by Living Cities on assignment by ADB, provide practical guidance in strengthening the link between urban investments and poverty reduction, by making better use of poverty and social analysis as a resource for successful projects. The role of cities in fighting poverty is increasingly being recognized within ADB and urban projects have a growing share of the bank’s $20 billion approved investments.
To download the guideline, or order a hardcopy, click here
Enabling Local Democracy and Inclusive Development in Cities
ICLD and SKL International have launched the International Training Programme Enabling Local Democracy and Inclusive Urban Planning through the SymbioCity Approach. The programme is open for urban development professionals in local or regional authorities in Macedonia, Georgia, Serbia and Turkey. Living Cities provides services in planning and implementing the programme.
Closing date for applications for this training is April 17th 2015. Click here to apply.
The year is coming to an end, and we wish you a relaxing holiday and a happy 2015. Thank you all for inspiring, fun and productive cooperation during the past year! This Christmas we are giving a donation to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to support their important work.
Can we re-invent the bicycle?
Few means of transport are as cheap, efficient and environmentally sustainable as the bike is. In many regions of the world however, it is a mode of transport used by men – not women. If cycling could be made more acceptable, attractive and efficient for women, it would bring huge benefits to both individuals and society. Living Cities and Big Words have launched the project “Women on wheels” which aims to improve the mobility of women by re-thinking the design of the bicycle, and by changing the way society thinks about women and bikes. The project is funded by VINNOVA through the programme Gender and Diversity for Innovation.
Delning och socialt ansvar för framtidens museer
En gigantisk loppis inne på ett av världens mest kända konstmuseer – på vilket sätt pekar det mot framtiden? Rebecka Nolmark läser årets trendrapport från Center for the Future of Museums och drar paralleller till en svensk utveckling.
Poverty Reduction and Social Dimensions in Urban Projects
The Asia and Pacific region is undergoing rapid urbanization, putting serious strain on the urban systems. Investments in urban infrastructure play a key role in enhancing access to basic services, contributing to livelihoods and building resilient communities. Living Cities supports the Asian Development Bank in strengthening social aspects in the project cycle through the development of a technical note.
Living Cities in Media:
Article published in swedish Metro Magazine.