Dhaka North City Corporation
Expanding green spaces to create a more inclusive and livable city
Low-lying Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; Dhaka North is one of the most densely populated cities on earth, leading to a lack of clean, green urban spaces for millions of residents. Dhaka also welcomes an estimated 2,000 new arrivals every day, 26% of whom are climate migrants fleeing from floods and droughts in rural areas to find a safer life in the city.
To manage the impacts of urban growth, Dhaka North is increasing urban green space by 70% and public toilet access by 80%, ensuring millions more residents will have access to recreational areas and clean and sanitary bathroom facilities. The city is also developing 16 parks, three playgrounds, rainwater harvesting facilities, and improving pavements and cycling routes.
The green spaces will increase climate resilience to heat waves and flooding, reduce greenhouse emissions, and create areas that are both equitable and accessible. It is estimated that 60% of the project beneficiaries will be women, children and low-income residents; the city has considered women’s safety and designated women’s corners and single-sex toilets in every park. Migrants, often displaced by climate impacts, regularly find themselves living in informal settlements and tensions with locals sometimes arise; increasing green space means that new areas will be opened up for residents to mix, mingle and break down social barriers. By the end of 2022, Dhaka North aims to provide green spaces that are accessible within a 15-minute walk for 20% of the population.
Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation, Atiqul Islam, said: “Dhaka North is proud and encouraged to be recognised for the bold action it is taking against climate change. Dhaka is on the front-line of climate change and we at Dhaka North are working to find nature-based solutions to tackle this crisis.
“I believe creating physical infrastructure like parks, playgrounds and green spaces will help our future generations to have an improved wellbeing infrastructure. Action against climate change is required now; C40 Cities encourages us to take such bold steps.”
Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara
Nidos de lluvia: enhancing local water resilience
In 2021, Jalisco experienced a severe drought, leading to low water supplies and water shortages for city residents. In response, the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara launched the Nidos de Lluvia (Rain Nests) programme. The programme aims to improve water access by installing rainwater harvesting systems in the most water-vulnerable neighbourhoods. The harvesting system collects rainwater and channels it through filters for cleaning and storage. Families and schools in areas most affected by drought can apply to have the system installed to ensure access to safe and healthy drinking water in times of drought.
The Nidos de Lluvia programme is easy to replicate and emphasises community participation. Women were responsible for most water-obtaining tasks on top of childcare responsibilities; therefore, community boards that serve as Nidos de Lluvia training centres offer child-friendly services that accommodate school hours. The boards also provide educational sessions, supporting residents to learn to read and write, and those without an internet connection.
As a result of the programme, 16 million litres of water were collected via 600 harvesting systems, providing water to over 2,000 residents in 2021. Metro Guadalajara estimates that by 2024, nearly 60,000 people will have improved water security, reducing the rates of critical water vulnerability by 67%.
Mayor of Zapopan and President of the Metropolitan Coordination Board, Juan José Frangie Saade, said: “Local government investments in projects like Nidos de Lluvia, which improve the quality of life for residents while making the management of municipal services like drinking water more efficient, must become a priority — something that leaves real benefits for the people.“
General Director of the Metropolitan Planning Institute of Guadalajara, Martha Patricia Martínez Barba, said: “Acting in the face of a reality – where the effects and the difficulty to adapt to global climate change is exacerbated in vulnerable populations – requires innovative solutions and alliances that have a social impact, starting at the local level, at affordable costs with lasting effects, but above all, with nature based solutions. The recognition of Nidos de Lluvia is a testimony of the commitment and leadership that we have in Jalisco, from the governance with integral and replicable solutions that add to the environment and equality to face the climate crisis.”