International development efforts must be designed with long-term impacts in mind. Dr Hassan Elmouelhi provides insights into the Egyptian context and asks an all-important question: Is international development overlooking critical opportunities?
Housing & Informality
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the planet to ‘stay at home’ and ‘wash hands’. But in Latin America and the Caribbean, more than 100 million inhabitants lack adequate housing and sanitation. Could upgrading precarious neighbourhoods hold the key for post-pandemic recovery? By Anacláudia Rossbach et al
Ethiopia is experiencing unprecedented population growth. Despite large government housing programs, there are more and more informal settlements in the country, and cases of forceful displacement and evictions are on the rise. In the virtual event “Ways forward for informal settlements”, Tania Berger from Danube University Krems discusses options for inclusive urbanisation with an international panel.
With 17 per cent of India's urban population living in informal settlements, affordable housing has become a pressing issue. It is imperative, writes Swapnil Saxena, that any housing scheme recognises the particular vulnerabilities women experience in urban settings and focusses on women’s rights.
Safe, affordable housing is not an end in itself but should be interwoven with other interventions to improve access to related services and benefits. As the pandemic exacerbates shortcomings in housing programmes around the world, Vidhee Garg on the need to re-think housing and to look beyond its purely quantitative aspects.
Puerto Rican architect Astrid Díaz on the importance of resilient housing, education, and participation in a country prone to cyclones and earthquakes.
Makoko, one of Lagos' largest slums, used to be a blank spot on the map for most of its history. This has been changing with a community-based digital mapping project that enables the residents to articulate their rights.
The current pandemic is a serious challenge for Indian cities. But Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, Simi Mehta and Arjun Kumar argue the outbreak of contagious diseases is less of a natural disaster – and maybe more of a man-made one. Of inequalities, poor infrastructures and the way forward.
An integral part of urban culture, the form of cities' built environment has considerable impact on the quality of urban life. Elaborating on the case of Khartoum, Sudan, Khalafalla Omer makes a case for a new approach in urban planning policies.
A photo competition called for urban residents in African countries to portray how they use media to change the narrative on their environment. Slum Dwellers International presents some beautiful results of the #ChangeOurPicture competition.
Rakhi Mehra reveals the story behind a pioneering digital tool that wants to help revolutionise the quality of informal housing. After a few clicks, users receive a customised construction manual and cost-overview with the aim of ensuring that their house meets the safety requirements it needs to stand the test of time.
India’s financial centre is one of the densest cities in the world and also home to a number of slums with urgent need for improvements. Trupti Amritwar Vaitla, CEO of the Mumbai Environmental Social Network, highlights a few of their innovative slum upgrading projects that have a participatory element at their core.
In Namibia, the major share of urban growth is informal, with an estimated 30-40 per cent of the population living in informal settlements, with trends projecting shacks to become the predominant form of housing by 2025. Being especially vulnerable to climate change, these forms of settlements require special attention in the development of climate resilience strategies.
Brazil's strategies towards its favelas have varied enormously over time. If they are to be successful in improving people's lives, it is essential that informal settlements are perceived as an integral part of a city, argue Mariana Dias Simpson and Itamar Silva.