Housing and labour are mutually dependent, but their connection is overlooked in economic policies most of the time. Edmundo Werna, Ramin Keivani and Youngha Cho argue that a closer look and a different understanding of how the two markets are linked will lead to more effective solutions and better housing and livelihood conditions, especially in the Global South.
Housing & Informality
In the Indian city of Mumbai, different groups participated in revising the city’s Development Plan. This article highlights the importance of the participation of young people in city planning at the neighbourhood level if planning is to respond adequately and responsibly to contemporary challenges.
By the People, For the People: Social and Environmental Revitalisation of the Caño Martín Peña, Puerto Rico
Improving the living conditions in low-income communities always entails the threat of gentrification processes, eventually displacing the original residents. Lorena Zárate claims that this is not an inevitable outcome, as can be seen in the success of the Caño Martín Peña Land Use Plan.
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.