City Portrait Canvas
WHAT IS IT
Inspired by the four lenses of the City Portrait, this canvas helps understand how to assess city strategies, policies, and programmes in a holistic way, integrating environmental, social and economic, as well as local and global considerations.
WHY USE IT
This tool helps you gain a preliminary overview of your country profile on historical and target emissions, national climate commitments, climate vulnerability and readiness and linkages between climate and sustainable development goals.
STEP 1: GET TO KNOW THE CITY PORTRAIT CANVAS
Get acquainted with the four lenses of the City Portrait. Watch the 10 minute introductory video. Then read the Why, and What of each lens to familiarise yourself with the different themes related to a city’s local aspirations and global responsibilities. For a deep dive into the City Portrait tool and its four lenses, we recommend reading the ‘Creating City Portraits’ methodological guide.
STEP 2: UNDERSTAND THE COMPONENTS OF YOUR CITY STRATEGY
Select a strategy you are working on in your city that you would like to assess for its social and ecological impacts, on both a local and global level. Note down the main components of the strategy on the City Strategy Worksheet. Then, write the name of your strategy inside the diamond shape in the centre of the City Portrait Canvas.
STEP 3: ANALYSE THE STRATEGY THROUGH THE LOCAL-SOCIAL AND LOCAL-ECOLOGICAL LENSES OF THE CITY PORTRAIT CANVAS
Now, dive deeper into the local impacts of your strategy.
(a) Think about the possible positive impacts that your strategy may have on these lenses. Take a coloured pen and indicate the themes where the strategy may create positive impact.
(b) For the same lenses, think about the possible negative impacts of your strategy, both direct and indirect. Use a pen of a different colour to indicate the themes where the strategy may create negative impacts.
(c) Ask yourself “how could the strategy be designed and/or implemented to ensure and enhance these positive impacts, and prevent or minimise the possible negative ones?” Note your ideas next to the lenses on the canvas.
STEP 4: ANALYSE THE STRATEGY THROUGH THE GLOBAL-SOCIAL AND GLOBAL-ECOLOGICAL LENSES OF THE CITY PORTRAIT CANVAS
Now explore the global impacts of your strategy. Repeat a), b) and c) from Step 3 for the Global lenses.
Tip: While doing the exercise, you might find yourself alternating between the positive and negative impacts. We recommend that you find your own intuitive way to navigate between steps a) and b).
STEP 5: THINK ABOUT THE INTERCONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE LENSES
(a) Think about the interconnections between the four lenses. Draw lines between the lenses to indicate when there is a positive or negative dynamic between issues identified. Use pens of different colours to indicate positive or negative interconnections.
(b) Ask yourself: “how could the strategy be designed and/or implemented to reinforce the positive interconnections and minimise the negative?” Note your ideas next to the lenses on the canvas.
STEP 6: SUMMARISE YOUR KEY INSIGHTS
Summarise your key insights from Steps 3, 4 & 5 on the City Strategy Worksheet. Ask yourself “how would you refine the existing strategy to enhance its social and ecological benefits?”