Reach Symposium 2022: A Discussion on Resilient Cities for Sustainable Development with the Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

October 23, 2022
Reach Symposium 2022:  A Discussion on Resilient Cities for Sustainable Development with the Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

In April 2022, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr about her work in Freetown, Sierra Leone and her take on resilient cities as part of the annual Reach Alliance Symposium: Resilient Together: Pathways for Sustainable Development. 

We spoke of the city's #FreetownTheTreeTown initiative, the importance of community and youth engagement and what it takes to make cities more resilient to climate change and meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To hear the Mayor's keynote address and our interview tune in below:


To listen to other discussions held during the symposium, please visit https://reachalliance.org/2022-symposium/

Timestamps

  • 15:20 | What do you recommend other cities do to ensure that they are meaningfully engaging with their communities when tackling climate change? And why is having a comunity-oriented approach to tackling climate change so important for resilience and sustainable development?
  • 26:20 | It is often said that the next generation of young leaders are agents of change and are valuable contributors to climate action. Why do you think this is true and critical not only for climate action but for achieving the SDGs? How have young leaders played a role in the City of Freetown's success?
  • 29:50 | What makes cities uniquely positioned to drive change and advance the achievement of the SDGs?

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE was sworn in as mayor of Freetown in May 2018 with a commitment to transform Freetown using an inclusive, data-driven approach to address challenges in the city. The 3-year Transform Freetown plan details 19 concrete targets across 11 sectors and covers issues ranging from tackling environmental degradation to facilitating the creation of jobs in the tourism sector. A finance professional with over 25 years of private sector experience in strategic planning, risk management consulting and project management, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr’s public sector engagement began with her work during the 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic and her subsequent role as Delivery Team Lead for the second phase of a multi-stakeholder program to drive socioeconomic recovery in Sierra Leone post Ebola. Mayor Aki-Sawyerr is a chartered accountant and holds an MSc in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics and a BSc Hons in Economics from Fourah Bay College. She was recently recognized in the BBC 2020 100 Women list.

To learn more about the City of Freetown and Mayor Aki-Sawyerr's work, please visit https://fcc.gov.sl/

About the Reach Alliance

The Reach Alliance, founded in 2015 at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, in partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, was inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Reach is a student-driven, faculty-mentored research and leadership initiative examining how critical interventions and innovations reach those who are the hardest to reach: those living in extreme poverty, the geographically remote, administratively invisible and marginalized. Our research has been featured in leading outlets, and our in-depth case studies are available on the Reach website.

The Reach Alliance recruits top students – equipping the next generation of leaders, to produce actionable insights – and catalyzes impact through our institutional partners.

To learn more about The Reach Alliance, please visit https://reachalliance.org/

Épisode 19: Comment le Centre d'Art Waza fait la promotion des artistes et de l'art populaire à Lubumbashi

October 09, 2022
Épisode 19: Comment le Centre d'art Waza fait la promotion des artistes et de l'art populaire à Lubumbashi | #Podcast #Urbanisme #Villescréatives

En novembre 2021, j'ai eu le plaisir de parler avec M. Patrick Mudekereza le Directeur Exécutif du Centre d'Art Waza. Le Centre d'art Waza, situé à Lubumbashi, en République démocratique du Congo une ville désignée en 2015 par l'UNESCO, comme étant la Ville créative d'artisanat et des arts populaires. Ainsi, pendant notre discussion nous parlons par rapport de la créativité des Lushois, du rôle de l'art public dans la ville, les projets divers dirigés par le Centre et ce qui fait de Lubumbashi une Ville Créative.

Dans cet épisode, vous découvrirez:

  • pourquoi l’art public est si important pour les villes et les communautés qui les accueillent,
  • l'histoire de la ville de Lubumbashi d'un perspective artistique,
  • qu’est-ce qui fait de Lubumbashi une ville aussi créative,
  • et bien plus encore!

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Invité: Patrick Mudekereza, Centre d'art Waza

Patrick Mudekereza est le Directeur Exécutif du Centre d’Art Waza, écrivain et opérateur culturel.

Horodatages

  • 2:40 | Est-ce que vous pouvez me dire qu’est qui vous a inspiré a créé ce centre?
  • 7:08 | Est-ce que tu peux expliquer un peu plus par rapport au programme et aux activités culturelles que vous offrez au centre?
  • 11:07 | Est-ce que tu peux expliquer un peu plus par rapport au Mitaani Mapping Moments?
  • 18:01 | Selon vous, pourquoi l’art public est-il si important pour les villes et les communautés qui les accueillent?
  • 24:27 | C’est quoi ce projet Waza Wazi? Selon vous, pourquoi est-il important d’avoir un centre d’art à Lubumbashi? 
  • 29:18 | A ce propos, Lubumbashi est la ville créative de l’artisanat et de l’art populaire désignée par l’UNESCO, mais à votre avis, qu’est-ce qui fait de Lubumbashi une ville aussi créative?
  • 37:10 | D’après vous, quel genre de soutien (ex. politiques, partenariats, etc.) les villes devraient-elles offrir à des organisations comme la vôtre pour appuyer la créativité des citoyens et pour aider à établir des centres culturels?
  • 41:27 | Comment voyez-vous l'évolution de Waza? Quels sont les autres projets sur lesquels le centre travaille?
  • 46:42 | Comment les gens peuvent-ils s'impliquer davantage avec le centre? 

Notes de l'émission

Remerciements

Parrainage

Cet épisode est co-parrainé par l'Université de Toronto School of Cities et le Département de Geographie et de l'Aménagement 

The School of Cities, ​convoque des chercheurs, des éducateurs, des étudiants, des praticiens et le grand public axés sur l'urbain pour explorer et relever des défis urbains complexes, dans le but de rendre les villes et les régions urbaines plus durables, prospères, inclusives et justes". Pour en savoir plus sur ​The School of Cities visitez www.schoolofcities.utoronto.ca

Pour en savoir plus sur le Département de géographie et d'aménagement et les différents programmes de premier cycle veuillez visitez www.geography.utoronto.ca.

Assistance
  • Monteur et producteur de musique: Imany Lambropoulos
  • Animatrice de podcast et graphiste: Alexandra Lambropoulos

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Episode 18: How CLUSTER is Bridging Western Urban Understanding From the Middle East to North Africa

August 21, 2022


In this episode, my co-host Sami Ferwati and I chat with Salma Elbasty from CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research). CLUSTER undertakes a number of research, architecture, and arts-based urban initiatives with a special focus on analyzing urban informality and highlighting its role in our cities. During our discussion, we explore the impact of two of CLUSTER's major projects—the CAUL (Critical Arab Urban Lexicon) and their Creativity in Action toolkit—and how through their diverse programming they work with artists, artisans, academics, businesses, communities, and everyone else in between to bring their projects to life.

In this episode, you'll learn about:

  • urban informality and its role in creative cities,
  • the process CLUSTER follows to undertake their various creative, community-based activities,
  • the Critical Arab Urban Lexicon (CAUL) and the importance of translating urban terms into different languages, 
  • ALFABRIKA, CLUSTER's maker space and community hub,
  • and much more!

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Guest: Salma Elbasty, CLUSTER

Salma Elbasty is an architect at CLUSTER Cairo. She obtained her BSc. in Architecture from the German University in Cairo, and she completed her pre-master studies with a focus on urban design in 2020. Her research interests involve the intersection of architecture with social sciences. Besides her architectural career, Salma experiments within the field of design, crisscrossing into the realms of graphic and visual design.

Co-Host: Sami Ferwati

Sami is in his second year in the Masters of Science in Planning program. Before attending the University of Toronto Sami attended McMaster University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. He is also a part of the Graduate Geography and Planning Student Society (GGAPSS), where he serves as the VP of Space. Sami's primary research interests in planning surround housing, economic development, urban design, and how people interact with their urban environment.

Timestamps

  • 03:25 | An introduction to Salma and CLUSTER
  • 04:25 | What is CLUSTER and how did this organization get started? 
  • 07:31 | What is the Critical Arab Urban Lexicon (CAUL) and how did it get started? 
  • 10:05 | What has been the impact of CAUL since its initial launch?
  • 12:06 | What is the Creativity in Action project and the resulting toolkit? And how did this project get started?
  • 20:46 | What has been the impact of this project on the communities? 
  • 23:35 | What does informality look like in a city such as Cairo?
  • 25:49 | Has the government played any role in supporting urban awareness or urban solutions?
  • 29:27 | Why do you think it's important for cities to invest in these creative hubs and artisanal workshops?
  • 32:05 | What’s next for CLUSTER and how would you like to see the organization evolve? 
  • 34:05 | How can people get involved with CLUSTER?

Show Notes

Acknowledgements

Sponsorships

This episode is co-sponsored by the University of Toronto School of Cities and the Department of Geography and Planning. 

The School of Cities "convenes urban-focused researchers, educators, students, practitioners and the general public to explore and address complex urban challenges, with the aim of making cities and urban regions more sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and just". To learn more about the School of Cities visit www.schoolofcities.utoronto.ca

To learn more about the Department of Geography and Planning and the different undergraduate and graduate programs available please visit www.geography.utoronto.ca.

Support
  • Editor and Music Producer: Imany Lambropoulos
  • Podcast Host and Graphic Designer: Alexandra Lambropoulos

Stay in the loop!

If you would like to be interviewed, have an interesting idea to share for an episode, or have any feedback on the podcast, please send me an email at hello[at]urbanlimitrophe.com.

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Urban Limitrophe is a podcast exploring the various initiatives happening in cities across the African continent to creatively solve problems, support their communities, create vibrant urban spaces, and build better cities overall. Tune in to catch interviews with various guests!

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