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Urban Sustainability: Together for Our Cities!

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AKTI Project and Research Centre, in collaboration with the British High Commission, and in partnership with KAYAD, is launching the urban sustainability project titled Together for Our Cities. The project aims to contribute to efforts to build a resilient future for Cypriot cities.

The impact of the climate crisis on Cyprus’ cities is significant. The need to build urban resilience is imperative. This need extends to all edges of the island, therefore bicommunal cooperation is vital to the success of building more sustainable cities. Hence, the idea behind the Urban Sustainability project was born.

The project aims to develop policy tools to drive the implementation of solutions, through a novel, participatory, solution-oriented decision support process. The project, which is structured around three island-wide workshops, will involve decision makers and citizens, local authorities, public administration, teenagers/youth, educators and professionals, such as urban planners, landscapers and tourism representatives. This activity will allow for the involvement of a wide spectrum of citizens in an effort to build resilient cities around three main pillars: green urbanisation, sustainable mobility and nature-based solutions.

Each workshop will include training and capacity building and a special ‘smart’ session involving a participatory and decision support process to identify gaps, needs and suggestions. Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot experts will attend the workshops while a British expert will attend the final workshop, whereby all outcomes will be combined and prioritised accordingly, to create the policy tool and road map. This policy tool and roadmap can be implemented to enhance societal awareness through active participation in the decision-making process. A core alumni group will be formed during the workshop process to develop participation, feelings of ownership and long-term commitment to more sustainable cities. This alumni group is expected to expand over time following the project’s completion. The bicommunal character is based on the win-win concept of working together towards a common goal, to combat a common threat, which is the climate crisis, by identifying common solutions and processes.

The implementation and structure of the project provides a long-term practice that will have the potential to allow the island’s cities to grow and become more sustainable urban environments.

Urban Sustainability: Together for our cities! is being implemented by AKTI in collaboration with the British High Commission in Cyprus and is funded as part of the International Programme Fund of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Through the project the UK is reaffirming its commitment to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). The UK aims, through COP26, to put the world on a path to net zero by 2050 and keep the goal of containing the average increase of global temperatures within 1.5°C comparing to pre-industrial levels.

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