Transformative Urban Coalitions: Catalysing urban partnerships to drive systemic transformation towards sustainability

Cities account for 75 percent of carbon emissions today. Achieving global emission goals requires city leadership. Rapid and radical decarbonisation, however, can only be sustainable if it is socially just. Transformations that go beyond technical solutions require holistic approaches and buy-in from diverse stakeholders and citizens. To trigger such processes in a highly urbanised region in Latin America, catalyst projects in five Urban Labs in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina will be implemented and new models of coalition building and governance tested. This process is enhanced by transformative research, tailored communication strategies and capacity building activities. The project will also utilise film and art to inspire new narratives of attractive urban futures and shift mind-sets towards sustainability. Finally, models of coalition building and governance will be scaled up to other cities and countries, and ultimately to influence global agendas for sustainability transformations.

Project data

Countries
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
IKI funding
8,379,121.00 €
Included preparation phase
402,509.31 €
Duration
01/2021 till 06/2024
Status
open
Implementing organisation
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
Political Partner
  • Ministry for Agricultural, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU) - Mexico
  • Ministry of Cities (MCidades) - Brazil
  • Ministry of Health and Social Development - Argentina
  • Ministry of Integration and Regional Development (MIDR) - Brazil
  • Undersecretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development - Argentina
Implementing Partner
  • German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
  • International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
  • World Resources Institute (WRI)

State of implementation/results

  • Project website in English, Portuguese and Spanish with multiple project publications: www.urbancoalitions.org
  • Urban Labs operating in Argentina (Buenos Aires), Brazil (Recife, Teresina) and Mexico (Léon, Naucalpan), involving a diverse range of stakeholders who collaborate and exchange knowledge to co-create innovative solutions for complex urban challenges in a way that is participatory, cross-sectoral and inclusive.
  • Ongoing design and implementation of local demonstration activities by Urban Labs:
  • Argentina:
    • Buenos Aires: Supporting a participatory upgrading process of a slum neighbourhood, Villa 20, with new ideas, connecting decarbonization with improving urban equality and climate justice.
  • Brazil:
    • Recife: Working on integrated solutions, projects and transformations to address challenges of the Pilar Community, an area in the city’s historic core called Bairro do Recife where 350 families face spatial, territorial and socioeconomic challenges.
    • Teresina: Implementing sustainable initiatives and creating multipurpose community spaces and gardens in Residencial Edgar Gayoso, a housing complex with high socioeconomic vulnerability where more than 450 families are forced to travel long distances to the city centre and lack access to qualified amenities, services and nearby urban spaces.
    Mexico:
    • Léon: Promoting a vision of low motorized transport, blue-green infrastructure in public spaces, energy-efficient buildings and a circular, local economy, benefiting residents and generating a sense of community and identity.
    • Naucalpan: Transforming the industrial area surrounding the polluted Hondo River through an urban regeneration project that addresses both climate change and inequality concerning neighbouring residents.
  • Community of Transformation meeting quarterly to exchange of knowledge and experience among urban labs and interested actors.
  • Continous transformative research by ethnographic observation, annual surveys and interviews to assess changes in social networks, mindsets and capacities in Urban Labs, yielding insights into challenges and opportunities towards urban sustainability transformation and climate action.
  • As part of the effort to inspire and create narratives of urban futures the ‘A True Paradise’ film series, directed by Oscar Award-winning directors Dirk Wilutzky and Mathilde Bonnefoy, regularly publishes and screens new short films with global and local thought leaders.
  • Capacity development courses co-developed and delivered to Urban Lab members. Modules were designed on soft skills (such as communication) and narratives building as well as technical skills (like nature-based solutions for climate action, and urban indicators) development. Over 2300 stakeholders from the 5 pilot cities participated, with 95% satisfaction rates.
  • Local and global transformative communication approaches are implemented, including by the 2nd global photo competition with 534 submissions.
  • TUC outputs presented during 7 events and a photo exhibition at UNFCCC COP28.

Latest Update:
06/2024

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