Kyoto City has accumulated over 1,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of September, and we have seen a rapid increase in cases again since late June. Since August, we have observed a temporary increase, especially among people under 30 years old, but now, cases of infection among the elderly are increasing again in Kyoto City.
Cities generated 2.01 billion tons of solid waste in 2016, a number that is projected by the World Bank to climb to 3.4 billion tons in 2050, driven by rapid urbanization and expanding urban wealth. Too much waste creates health concerns and degrades the environment. It also represents a significant economic loss, resources that Cities could use to support their most vulnerable.
Cities are leading the way in creating a COVID-19 recovery plan that prepares them for the future. They have been the hardest hit by COVID-19, home to 95% of positive cases. Cities are fighting the pandemic against the backdrop of multiple shocks and stresses and emerging vulnerabilities, while striving to prioritize equity, economy, and climate action in their plans.
Water is the lifeblood of a city. Too much is just as dangerous as not enough, and from Cape Town to Byblos, Jakarta to Chennai, climate change demands that any city that wants to survive has to learn to manage and live with water. To be resilient and thriving requires a comprehensive, forward-looking approach to water management that builds on the city’s people, making them a part of the plan and the solution. Water is a significant focus for Resilient Cities Network and our member cities’ efforts to adapt to and mitigate the causes and effects of climate change.
Cape Town, South Africa responded quickly to the resilience test by COVID-19 using the lessons it had learned during the water crisis it experienced in 2017 and 2018, focusing attentions on the most vulnerable, and making the biggest investment in the city’s healthcare system in 20 years, all in the span of two months.
Wellington, New Zealand sits on shaky ground, so they know they need to be ready for a significant seismic event. One concern is that a future earthquake will rupture the city’s underground water pipes, cutting off water to its over 400,000 inhabitants, for up to 100 days in some areas.
Launched in 2019, Resilient BoTu empowers the two adjoining neighborhoods, Bospolder and Tussendijken, to become the city’s first “resilient district,” by directing transformative infrastructure construction and social programs that help people manage debt, access education for both adults and children, find better employment, and improve their housing quality. The program is managed by a foundation they created for the purpose, and which prioritizes social impact and community leadership.
El Paso has a strong incentive to confront homelessness and a need for emergency housing capacity. In addition to the city’s broader goals of equity and serving vulnerable populations necessitating a solution, El Paso is a border town that links the United States and Mexico and sits at the intersection of three states, so it receives a fair number of refugees.