With growing populations – predominantly in the tropics – and rapid urbanization, the impact of global warming is felt most acutely in cities. Research shows that the world’s cities are heating up at twice the global average rate due to the urban heat island effect – a phenomenon where urban areas experience higher temperatures than outlying areas due to a combination of diminishing green cover, heat gain and thermal properties of the materials commonly used in urban surfaces, as well as waste heat from human activities (such as industrial processes, transport and air conditioning).
This guide by UNEP offers planners an encyclopedia of proven options to help cool cities sustainably, providing improved health and productivity, economic benefits, and reduced power usage and emissions. The guide’s 80 supporting case studies and examples demonstrate the effectiveness of the strategies outlined and can help cities find an approach best suited to their unique contexts.
Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities
This working paper investigates the potential of nature-based solutions to help build smart, sustainable and resilient cities, drawing from the experience of G20 countries and beyond.
Surat: The Smart City Leading India's Sustainable Urban Development Movement
The Municipal Commissioner of Surat spoke with us about the city’s challenges, successes and goals in the path towards a sustainable urban future.
To counter environmental perils, cities turn to nature
By connecting cities with nature, we can address the triple planetary crises of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution. Here are five municipalities embracing ecosystem-based approaches, including UrbanShift city Surat.
ICLEI World Congress: Strategies for resilient and healthy communities
At the ICLEI World Congress in Malmö, Sweden, UrbanShift cities from Asia, Africa and Latin America will meet to share knowledge on best practices in local sustainable development and learn firsthand from Malmö’s sustainability initiatives.