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Los Huertas del Cura - A Community Park Designed By and For the People

imgp2336-2El Instituto de Planeacion para el Municipio de Colima (IPCo), translated as The Planning Institute for the City of Colima, has developed and continues to implement community engagement demonstration projects in the city. These projects form an integral part of the new participatory planning methodology that is increasingly guiding the municipal planning and development process in Colima. This community-based approach emphasizes the importance of "true" participation by community members. Residents, neighbours, community leaders, local youth and children are directly involved in the process, from the outset to project implementation. It is believed that this approach facilitates the development of a sense of ownership and pride in the community, social cohesion and integration as well as highlights the importance of public participation in municipal planning and politics. The first project of this kind, a pilot project of sorts, was lead by a past SCI intern, Emma Cohlmeyer. This preliminary project involved the community-guided re-design for the revitalization of a local historic park, Las Huertas del Cura.

Cities Planning for Long-term Sustainability (citiesPLUS)

In 2002-3, nine cities from Canada, Japan, Russia, Germany, India, Argentina, China and the USA/Mexico, participated in a unique international design competition to develop 100–year plans that would lead to urban sustainability. Sponsored by the International Gas Union (IGU), the competition was inspired by the need to encourage cities to consider the transition from an economy based on fossil fuels to one based on alternative energy sources.

Centering Women in Reconstruction and Governance

women governanceThis project began when one of the communities that SCI was working with as part of an urban greening project was wiped out during the 2006 tsunami. Fortunately, no lives were lost, but the entire settlement's houses were gone. SCI leveraged individual donations into a CIDA-funded reconstruction project to ensure that women had a say in the reconstruction of their communities, and improve municipal governance in two tsunami affected cities, Moratuwa and Matara. The project mobilized local women to participate in decision making about their communities and reconstruction, training them in various livelihood skills, particularly those such as urban greening that enhance the environment, and building networks of women sharing their experiences in post disaster reconstruction.

Empowering Women in Post Disaster Reconstruction in Turkey

turkey3Following the Marmara earthquake in 1999, SCI worked with the Foundation for the Support of Women's Work (FSWW), to strengthen their efforts at bringing women into the decision-making process in the reconstruction of their communities. The project also involved a grassroots exchange between Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP), an Indian NGO that implemented a similar project after the earthquake in India 2 years prior. These two NGOs subsequently formed a UN type II partnership on community resilience to disasters, and worked together in providing disaster relief during the 2001 Gujerat earthquake.

Enhancing Sustainable Milk Production

cuba1This was a one-year demonstration project in Havana Province, in which Canadian dairy farmers shared their experience in herd management with Cuban farmers to increase milk production from sustainable, pasture-based dairy units.

The project doubled milk production at the local cooperative farm (CPA) and, as the project's grass/legume rotational pastures become more established, further production increases are anticipated. This project improved income earned by cooperative members from milk production. Changes made in farm management practices at the co-operative have meant that fewer cows suffer from mastitis, calf pneumonia, or other herd related illnesses, meaning that farmers no longer have to invest in expensive medical care or for the purchase of new healthy dairy cows. The introduction of a women's calf brigade increased the economic value and status of women's work at the CPA. This project won the AMEC Award for Sustainable Development of Natural Resources or Environmental Protection in the 2007 Canadian Awards for International Cooperation.

Sri Lanka Urban Greening Partnership Program

urban green1This project introduced and enhanced urban agriculture in three cities in Sri Lanka as a strategy to reduce poverty and enhance the environment. The "Greening Package" involved capacity building, community environmental management and income generation, targeted particularly at women.

As a result, 300 home gardens were created, and home composting programs in 100 homes in Matale, Moratuwa and Badulla were set up. The Moratuwa Municipal Council created a separate budget line for Urban Greening in 2006, and the Council now requires that all newly constructed buildings incorporate green space into their design.

Urban Greening in Bangkok

bangkok1Sustainable Cities worked with communities and the local government to rehabilitate two areas in downtown Bangkok with plants and trees. Community residents were engaged in developing their own 'green plan' for their neighbourhood, and then cleaned up derelict areas and planted vegetables, herbs and flowers. They improved their own nutrition, saved money on buying food and grew sufficient produce to sell or share with others in the community. In addition, the project empowered local residents to participate in community affairs by getting people involved in stakeholder engagement processes.

South East Asian Solid Waste Improvement Project (SEALSWIP)

sealswip1The South-East Asian Solid Waste Improvement Project (SEALSWIP) was undertaken from 1997 -2001, working with six cities (Hat Yai and Udon Thani in Thailand; Iloilo and Bacolod in the Philippines; and Rantepao and Makale, Tana Toraja in Indonesia). In each city, a stakeholder committee of local government, private sector and NGO representatives was convened to identify priorities and come up with action plans to improve municipal waste management. Sustainable Cities supported the stakeholder groups with technical and project management expertise and provided funding for demonstration projects related to municipal solid waste management.

Phuket Waste Management

The spectacular Island-Province of Phuket is a prime tourist destination in southern Thailand. However, the area was overwhelmed with garbage, which was simply piled beyond the boundaries of its largest town. Local authorities were eager to improve on this practice and so, starting in 1994, with the encouragement of the Thai government, Sustainable Cities helped local authorities to find the first stepping stones to sustainable solid waste management. This meant changes in both the physical logistics and the institutional framework for managing waste. Sustainable Cities brought the public and private sectors together to tackle solid waste problems and involved everyone from the Mayor to the waste scavengers.

Comox - Helmcken Greenway

Sustainable Cities International was contracted by the City of Vancouver to engage youth in grades 1-12 in imagining what the Comox-Helmcken Greenway should look like. The proposed greenway runs from Stanley Park to Yaletown in downtown Vancouver and is meant to encourage active transportation and community connections along the route. In partnership with Social Policy at the City of Vancouver, SCI designed four different workshops to be delivered to grades 1-3, grades 4-7, grades 8-12 and ESL respectively.

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