Rapid urbanization and the global climate change crisis are significant challenges that policymakers must urgently address if cities around the world are to contemplate a productive and sustainable future.
Discussing sustainable urbanization in developing countries in a recent London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Environment Week webinar, Amujae Leader Dr. Yakama Manty Jones exchanged ideas and lessons learned with a group of experts, including LSE Associate Professor of Development Economics, Sandra Sequeira; LSE Lecturer in Economics, Gharad Bryan; CEO of The Urban Unit, Muhammad Omar Masud; and Head of Cities that Work Initiative, Victoris Delbridge.
Dr. Jones drew from her experience as the Director of Research and Delivery at the Ministry of Finance in Sierra Leone to stress the importance of reliable research and effective institutions in the design of policy solutions that address the most urgent challenges of urban populations.
Developing countries, Dr. Jones argued, suffer the most from the impacts of climate change despite not being the main generators of greenhouse gases. Therefore, they must be supported in getting the resources needed to implement adaptation and mitigation solutions.
She also emphasized the crucial importance of the private sector and development partners in helping to secure such resources and to mainstream climate adaptation into fiscal policy and decision-making:
“If we don’t have the resources to implement all these approaches to policies, all of these conversations will just be like storytelling.”
Asked about her vision for the future cities, Dr. Jones said that she sees the protection of natural resources, sustainability, and zero-waste living as central to city life in the future.
She added that she is confident that the future of cities will be bright as she believes “in the power of the human mind” and people’s ability to leverage the research opportunities available to them.
Watch the full webinar here.