How COVID-19 Can Drive Transformational Change in Cities

Aniruddha Dasgupta
27.04.2020

How COVID-19 Can Drive Transformational Change in Cities

Across the world, from Wuhan to New York City, cities are on the frontline of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. Starting with overwhelmed heath care systems, cities are experiencing unprecedented strain across social, economic and environmental systems as economies grind to a standstill. Public transit systems are in a financial tailspin. Already a challenge at the best of times, the struggle to provide even basic access to water and sewerage is now especially acute in many growing cities across the global south. Daily wage earners and the urban poor of all stripes are suffering the most from the dual blows of lost income and a …

Aniruddha Dasgupta

WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
Aniruddha (Ani) Dasgupta is the Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, WRI’s program that galvanizes action to help cities grow...

The virus has made it clear: the future is now

Dr. Sabin Bieri
Prof. Dr. Thomas Breu
Dr. Andreas Heinimann
Prof. Dr. Peter Messerli
24.04.2020

Accelerated by a virus, we have suddenly found ourselves in a possible future. The existen-tial threat appears as if through a magnifying glass, allowing us to perceive the state of the world with increased clarity. With astonishment, we have seen political taboos and unques-tioned assumptions falling by the wayside, allowing our institutions to take action. All of a sudden, the tried and tested arguments of interest-driven politics – economic constraints, technological barriers, unchanging behavioural patterns, individual responsibility – no long-er seem to be guiding the decision-making. Behind this is a growing awareness that the cur-rent socio-political range of actions will be …

Dr. Sabin Bieri

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
Sabin Bieri is Associate Director and Member of the Executive Board of the Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment (CDE) at the University...

Prof. Dr. Thomas Breu

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
Thomas Breu is Professor and Director of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern and Managing Director of the...

Dr. Andreas Heinimann

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
Andreas Heinimann is Associate Director for Regional Collaboration at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern. As...

Prof. Dr. Peter Messerli

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern
Peter Messerli is professor for sustainable development at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the director of the Centre for Development and...

Opportunities for transformative learning in the coronavirus crisis

Prof. Dr. Heike Walk
23.04.2020

The coronavirus pandemic brings about drastic changes for a great many people. When social life returns to normal once the coronavirus crisis is over, a window of opportunity will open for launching innovative concepts and ideas for sustainable development. This is an area in which universities will be required to take responsibility. The example of Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNE) shows what this could look like:

  • Innovation goal of sustainability transformation: together with a variety of very different stakeholders from practice, HNE Eberswalde has developed sustainability innovations and models for solutions. With stakeholders from society, guiding principles …

Prof. Dr. Heike Walk

Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development
Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the Eberswalde University for Sustainability and Professor for Transformation Governance at the Faculty of...

Getting through the crisis: with the right goals in mind

Andreas Kuhlmann
22.04.2020

Once again, the world finds itself in crisis mode. The 21st century is still young, but has already seen plenty of crises, each of which has been noteworthy in its own right. This crisis is particularly immediate, and therefore very dramatic as well. A virus has turned the world upside down. It is a matter of life and death. Points of weakness become evident, in the health care system, but also in the political structure. The cooperation between countries, the approach to a global problem, is not yet working as it should. This is something with which we are familiar from climate policy.

Managing the coronavirus crisis and protecting human life currently has top priority. The picture of …

Andreas Kuhlmann

Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena)
Andreas Kuhlmann has been the CEO of dena since July 2015. Andreas Kuhlmann (born in Recklinghausen in 1967, catholic, married, one daughter) majored...

Coronavirus/climate/innovation: why we have to save tomorrow's rescuers today

Alexander Bonde
20.04.2020

It is only a few days since the German federal government launched a multi-billion Euro rescue package to cushion the consequences of the coronavirus crisis on businesses. And absolutely rightly so, as it is in the interests of society as a whole to successfully guide healthy businesses through these difficult times. These rescue measures also fulfil an important role in terms of the climate crisis: they ensure we have important drivers of innovation for the challenges of tomorrow. To counter the climate crisis, we require more businesses that develop ecological, sustainable products, services and business models. In Germany, these are frequently SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) …

Alexander Bonde

German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU)
Alexander Bonde is General Secretary of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) in Osnabrück. The largest environmental foundation in Europe promotes...