New Knowledge Centre on Cities and Climate Change Launched

Smog over Kampala, Uganda. Photo: Susanna Henderson/Cities Alliance
[4 September 2012, Naples, Italy] -- Choices made today on building design, waste management, transportation, water, energy and food systems will all affect the kinds of cities we have in the future. Recognising this, four international organisations have launched an online knowledge centre in an effort to ensure the cities of the future are better for the people who live in them and for the planet.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Cities Alliance, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the World Bank have produced the Knowledge Centre on Cities and Climate Change (K4C), an online repository of information on climate change that advocates informed decision-making in local governance. The K4C was launched at the 6th World Urban Forum in Naples Italy.
“Cities are now home to more than half of the global population and the urban environment represents an inordinate opportunity for scaling up and accelerating a transition to a low-carbon, resource- efficient Green Economy. Many of the solutions have already been tried and tested by cities. The K4C initiative can assist in ensuring that the best of these can be shared between city leaders and other key players in order to realise the outcomes of Rio+20 and fast forward the Future We Want and indeed need,” says Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP and Under Secretary General of the UN.
So in a world that is increasingly saturated by various portals and databases what makes the K4C stand out?
First, the K4C takes pride in being user-friendly. Navigating through the site is literally as easy as 1-2-3.
  • K4C has an Online Library that provides access to a broad range of documents published on this thematic area.
  • It has an Interactive World Map, which gives users the chance to find out what initiatives and projects have been promoted to improve climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in the world’s cities.
  • K4C offers an overview of expert institutions that are committed to supporting city activities. It is also possible for users to upload relevant documents and information on actions taken at the city level.
Another advantage of the K4C is the support of the four institutions and the professional assessments that went into the content of this website. UNEP, Cities Alliance, UN-Habitat and World Bank worked together to produce an excellent database in an effort to consolidate information on the issue. The material on this website is deemed important by all the institutions, thus the chances of a researcher getting relevant information is higher than a random search on a generic web browser.
Last but not least, the K4C recognises the need to evolve and cooperate with other stakeholders. It allows city leaders and other city experts to submit documents, share initiatives, and provide advice. “Co-operation is the very essence of the K4C,” says William Cobbett of Cities Alliance. “Improving ways to share practical information for urban practitioners on climate change is fundamental. We have to work together to improve our efforts.”
Cities Alliance, UNEP, UN-Habitat, and World Bank invite you to share your inputs with the K4C. To learn more about it or contribute to its content, visit

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