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Assessing Urban Environments

Identifying urban problems and proposing sustainable solutions

Rapid population growth in a number of Ecuadorian cities, caused mainly by migration from the countryside and demographic expansion, has led to increasing amounts of unplanned urban sprawl with often detrimental impacts on surrounding ecosystems. Potable water systems are stressed from an overabundance of users, the number of motor vehicles has increased more rapidly than urban planners had expected decades ago, sanitary infrastructure is outdated, and city governments often have insufficient capital to invest in major construction work.

Particularly in the City of Loja, information regarding the urban environment was scarcely available and widely dispersed amongst many agencies. For this reason, NCI implemented the GeoCiudades methodology from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to create GeoLoja, a document that reviews the current state of the urban environment and proposes a number of future scenarios for more sustainable development. Loja is currently the only city in Ecuador to have completed this comprehensive analysis.

Download GeoLoja here (Spanish only): Perspectivas del Medio Ambiente Urbano: GeoLoja (pdf - 8 MB)

In addition, NCI and other key environmental players in southern Ecuador have formed a Regional Environmental Council to efficiently coordinate, plan, and evaluate environmental actions and development. This working group is responsible for the creation of local proposals and establishes action plans to be carried out by conservation institutions, international organizations, development organizations and local governments.


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