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PEAK Impacts
Evolving toward sustainability - The challenge for existing cities

How can Latin American and Caribbean cities become more sustainable?

From access to green spaces, safe cycling routes, disaster-preparedness and productivity; the health of a city is considered from all angles. 

  • "a more walkable city is a healthier city. Shorter blocks and more intersections were associated with lower mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and diabetes."
  • 'Connectivity' and 'directness' of the route were found to be the most important factors for people to consider cycling -  the team's research directly impacted cycling infrastructure development in MedellĂ­n and is supporting a national conversation. 
  • Machine-learning can support effective seismic risk-assessment for better disaster-planning. 
  • Compact, dense and well-connected cities are likely to be highly productive, but the team also found non-compact cities can reach high levels of productivity using specific interventions such as safe and efficient public transport and appropriate land-use planning.
  • Crime and crashes in Mexico city follow predictable weekly patterns - peaking on Friday night (8.00pm) and dipping to their lowest level on Tuesday morning (3.00am). Understanding the pattern of crimes and crashes across the week can help policy makers allocate scarce public resources.

The PEAK Urban programme uses a framework with four inter-related components to guide its work.

  1. The sciences of Prediction are employed to understand how cities evolve using data from often unconventional sources.
  2. Emergence captures the essence of the outcome from the confluence of dynamics, peoples, interests and tools that characterise cities, which lead to change.
  3. Adoption signals to the choices made by states, citizens and companies, given the specificities of their places, their resources and the interplay of urban dynamics, resulting in changing local power and influencing dynamics.
  4. Finally, the Knowledge component accounts for the way in which knowledge is exchanged or shared and how it shapes the future of the city.
Evolving towards Sustainability - the challenge for existing cities