Costa Rica City Academy

The second UrbanShift City Academy in Latin America brought together participants from 30 cities for trainings on nature-based solutions and integrated climate action planning.

date & time
04 Jul 2023, 12:00PM UTC
Hilton La Sabana, San José, Costa Rica
hosted by
World Resources InstituteC40 Cities

UrbanShift Costa Rica City Academy participants and organizers

From 4-6 July in San José, Costa Rica, and in partnership with the project Transitioning to an Urban Green Economy (TEVU), with support from the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UrbanShift hosted the second City Academy for Latin America and the Caribbean, offering hands-on courses on Nature-Based Solutions and Integrated Climate Action Planning.

Over the three days, 57 participants, representing 30 cities from Argentina, Brasil, Colombia and Costa Rica, heard from international and local experts on using green infrastructure and promoting biodiversity to create more resilient, thriving cities, as well as strategic planning for climate action. Key speakers included the Resident Representative from UNDP, José Vicente Troya, the ex-vicepresident of the republic of Costa Rica, Ana Helena Chacón, the General Director of OTS for Costa Rica, Miguel Mendez, the Mayor of Alajuelita, Modesto Alpizar, and representatives of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, C40’s City Finance Facility, ICLEI Africa Cities Biodiversity Center, and more, as well as organizing partners and participating cities.

Participants discussing during the ICAP course exercises
Participants discussing during the ICAP course exercises

The World Resources Institute led the training on Nature-Based Solutions, and C40 Cities the training on Integrated Climate Action Planning. Both courses featured presentations by experts and participants, interactive exercises, and fostered exchange on lessons learned and best practices. The academy culminated in a site visit to two local projects. The La Guapil Park, where participants learned first-hand from the successful community-led conversion of a dump site into a green urban space that now offers security, leisure, and ecosystem services to its neighbors. And the Pedregal Plastics Barrier, a partnership between the UNDP and Pedregal, as part of the joint 'landscapes without plastics' initiative. The barrier is the first of its kind in Costa Rica and collects bottles and other floating materials from the Virilla River, responsible for around 80% of the country's plastic ocean pollution, converting these materials into aggregates for the construction sector.

Below, you can find the agendas, presentations and photographs from the UrbanShift City Academy in Costa Rica.





Site Visit to the La Guapil Park, where the participants were received by the Mayor of Alajuelita, Modesto Alpizar.
Site Visit to the La Guapil Park, where the participants were received by the Mayor of Alajuelita, Modesto Alpizar.


Contributors & Acknowledgments: 

  • Alber Mata, TEVU
  • Ana Arce, Pedregal
  • Carina Arvizu, WRI Mexico  
  • Cristina Argudo, C40
  • Diego Restrepo, CI
  • Frabrício Ballestero, TEVU
  • Ingrid Coetzee, ICLEI Africa
  • Keily Mena, TEVU 
  • Laura Bulbena, WRI Colombia 
  • Martina Ferrarino, C40
  • Miriam Miranda, TEVU 
  • Natalia Acero, CI
  • Paulina Soto, ICLEI Mexico
  • Ronja Bechauf, IISD 
  • Tea Garcia Huidobro, UNEP
  • Tony Nello, IUCN