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Climate action and the role of youth

What is being done in your city for climate change mitigation or adaptation? What is the role of the youth in climate action? And how to visually showcase the climate change solutions?

A few months ago UN-Habitat Youth announced a #Weareclimatechange photography competition (link: https://unhabitat.org/un-habitat-youth-photography-competition/). Young photographers worldwide were invited to participate and submit one photo visualizing solutions to climate change in their city.


There were more than 200 entries submitted, and the first place was awarded to Hanna Pintusava, an IHS alumni. As a winner of the photo competition, Hanna will be awarded a fully funded trip to represent her work at the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference, COP23 in Bonn, Germany on 6-17 November 2017. It is the biggest and the most important event in the field of Global Climate Change, where nations will meet to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement and achieve progress on its implementation.


Hanna’s winning photo shows the floating forest in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the story behind is:


"90% of the city of Rotterdam lies below sea level. So, no surprise the city takes climate change seriously. In 2013 Rotterdam adopted a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, aiming to become resilient and climate-proof. Green roofs were installed, a number of water storage spaces, water squares, a floating house and a floating pavilion were built. Embracing water and learning how to live in harmony with its natural flows instead of only fighting and building barriers is the mentality here.



On this photo, you see a floating forest in a historic harbor basin of Rotterdam, Rijnhaven. There are 20 trees calling attention to art, innovation, and sustainability. Next to it, you would find a pavilion, a house and a recycled park, all floating in the water. This area is a pilot testing spot for the floating initiatives, giving hope for the society living in peace with the environment.”


More information about the COP23 event: https://cop23.unfccc.int/


About the author:

Hanna Pintusava is a Research Assistant at IHS working in online education. She completed her MSc degree in Urban Management and Development at IHS in 2016. With experience in marketing and communications, she approaches urban issues with help of creativity and (visual) communications. According to her, urban photography, or ‘sociology with a camera’ is one of the ways to document urban reality and a powerful way to communicate an issue or phenomenon without saying a word. In June 2017 a personal photography exhibition of Hanna’s work “Cities: forms, lines, reflections” took place in in Mazyr, Belarus.