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.
Housing & Informality
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.
High density and poor building materials make informal settlements extremely prone to fire hazards. The Nairobi-based enterprise Kwangu Kwako has developed a housing model that, while being truly affordable, increases fire resilience and thus positively affects many aspects of residents' lives.
A new series of workshops is increasing awareness of international agendas amongst local government employees in Egypt, with the aim of strengthening their work in the field of urban development and management. Watch the video to learn more.
For decades, Egypt has been suffering from uncontrolled urbanisation and low quality of urban life. Solving these issues requires collaboration between relevant stakeholders at global, national, and local level. Dr. Hassan Elmouelhi highlights some of the attempts to link these different stakeholders in the field of urban development.
Homelessness is an issue that countries are struggling to address. Professor Ayman Mosallam’s proposal for building Eco-Communities represents an innovative solution that equips homeless people with new skills and purpose. At the same time, the Eco-Communities also promote sustainable living.
All across Africa, the most rapidly urbanising continent, locals are taking action to improve their neighbourhoods and get access to adequate housing and services. Leading up the UN Habitat Assembly, URBANET presents examples from Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Socialist-era apartment buildings in Vietnam’s cities, so-called KTT, are decaying rapidly. Tenants’ community organisations could help upgrade them and prevent redevelopment, says Boram Kimhur.
Urban areas around the world face the challenge of delivering affordable housing to ever growing populations. Availability and expenses of both building material and skilled workers are a common hindrance. Turning sand into a revolutionary new building material might offer a solution, writes PolyCare Co-Founder Dr Gerhard Dust.
Housing has become a policy issue that interests not only housing departments and local construction authorities, but Central Banks and financial players as well. Kecia Rust from the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) explains why housing has become an investment opportunity, and the role that policy makers play.