Urban/Rural

Millennials and Resilience: City, Innovation and Transformation of Youths Laboratory

Background Many cities in sub-Saharan Africa are vulnerable to climate change, progressive decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services, disappearing open and green spaces as well as collapse of institutions that helped in upholding, protection and conservation of such public commons in African cities. As an example, during pre- colonial and colonial times, European explorers and researchers were fascinated by the existing high level resilience that Kano city in Nigeria exhibited through its unique garden city features. Then, two-thirds of the city as seen in 18th century were open and green spaces and this situation only changed in the early 1980s. The city’s plant diversity, resilience to fire were also recorded...

Rural Systems Visioneering

Background We try to help rural off-grid villages to overcome their fundamental concerns: lack of resources (e.g., electrical power, storage for food), lack of infrastructure (for management and monitoring), lack of quality education and training, and lack of motivation, vision and its engineering (i.e., visioneering). These are related to the 14 SDGs such as #1 (No poverty), #2 (Zero hunger), #3 ( Good health and well-being, #4 (Quality education), #6 (Clean water and sanitation), #7 (Affordable and clean energy), #8 (Decent work and economic growth), #9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), #10 (Reduced inequalities), #11 (Sustainable cities and communities), #12 (Responsible consumption and production), #13 (Climate action), #15 (Life on land),...

Transformation Beyond Consumerism

Sustainability at the global scale requires transformation beyond contemporary notions of consumerism and the design and diffusion of post-consumerist lifestyles. The proposed SDG Lab is conceived to support SDG #12 Responsible Consumption and Production and seeks to identify through a collaborative and co-designed process a program of research and engagement centered on incipient elements of new lifestyle preferences and priorities in several countries of the global North and South (current institutional arrangements focus on Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Indonesia, and the United States–though this may expand over time). The SDG Lab is meant to facilitate discussions that begin to better understand how incipient practices are developing in different locales into increasingly...

Urban Eco Labs

BACKGROUND By 2030 more than 60% of the world population is expected to live in cities (UN, 1997). Increasing population density makes cities the centres of demand for ecosystem services. In a study of the 29 largest cities in the Baltic Sea region, it was estimated that the cities claimed ecosystem support areas at least 500-1000 times larger than the area of the cities themselves (Folke et al., 1997). A liveable city should therefore be based on an ecological concept that protects and makes use of natural resources in and around the city centre that provide ecosystem services. By viewing the city as an ecosystem itself, balancing out the urban...

Back to a local food system

Life in the cities has led to a progressive disconnection with the countryside and its resources. People in cities developed a detached relation with food, seen as one of the many goods that can be bought in shops. Recently there is a growing interest in producing and buying organic and low impact food, but the globalised market makes it more expensive and less convenient. A change in habits and in the market itself is needed to make food consumption more local, seasonal, careful, healthy and sustainable.   Describe the co-design process and the intended participants. What sectors or groups do they represent and why are they invited? The lab will...

Mainstreaming resilience into climate change adaptation and disaster risk planning.

BACKGROUND Traditional (comprehensive/rational) planning processes are fundamentally incapable of effectively dealing with climate change-related hazards and natural disasters. We are interested in developing a practical and user-friendly planning toolkit/approach which will enable policy-makers to develop adaptive capacity and build resilience against climate change-related impacts. Most notably, SDG 11 and SDG 13 are adversely affected by poor planning processes related to climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, and urban planning.

Lusaka 2021- What if we all lived downstream?

BACKGROUND Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, has been experiencing frequent and more widespread urban flooding. When I started documenting urban floods in Lusaka 6 years ago, the flooding was largely restricted to poor unplanned settlements around the city. However, in the last 2 years and particularly this year, floods have been reported across the entire city including the central business district. This trend seems to coincide with the rapid development of shopping malls and housing estates around the city.   GOAL The goal of the lab is to identify flood high risk areas around the city and to find ecologically sustainable and cost effective solutions. To pilot the solutions...

Water Warriors

BACKGROUND Water Warriors is a Living Lab initiative currently coordinated by a group of action researchers based at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We apply the “heartware” approach to support transformation at two river basin communities: one, the University of Malaya campus community located at the Klang River basin within the capital city of Kuala Lumpur (urban) and two, the District of Mukim Pasangan located within the Selangor River basin at the State of Selangor (rural) in Malaysia. Initial efforts have shown promising indications that the heartware approach can enhance local, in-place, communities/stakeholder participation and understanding of science-policy decisions made about water conservation. Our next step is to refine/deepen our...

Collaborative Thinking for Greener Cities

Background In the current scenario facing Climate Change, cities must take action getting prepared for the environmental threats, increasing their adaptive resilience to the new circumstances, especially in the Mediterranean countries. Many European cities are starting to take actions to increase their resilience by improving the processes that let ecosystems function properly. This SDG Lab is focused on the urban green areas as providers of Ecosystem Services which are crucial for a better environment in the city, bringing together relevant stakeholders that can take decisions and actions towards an improved environment in the cities of Spain.   What is the problem/s you are trying to solve? How does it relate...

Arts & Crafts Panarchy Power

ABOUT Rural communities are lagging behind developments in cities. Major problems in rural communities in the developed and developing world are population decline and demographic change, educational deficit and lagging innovation in (small) enterprises. This together results in low employment opportunities for local people and declining self-esteem. This lab will solve the problem of educational deficit and lack of innovation in SME’s in rural areas which will eventually result in rural areas which are a better place to live and work. This lab will address transformation topics: “short-food- supply chains” which will enhance connectivity between urban consumer and rural farmer and “traditional biobased materials, new applications” which will address the...

The Future of Rural Energy: Macro Problems and Micro Solutions

BACKGROUND Many sustainability issues are complex and contentious and transcend disciplinary boundaries. As such, we face numerous barriers in how we think about, communicate and collaborate to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, silos between disciplines, policy institutions, business and community groups restrict the development and implementation of well integrated initiatives. Progress is hampered further by frequently inadequate methods used for communicating complex issues. Greater progress in sustainability requires more open knowledge systems and improved tools for fluid collaboration across disciplines and social barriers.   AIM Recent advances in theory and digital technology converge towards clearer thinking and communication on sustainability. Combining these, the workshops aim to explore a new...