Constructing a house is a rite of passage to adulthood in most peri-urban areas of Mozambique. While it is common for people to build their own homes using traditional techniques, it often reproduces vulnerability as most of these self-built houses are easily damaged even by low or medium magnitude weather events. How can resilient construction techniques prompt behaviour change in house construction and generate income?
At next week’s CitiesIPCC conference, the urban and climate communities will brave the cold of Edmonton, Canada, to discuss some of the century’s hottest issues. From March 5-7, more than 700 delegates will seek to close a significant gap in our collective understanding of the role of cities in adapting and responding to climate change, and launch a global research agenda to inform the IPCC. Julie Greenwalt explains how the organising partner Cities Alliance is working to ensure that issues critical to the Global South will be emphasised at this landmark event.
Are African cities cheap or expensive for their inhabitants? And by how much do cities grow each year? The URBANET infographics on African cities provide key figures and numbers on some interesting trends concerning urban life and development.
“The New Urban Agenda lacks a human rights focus” – Interview with Shivani Chaudhry from the Housing and Land Rights Network
The absence of a human rights approach and the lack of a focus on social justice in the New Urban Agenda is an cause of concern, says Shivani Chaudry from the Housing and Land Rights Network. In her interview with URBANET, she discusses these issues in relation to housing.
“We need to empower the people living in informal settlements” – An interview with Howaida Barakat from the Ministry of Housing, Egypt
In Egypt there are almost 850 000 people living in unsafe areas. We talked to Howaida Barakat, International Cooperation Advisor at the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities in Egypt about how the country deals with informal settlements, how the government is attempting to understand and include the people living in informal settlements and what sustainable housing in Egypt could look like in the future.
In Bolivia, up until recently only men were recognised in titles of land ownership. If these men passed away or left, their wives or partners legally had no rights to the land and property they lived on. To change this, Habitat for Humanity International started a campaign to legally recognise women as land owners in Bolivia.
Cities have complex relationships with gender. They challenge some models of traditional femininity and masculinity, and reinforce others. Our author Paula Meth explains how gendered relations play out in informal urban settlements.
“Communities do not have to be socially divided” – Interview with José Morales, former National Director of Housing and Human Settlements, Ecuador
José Morales, the former National Director of Housing and Human Settlements at the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in Ecuador, gives his view on the country's housing situation and social inequality.
“Create housing as a solution” – An interview with Ani Dasgupta, global director of WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities
What are the most pressing issues in low income housing? How can cities be given better opportunities to realise sustainable development? What are the key issues of sustainable urban development? Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of the WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities, spoke to URBANET about how to tackle these questions and why scaling and counting are important when working towards sustainable urban development.
In a four-part series, URBANET takes a closer look at specific projects that contribute to making cities more liveable. In this first part, the focus lies on San Salvador, El Salvador's capital city, where the houses of thousands of families who live in slums are being reconstructed. Since they have gained access to regular water and electricity supply, the living conditions have improved significantly.
What do cities in India need to be more livable? In the four part series "Spotlight on livable cities", ISOCARP Vice-President Shipra Narang Suri aims to answer this question by approaching it from various angles, giving examples from different areas of urban planning. In this third part, she talks about how Indian cities could be made more livable by improving urban services, mobility, public-private partnerships and the situation in slums.
What do cities in India need to be more livable? In the four part series "Spotlight on livable cities", ISOCARP Vice-President Shipra Narang Suri aims to answer this question by approaching it from various angles, giving examples from different areas of urban planning. In this second part, she talks about urban building master plans, the land housing market in India's cities and the urban poor.
Slums and informal settlements are not just a matter of housing quality, they also affect the quality of life that people have, their health and their chances at a good education. At the Habitat III conference in Quito, URBANET talked to Sarah Nandudu, vice-chairperson of the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda, about community building in slums, the responsibility of the New Urban Agenda, and what formal settlements can still learn from informal ones.
In modern-day cities, issues such as affordable and good housing, or the question of who designs neighborhoods are very relevant and often imply a conflict of interests. URBANET talked to Harvard Loeb Fellow Matthias Nohn about the challenges and chances that cities face, and about what really constitutes the "Right to the City".