Today, more than 50 percent of the world population lives in cities. By 2030 it will be 60 percent. By 2050, 70 percent.
Urban life imposes many challenges, from traffic to pollution and violence, but cities are also hubs of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. How can we work towards more sustainable, human cities and help promote the positive potential that lies in urban areas?
For the past two years, the Towards the Human City project has looked for inspirational citychangers – initiatives led by civil society that are creating a positive change in urbanizations around the world. Paula García and Fernando Casado have travelled to over 60 cities across 6 continents documenting stories that make cities more livable.
From a bike network in Stockholm that is improving the city’s produce distribution to creative solutions that are helping increase pedestrians’ safety in Latin America, the project provides concrete examples of how positive change is being achieved in different parts of the world.
The couple has turned these stories into a series of 101 short videos that demonstrate how humanizing the city where we live is not only possible, but also very feasible. The goal is to inspire global citizens to take local action and contribute to building more human cities.
The project has been officially launched on November 12th at Barcelona’s SmartCityWeek with the exhibition “Towards the Human City: How Would You Improve Your City”. The event also served as an interactive platform to get new voices to the project: attendees were asked to share their opinion about Barcelona’s urban challenges and propose innovative ideas to make the city more human.
On Tuesday, 3 of December, we will be hosting a closure event at 16h with a round table discussion on how technology and social innovation are helping build more inclusive and sustainable cities.
Invited speakers are Laia Bonet, Lieutenant of the City Council on the 2030 Agenda, digital transition, sports, territorial and metropolitan coordination, from Barcelona’s City council; Emilia Saiz, General Office at United Cities and Local Governments (to be confirmed); Jordi Hereu, President at Idencity and former Mayor of Barcelona; and Rosa Surinach, Partnerships, Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator at UN-Habitat.
The “Towards the Human City” exhibition is a collaboration between GlobalCAD, the Center of Partnerships for Development and i.lab, el Barcelona’s lab to accelerate sustainable and social urban innovation.