Through design thinking, Alimosho youth found treasure in a trash heap

When most people hear the word "design," they usually think of sleek Apple products and colorful Post-its stuck on the wall of a Silicon Valley-style startup. In Lagos they might think of the growing tech hub and open concept incubator spaces in Yaba. They usually don’t think of Alimosho. Read more.

Urban Challenges for Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees

Media coverage of conflicts and forced migration has created a stereotypical depiction of a "refugee" – a grief-stricken woman, holding a sickly child next to a tent. While we are all familiar with this image, it does not characterize most refugees. Read more.

Finding a place for cities in the UN's "Sustainable Development Goals"

Has an "age of the city" arrived — an era in which cities not only make up a majority of the world's population, but in which their prosperity and security, their central role in the human enterprise is recognized, even by their nation states? Read more.

Behind the push for an "urban SDG"

The final list of "Sustainable Development Goals" for 2016 to 2030 still requires approval of the UN General Assembly. Nevertheless, including the urban goal in the final draft was a big step for the UN, which hasn’t always recognized the importance of cities in human development. The move represented the culmination of an extensive campaign by local governments, urban scholars and activists around the world. Here's how they mobilized their effort. Read more.

On the record: What supporters of an "urban SDG" are saying

Citiscope's feature story chronicles the fight to include cities in the next set of United Nations development goals, intended to guide development work through the year 2030. These so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a follow-on to the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were widely credited with helping to produce global drops in poverty, HIV infection and child mortality, among other things. Below are a few prominent voices who have been making the case for an "urban SDG." Read more.

Comparing the MDGs and the SDGs

Citiscope recently reported on the new set of goals the United Nations is working on for 2016-2030, known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. Urban activists around the world worked hard to get a goal explicitly related to cities included in a list approved by a UN working group in July. The goals will be refined further and voted on by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. Read more.

From slums to significance: the communities shaping our urban future

The two megatrends of demographic growth and urbanization are rapidly transforming human settlement from rural to predominantly urban environments. This is particularly true in Asia and Africa, where the UN forecasts that the urban population will grow from 2.3 billion people in 2011 to 4.5 billion in 2050. Many large cities in these regions are struggling with how to provide services, housing and jobs for large numbers of rural migrants. These migrants are often highly vulnerable: although they have moved to the city in search of jobs and access to services, the informal neighborhoods that receive them lack infrastructure and are often removed from main centers of economic activity. A lack of economic opportunities and poor living conditions set the stage for marginalization, instability and violence. Read more.

Making cities self-sufficient in food production

My best ideas—and also my craziest—usually crop up sometime between midnight and three in the morning. Half-asleep one night in 2007, an image appeared in my head of an apartment building in Montreal where residents got their vegetables from the roof. Right there and then I got to work on a business model, and it has not changed much since: grow vegetables in a commercial greenhouse on a large urban rooftop and feed thousands of Montrealers through a basket program. Read more.

NextDrop: a smart solution to water problems in India

A slight, dark boy with unwashed hands pushes up to our car's window to beg. With learned apathy, I turn away. Perhaps, I wince. My mother says, "Pronita, don't ever forget it's sheer luck you're on this side of the window, and not the other." This window signifies a separation today, and also a divide between what we dare to dream possible for our futures. Read more.

Bringing solar power to the street with the Strawberry Tree

Mobile communication is part of our everyday lives. Can you imagine a day without a mobile phone nearby to make calls whenever needed, or a smartphone to answer to an urgent email? Digital technology has become something we all rely on to perform basic activities. We take mobile phones for granted, acting as if they will be there in every situation. We can go everywhere and be reached, call for help, perform business from anywhere, share how we are feeling with friends, and access timely information wherever we are. We can even act as if we are cleverer than we actually are (while Googling under the table)... It makes me wonder how people lived before without this piece of electronics. With mobile phones, we don’t need to worry about a thing... or do we? Read more.