Vital Cities and Citizens

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VCC is an ongoing initiative of Erasmus University Rotterdam that aims to enhance the quality of life in cities.

VCC logo.jpg

General introduction

Vital Cities and Citizens (VCC) aims to enhance the quality of life in urban areas through scientific research and advice, knowledge sharing and networking. Globalisation, technological change, international migration and growing inequality are increasing the complexity of the social structure and cultural makeup of cities worldwide. Within this initiative the researchers from various fields of science work closely together with professionals from different cities to identify conditions for equal living opportunities, safe living environments, and the harmonious coexistence of an increasingly diverse population. In vital cities, residents can achieve their life goals through education, meaningful work and participation in public life. A vital city is a platform for creativity and diversity, and a safe meeting place for various social groups. VCC has four sub-themes: Inclusive Cities and Diversity, Resilient Cities and People, Smart Cities and City Communities, and Sustainable and Just Cities.

Main insights on/for sustainable just cities

VCC directly works towards Sustainable and Just Cities, which is one of its sub-themes and is described as follows:

"Sustainable cities are about upholding social justice, ecological resilience and economic vitality for current and future generations. Many social movements and organizations across the world, including activists, entrepreneurs, researchers, policy-makers and other citizen, are collaborating to create more sustainable and just cities. They are striving for access to basic needs (e.g. housing, energy, water, food, healthcare), while also respecting future generations and other living creatures. In this sub-theme, we critically engage with these movements through interdisciplinary research. We take complex political interlinkages between ecological, social and economic challenges in urban contexts as a fundamental starting point. What are the challenges and tensions between ecological sustainability and socio-economic justice? How can we ensure that sustainable cities are also just cities? How are people and networks empowered to transform their cities into more sustainable and just environments?"

Theme lead Flor Avelino argues that "To tackle today’s urban challenges, we need systemic, transformative change that challenges, alters and replaces current power structures of inequality, exclusion, oppression and extractivism. There is no point in talking about sustainable cities without addressing these issues of (in)justice and power."

Suggested key readings & links

Link to other Wiki-pages

All the approaches in UrbanA Wiki’s Database of Approaches directly or indirectly relates to the VCC’s Sustainable and Just Cities sub-theme. Given below are key examples:

Further reading