Urban Transformations
Urban Transformations

A series exploring urban change through the WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities, the premier global award celebrating and spotlighting impactful stories of sustainable urban transformation. Learn more at prizeforcities.org.

WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities
Can Cities Thrive in Turbulent Times? 3 Questions for Cities in 2022
Can Cities Thrive in Turbulent Times? 3 Questions for Cities in 2022
Infectious disease outbreaks can have enduring influence on urban design and several have irrevocably shaped how modern cities feel and function. For example, parks, wide street design and even the home bathroom are all important legacies of cholera outbreaks; today, ...
Sparking Inclusive Urban Transformation in These Revolutionary Times
Sparking Inclusive Urban Transformation in These Revolutionary Times
Two years ago, I participated in the learning roundtable for the first cycle of the WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities. I confess that my expectations were rather moderate, but that, to my surprise, I found it truly refreshing and ...
Inclusive Cities for a Changing Climate: Prize for Cities 2020-2021 Grand Prize Winner [PODCAST]
Inclusive Cities for a Changing Climate: Prize for Cities 2020-2021 Grand Prize Winner [PODCAST]
The WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities is the premier global award celebrating and spotlighting transformative urban change, and its $250,000 grand prize winner for 2020-21 has been announced: Sustainable Food Production for a Resilient Rosario, an urban agriculture project from ...
Rosario, Argentina Uses Urban Farming to Tackle Economic and Climate Crises
Rosario, Argentina Uses Urban Farming to Tackle Economic and Climate Crises
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sustainable Food Production for a Resilient Rosario won the 2020-2021 Prize for Cities on June 29, 2021. Learn more here. (June 29, 2021) The residents of Rosario, Argentina’s third-largest city, are no strangers to crises. When the country’s economy ...
How London Uses Road Fees to Tackle Air Pollution and Inequality
How London Uses Road Fees to Tackle Air Pollution and Inequality
Half a century ago, a lethal haze of smoke and fog, otherwise known as the Great Smog of 1952, covered London and killed as many as 12,000 people. More recently, in 2013, Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah died at the hands of air pollution. ...
5 Finalists Transforming Urban Spaces: The 2020-2021 Prize for Cities [PODCAST]
5 Finalists Transforming Urban Spaces: The 2020-2021 Prize for Cities [PODCAST]
The WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities is the premier global award celebrating and spotlighting transformative urban change. The five finalists for the $250,000 prize come from very different urban environments — in Kenya, Argentina, Mexico, India and the United ...
In Nairobi, Residents Redesign Public Spaces to Build Flood Resilience
In Nairobi, Residents Redesign Public Spaces to Build Flood Resilience
During Caroline Owala’s childhood, flooding during rainstorms was a normal occurrence. “When it rained, it would be very difficult for us to even sleep because the flooding would get into the houses,” she told WRI. Caroline grew up in Kibera, ...
In Monterrey, Mexico, a University’s Tragedy Sparks a Citywide Turnaround
In Monterrey, Mexico, a University’s Tragedy Sparks a Citywide Turnaround
Monterrey, like other major Mexican cities, rapidly expanded outward during the end of the 20th century. New policies favored investment in new suburban neighborhoods, attracting residents and businesses to the periphery, and provoking several decades of insecurity and population decline. ...
In Ahmedabad, India, Women Are Climate Leaders, Not Victims
In Ahmedabad, India, Women Are Climate Leaders, Not Victims
During the summers, in the crowded informal settlement she calls home in Ahmedabad, India, Meenaben would lay wet jute on the floor and hay on the roof of her home to lower the temperature inside. If she didn’t, her home ...
5 Big Ideas to Address the Climate Crisis and Inequality in Cities
5 Big Ideas to Address the Climate Crisis and Inequality in Cities
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sustainable Food Production for a Resilient Rosario won the 2020-2021 Prize for Cities on June 29, 2021. Learn more here. (June 29, 2021) City life can be deeply unfair. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic exposed just how ...
Street Transformations to Fight COVID-19: 3 Ways to Create Lasting Change
Street Transformations to Fight COVID-19: 3 Ways to Create Lasting Change
As the COVID-19 outbreak disrupts mobility worldwide, more and more cities are transforming their streets to increase space for walking and cycling and reduce car use during and after the pandemic. These changes are designed to help people get around ...
After the Crisis: How COVID-19 Can Drive Transformational Change in Cities
After the Crisis: How COVID-19 Can Drive Transformational Change in Cities
Across the world, from Wuhan to New York City, cities are on the frontline of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. Starting with overwhelmed heath care systems, cities are experiencing unprecedented strain across social, economic and environmental systems as economies grind to ...
For People to Live and Thrive in a Changing Climate, Cities Need to Change – But How?
For People to Live and Thrive in a Changing Climate, Cities Need to Change – But How?
In the 21st century, a seemingly global prosperity masks an unequal distribution of benefits. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world’s cities, where extreme wealth can exist next door to concentrated poverty. In some cities, like those in South Africa, ...
4 Emerging Concepts That Could Transform Cities
4 Emerging Concepts That Could Transform Cities
Big ideas can forever alter the fate of cities when they are written into cement, steel and stone. When St. Petersburg, Russia, was created in 1703 by Peter the Great, he envisioned the new capital as an emblem of a modern ...
5 Things We Learned About Urban Transformation
5 Things We Learned About Urban Transformation
Positive change happens in cities, but it’s often lost in a sea of bad news about air pollution, rising costs of living, traffic jams and inequality. When we launched the WRI Ross Prize for Cities in February 2018, we aimed ...
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