Cities are complex, organic things, each one with its own energy, identity, character even. That is partly because since early civilization, the diverse populations of cities have made them hubs of industry, commerce and innovation.
But as they have proliferated, so have the challenges in ensuring a decent quality of life for urban residents. Today, rapid urbanization has created a host of problems that need urgent and innovative solutions that will provide all denizens the proverbial trifecta of urban need: roti, kapd aur makaan (food, clothing and shelter).
But the solutions no longer rest with a single entity, such as the government, the private sector or civil society. Increasingly a coalition of innovators, researchers and executors are collaborating to address myriad urban issues.
In this issue of Beyond Profit we look at some key challenges that cities and their residents face, and potential solutions. In her cover story, Nisha Kumar Kulkarni addresses the problem of food security and the relatively new model of urban agriculture.
Abby Callard talks to Radhika Khosla about her work on urban climatology and how greener cities can both save energy and create jobs. In our Case Study, we look at an innovative public-private partnership in Pakistan that makes residents financially invested in the water supply system.
Abby also presents five ingenious concept models of urban mass transport that seek to address that bane of city living – traffic.
With food inflation rising and growing populations straining supply, urban food security is a major concern. Beyond Profit looks at two different solutions addressing the future of food.
Sometimes thinking outs of the box is the best way to solve a problem. We look at five innovative concepts in urban transport.
Radhika Khosla talks to Beyond Profit about her research in urban climatology and how greener cities can both save energy and create jobs.
Claudia Juech and Evan Michelson from the Rockefeller Foundation write about the importance of “pro-poor foresight.”
Sometimes governments can’t provide its citizens with proper service. We look at a private-public partnership providing clean water and sewage services in Pakistan.
Prathima Manohar, Founder of The Urban Vision, shares her view of 21st century cities: socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable and economically thriving.