2023 was hot but ultimately hopeful. The past year saw record-breaking temperatures and an onslaught of extreme weather events like droughts, floods and heatwaves. Cities often bore the brunt of these conditions, exacerbated by the urban heat island effect: when lack of green space is paired with dense, heat-trapping infrastructure.
But cities also centered themselves as leaders of change. On the global stage, city, regional and community leaders played a larger role than ever at COP28. And the new Coalition for High Ambition Muti-level Partnerships promises more support for joined up national-local action. Meanwhile, cities like Barranquilla, Colombia continue to explore how to create transformative change in an era of disruption.
On TheCityFix, the year’s most-read posts, though varied in theme, illustrate how cities serve as central hubs of innovation and collaboration. Though the path to a sustainable, just future may seem daunting, many of the solutions needed are already being imagined and implemented across the globe.
From Teresina to Indore, from electric mobility to extreme heat, our network of guest contributors and WRI experts continued to explore inspiring solutions to the most pressing urban challenges. Below, find our most-read posts from 2023:
- 5 Key Transport Challenges Facing Developing Countries and What to Do About Them, by Nicolas Peltier-Thiberge and Rogier van den Berg
- 7 Ways Faith Organizations Are Making Cities More Sustainable and Equitable, by Smriti Singh, Robin King, Anjali Mahendra, Rocío Campos and Carrick Reddin
- 5 Car-Free Day Myths Debunked: Unveiling the True Benefits of Open Streets, by Nikita Luke and Emmerentian Mbabazi
- Measuring Urbanization: Why India Needs to Rethink its Methodology, by Sudeshna Chatterjee, Raj Bhagat Palanichamy, Rejeet Mathews and Shahena Khan
- Big and Small Steps to Beat the Heat, by Mark Douglas Wessel
- What Does a Green City Look Like? Equitable, Connected and Nature-Positive, by Eillie Anzilotti and John-Rob Pool
- Urban Mobility Unleashed: Empowering Cities through Open Innovation Challenges, by Catherine Thompson, Kathy Nothstine and Thet Hein Tun
- Electrifying South Africa’s Minibus Taxi Industry: A Data-Driven Approach, by Rudi Kriel and Mariska Burger
- Developing City Action Plans for Building Decarbonization, by Pooja Gangwar
- Enabling a ‘Deep Dive’ Approach to Creating Urban Transformation, by Robin King, Pablo Lazo, Rivvy Eisenberg and Clare Blackwell
We are very grateful to the more than 160 authors who contributed to TheCityFix in 2023. Thank you for reading and writing. Here’s to building on this momentum in 2024.
Taylor Symes is Communications Associate for WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.
Schuyler Null is Senior Communications Manager for WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.