References | Africa, south of Sahara

Support the start up of the Mistra Urban Futures Local Interaction Platform in Kisumu


Civil Society, Environment and Climate Change, Urban Development, Good Governance and Public Administration

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Urbanization is a manifest and growing trend worldwide and the importance of cities for economic development and social cohesion is widely acknowledged. However, problems such as global risks and resource constraints, poverty, poor health and diseases, and social tensions and inequalities all pose significant challenges to the efforts of cities and urban areas to achieve long-term sustainable development. Since these challenges are both poorly understood and inadequately dealt with there is a great need for better informed policy-making, capacity-building, and the appropriate use of the resources required for positive urban transformation.

The vision of Mistra–Urban Futures is to increase capacities to transform current unsustainable urban development pathways to more sustainable urban futures in the global South and North. This vision will be met by an internationally leading research and knowledge center which produces cutting edge practice and research. Through the establishment of Local Interaction Platforms (LIPs) in Cape Town (SouthAfrica), Kisumu (Kenya), Manchester (United Kingdom) and Shanghai (China) the Center will operate a strong and dedicated International Collaboration and Learning Arena (UF-ARENA).

The mission of Mistra–Urban Futures for the years 2012-2015 is to increase the capacity among individuals and institutions to deliver new knowledge, approaches, tools, and arenas needed to provide FAIR Cities (Securing urban equity, social inclusion and urban commons), GREEN Cities (Managing resource constraints and climate change), and DENSE Cities (Promoting access to urban qualities and service) Innovative approaches and tools are therefore being developed for knowledge production, dissemination, and learning. This will be achieved more specifically by furnishing knowledge based advice and recommendations for urban visions and policy, by creating tools and skills for improving the institutional and organizational capacities for urban governance, and by developing arenas and partnerships that can support and channel the economic, material and human resources needed for sustainable urban transformations.

The overall strategic goals are to promote change in urban areas by:
1. The provision of excellent and relevant knowledge-based outcomes to inform urban visions, policy and practices;
2. The provision of innovative approaches for creating usable and accessible knowledge and tools for urban governance;
3. The participation in and coordination of arenas, forums and partnerships that can support and channel the economic, material and human resources needed for sustainable urban transformations;
4. A viable and excellent Center with effective organizational structures and leadership, efficient fundraising, and transparent quality management and evaluation.