Today, more than 50 percent of the world population lives in cities. According to projections this proportion is expected to reach 60 percent by 2030 and 70 percent in 2050. Trends also show that most of the urban growth will take place in developing and emerging countries. This scenario brings about multiple challenges, including the necessity to understand the city as a land of opportunities for human development. It also opens the debate on how to create more humane and sustainable cities designed and planned for the welfare and development of its citizens.
The project Towards the Human City aims to identify, document, and communicate more than one hundred examples of transformative bottom-up and locally generated solutions that have been able to make improvements in their cities, considering citizens at its core. Without requiring large budgets, these initiatives put together creativity, cooperation, tenacity and enormous willingness to change, in the search of a more sustainable and inclusive city for all.
Through a combination of narrative and visual media, this talk will illustrate the objectives behind the Towards the Human City Project and will show case some of the initiatives that have been documented.
Maria Alejandra Pineda-Escobar is a Colombian consultant and researcher in inclusive business and CSR in emerging and developing countries, working with the Centre of Partnerships for Development (CAD). Maria is also Regional Coordinator for the Towards the Human City Project and Associate Professor at Politecnico Grancolombiano University, where she lectures on sustainability, globalization and competitiveness in business. She is a member of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) Experts Network, and of the National Committee of Inclusive Business of Colombia (CONNIC). She has authored a couple of opinion pieces, papers and book chapters on CSR and sustainability at the BoP, including her latest participation as one of the contributors in the book "Base of the Pyramid 3.0 Sustainable Development through Innovation and Entrepreneurship". Professional in International Business holds Masters degrees in Public Policy and Human Development (The Netherlands) and in Sustainability and CSR (Spain).