City leaders and professionals around the world face a crush of converging pressures. They are being asked to improve urban mobility, housing, equity and access to opportunity – all while accommodating more residents, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making streets safer and healthier. More infrastructure and funds alone are not enough to take on these challenges; cities need help making better decisions too
NEW DELHI:To support capacity building for urban professionals, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities launched TheCityFix Learn (thecityfixlearn.org)a new web-based global knowledge platform. It provides an approachable, multilingual, mobile catalogue of learning products from WRI Ross Center and partners around the world.
“We must build cities that work for people and the planet,” said Ani Dasgupta, global director of WRI Ross Center. “We recognize that cities need more solutions that are tailored to their local contexts, including better ways for city leaders to learn about best practices and develop new skills. TheCityFix Learn will give urban professionals the tools and skills they need to provide services for all.”
TheCityFix Learn includes online tutorials on road safety, public transport, transit-oriented development (TOD), and walking and cycling, as well as opportunities to sign up for in-person trainings and peer-to-peer gatherings to build leadership and management skills. This “blended” approach is a comprehensive way to meet users where they are, whether political or technical staff, national or local government, in small or large cities.
The platform is launching with English, Spanish and Turkish language content, but more multi-lingual content will be added over the next few months.
“The absence of a culture of shared responsibility and common objectives is a great impediment to the effective management of cities,” said Sebastian Varela, manager of strategy development and performance at WRI Ross Center. “To be effective, capacity building efforts must address technical needs as well as the leadership and management skills of all the institutions and stakeholders involved.”
For example, a learning guide on cycling infrastructure teaches six key design principles using a set of digital cards to break the concepts down into bite-size pieces. A webinar on the building blocks of TOD is one in an eight-part series designed to introduce the concepts and strategies behind TOD corridor planning. And our congestion charging and low-emission zone hub connects users to more information from a pilot project in Beijing and related publications.
“As the world heads towards two-thirds of people residing in cities by mid-century, the need to provide cities with not just more infrastructure and monetary resources, but also skilled manpower and institutional capacities to manage and direct these investments in a sustainable manner is clear,” said Chhavi Dhingra, head of capacity building at WRI India.
The platform draws from WRI’s global experience supporting the implementation of projects on the ground and creating customized training products for different audiences and needs.
“The New Urban Agenda demands new approaches and new management skills,” said Angelica Vesga, director of communications and influence at WRI Mexico. “This is only the beginning, and we ask that users give us feedback to help make the site as useful as possible.”