The “Future talks:_” is a series of virtual events organized by the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Bosnia and Herzegovina and centred around pressing issues or inspiring development opportunities. During these events, inspiring speakers, disruptors and system-thinkers will share future-looking ideas and thought-provocative experiences around a selected topic that can inspire “out-of-the-box” thinking and innovative approaches to development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This time, the new edition of the "Future Talks: _" virtual event will stimulate re-imagining of the future urban public spaces and areas from viewpoint of the new types of urban infrastructure, renewed social function of urban spaces, participatory tools and approaches that help re-imagine urban spaces through a community-driven design, as well as policies and financial instruments that foster vibrant, sustainable and liveable public spaces.
Public spaces are physical, cultural, historical and emotional areas that can profoundly influence quality of life and social dynamics in cities. However, global trends signal a worrying future urban life, with over-population of urban areas (in 2050 more than 70% of the planet population will be inhabiting cities), worsening air quality, increased environmental footprint (75% percent of global carbon emissions, with most of that coming from transport and buildings), decaying urban infrastructure, growing inequalities and poverty, rising crime rates, expanding urban heat pockets.
One way to tackle these knotting challenges is through re-imagining urban spaces and public areas, as part of the wider city ecosystem.
Therefore, it is worth exploring the world’s emerging new ideas and solutions for liveable and healthy urban environments and discover the building blocks of sustainable future urban spaces. In this journey, we need to look at the intrinsic value of the natural environment within the urban context, re-think the social value of public spaces and explore new policies and governance tools that foster people-centred and resilient urban public spaces.
Urban green spaces such as parks, city gardens, green rooftops, urban farms, riversides or lakesides, etc., give people the space for physical activity, relaxation, peace, and an escape from the heat. Multiple studies have shown that urban green areas reduce stress and boost mental and physical health. Also, urban green spaces are associated with better air quality, reduced traffic noise, cooler temperatures, and greater diversity.
Public spaces play a vital role in the social and economic life of people and their communities. New kinds of green urban spaces, meeting places, and social hubs will be created in towns and cities worldwide to enable better socialization of people and their connection to the communities.
To transform urban areas into one-of-a-kind green oasis of the future will also require specific changes in policies and regulations and the introduction of new financial instruments. How can citizens, decision-makers, and investors work hand in hand for the greener future of urban spaces?
Urban spaces should be designed, developed, and accessible to everyone. Also, everyone should be provided with an opportunity to co-design spaces in their communities and urban areas to ensure that each voice, idea and needs are integrated into the building blocks of new green urbanism. How can collective re-imagining of the urban spaces become a standard in the future?
The second virtual "Future Talks: The Next Generation of Urban Spaces” will be held on 2. April 2021 at 13:00 CET. It will host inspiring urban transformation practitioners and visionaries from all over the world who will help us jointly re-imagine the next generation of urban spaces by sharing new approaches to “greening” and socializing urban spaces, presenting interesting policy and financial instruments for urban development, as well as inspiring examples of community-led and inclusive re-imagining of future urban spaces.
Curious to learn more and contribute to the re-imagining of urban spaces in Bosnia and Herzegovina?