If Cities Could Talk: Voices for Urban Justice

Greenpeace

The human population has reached 8 billion, and more than half of us live in cities. Urban areas have a crucial role in tackling climate change. Not only are they responsible for some 70% of carbon dioxide emissions1, but also because of their inhabitants’ active and collective role to demand, inspire, and achieve radical transformations at local, national and global levels.

Urban population growth over the next 30 years is expected to take place in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean2, where cities are already struggling with social and climate challenges. Facing climate change from a justice approach implies ensuring that the most marginalized are not only protected but valued and actively included.

We’ve gathered these voices from cities that are on the frontline of the climate and social crises, stories of people who are not only striving for a better quality of life but are actively working for healthier, safer and greener cities for all.

Let’s listen to some of these voices:

Sarah Marques, Communitarian Leader – Recife, Brazil
Joven Jacolbia, Youth Activist – Manila, Philippines
Katley Silva, Young Activist – Fortaleza, Brazil
Dilruba Taşdemiş, Education coordinator – Istanbul, Turkiye
Jose Loaiza Molina, Trash sweeper – Bogotá, Colombia
Mangala Gowri, garment factory worker – Bangalore, India
Jimena Silva, environmental activist – Mexico City, Mexico

#UrbanJustice is social and climate justice!

Urban Justice means addressing social inequalities from an intersectional perspective by connecting the climate emergency with the needs, demands, and ideas of the most marginalized people in cities.

It also implies recognizing the vast experience and solutions people produce in their territories, which could inspire and lead to new urbanization models that have climate and social justice at its centre.

To that end, grassroots groups and urban counterpower movements are fighting for their inclusion in the decision-making process around structural changes towards better cities, towards Urban Justice.

What does #UrbanJustice mean to you?

1. “Five years on, taking stock of the New Urban Agenda“, UNDP – United Nations Development Programme, 20212. All countries in Africa, Asia (excluding Japan), Latin America and the Caribbean, plus Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Source: World Resources Institute, taken from UN DESA – World Highlights Population Prospects, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2019

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