IGLUS Quarterly

IGLUS Quarterly is an online quarterly publication dedicated to the analysis of Governance, Innovation and Performance in Cities and is edited at École Polytechnic Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. IGLUS Quarterly aims to facilitate knowledge and experience sharing among scholars and practitioners who are interested in the improvement of urban system’s performance in terms of the service efficiency, sustainability and resilience.

IGLUS Quarterly applies the highest academic standards to analyze real world initiatives that are dealing with today’s urban challenges. It bridges the gap between practitioners and scholars. IGLUS Quarterly therefore adopts a multidisciplinary perspective, simultaneously considering political, economic, social and technological dimensions of urban systems, and with a special focus on how governance affects and is affected by the use of technologies in general, and especially the pervasive application of the ICTs.


You are about to read the 1st issue of the IGLUS Quarterly. IGLUS Quarterly is dedicated to the analysis of Governance, Innovation and Performance in Cities. IGLUS Quarterly is an online quarterly publication aimed at knowledge and experience sharing among scholars and practitioners who are interested in improving the performance of cities, in terms of quality of services, sustainability, resilience and livability.


In this issue, we will be travelling to three different continents in order to explore the ever-pertinent topic of integrated planning in different urban infrastructures. Integrated infrastructure planning is one of the top priorities city authorities have when dealing with complex urban challenges. But successfully implementing such planning is a significant challenge that cannot be taken for granted, and throughout this process, governance plays a significant role.


In this issue we travel to the Ruhr region of Germany for the Dortmund Special Edition. This edition features a series of three articles written by our IGLUS partners in Dortmund, focusing on three cases that each discuss a different dimension of the governance of large urban systems in the Ruhr region and beyond.large urban systems in the Ruhr region and beyond.


Around the world, as urban populations are growing, so too are rates of private car ownership, which in turn leads to complex challenges in the urban governance sphere. With private vehicle ownership rapidly outpacing the growth of our road infrastructures, issues of traffic congestion, road and parking infrastructure maintenance and construction are at the forefront of cities’ agendas.


The IGLUS platform promotes innovative governance practices that can contribute to improve the efficiency, resilience and sustainability in cities. The definition and quantification of each of these performance dimensions presents an important challenge, but it seems that in recent years, sustainable policy, sustainable development and plain-old sustainability have become especially important buzzwords in the urban context.


For decades now, globalization and rapid urbanization have been at the forefront of city building processes culminating in increasingly complex urban environments that defy pre-existent jurisdictional boundaries and hierarchal public management structures. In response, a new form of urban management, termed New Public Governance, has emerged and favors network-based governance systems that emphasize collaboration over management.


Together with the unprecedented rate of urbanisation, new practices and trends have sought to manage the complex challenges of urban systems. A prominent example is the “smart city” concept, which is present and widely discussed in literature and international policies.


Although Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the least urbanised regions in the globe, it has some of the highest urbanisation rates, coupled with all the complexity and challenges this represents. Urban centers play an essential part managing the rapid upsurge and in sustaining economic growth, they are incubators of polarising connotations, where innovative socioeconomic breakthroughs can emerge, as well as deteriorating social and economic recession.


Digital technologies now affect almost every aspect of life. This alteration is already ingrained in mobility services in the form of information and communication technologies (ICT), which allows access to a copious amount of data for transport operators and users, and Mobility as a Service (MaaS), which delivers innovative solutions in mobility options, digital transport platforms and business models.


The twenty-first century will be the century of the Megacities. More than half of the world’s population now live in urbanized areas and this number continues to rise. Another 2.5 billion people will accumulate in urban areas by 2050. Today, according to the 14th edition of Demographia, there are already 37 megacities in the world (that is, cities with a population of over 10 million), and the number of cities with over 5 million population is also rising (84 in 2017 and 86 in 2018).


Due to the severe effects of global warming, the earth is confronting various issues, including endangerment of lives. Most importantly, scarcity of water is one those issues confronted. It is not that the world does not have enough water – 70 percent of the planet is covered with water − but as we continue to fail to use available fresh water sources efficiently, we will not be even able to satisfy our survival needs.

VOL 5, ISSUE 2-3

Our planet is warming under dramatic environmental pressure and its climate is changing. The impacts of climate change are becoming more costly and more damaging day by day. Unfortunately, cities are main culprits. According to UN Habitat, cities consume 78 percent of the world’s energy by producing the majority of greenhouse gas emissions. By considering the consequences created by the cities, we have prepared this IGLUS Quarterly issue with key articles written by experts from cities around the world. We hope that we can bring new perspectives to readers and bring awareness about climate change to the citizens of the Earth.


Exploring urban transformations is at the core of IGLUS’ raison d’etre. Our program travels from cities to cities to understand how they are planned, governed, regenerated; to understand a phenomenon called by Henri Lefebvre as the production of space. He argues that space is socially produced, through interactions and power relations between different groups within a society to create a space that answers the priorities and needs of local social, economic and institutional structures; and incorporates the values, the functions and the creative potential to transform it over time.


African cities currently host 548 million inhabitants. By 2050, the urban population will have tripled, to reach 1.5 billion. These bewildering figures emphasize the magnitude of the challenges ahead in urban areas. It questions their capacity to accommodate these new inhabitants and offer them decent living conditions. Based on our inspiring encounters in Nairobi in February 2020, this issue explores various perspectives to reinvent approaches to city-making on the African continent.


The rise of the smart city expression in the early 2010’s had a dramatic impact on the representation of the city as a global market. Consultancy firms played a key role in turning this market horizon in a ready-to-hand business opportunity, announcing through market forecasts that smart city market segment weighted up to trillion US dollars.


2020 has been one of the most difficult years for us all, with the rapid spread of the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic. All of our schedules have changed, and most of our businesses and international travels have stopped. Once again, we understood the importance of public health as similar to all previous pandemics that humanity faced. 


The year 2020 was a very tough year for all of us because of the pandemic, disasters and so on. We had to change our social lives to a new normal. However, I believe 2021 will bring us lots of new hopes and happiness, so that we can all leave the post-effects of 2020 behind.


Almaty is the largest metropolis, scientific and educational, cultural and historical, economic and financial, banking and industrial center of Kazakhstan. The city is also considered the economic center of the Central Asia region. Almaty is in the South-East of Kazakhstan, at the foot of the Northern Tien Shan Ridge – Zaili Alatau. The urban territory of Almaty covers more than 782 km2 with about 2 million registered population.

If you feel that there are innovative practices underway in your city/ region and you would like to contribute to an upcoming edition of IGLUS Quarterly, we encourage you to contact us at umut.tuncer@iglus.org.