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Informality and Climate Resilience – The Story of Onyika Settlement, Windhoek, Namibia

By |January 21st 2020| basic infrastructure & housing, climate change & resilience, housing & informality, , , , |

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.

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Climate Change: What Happens to People Living in Informal Settlements?

By |January 16th 2020| climate change & resilience, global urban debates, urban & metropolitan governance, , , , |

At COP25, the Desk Officer for Sustainable Urban Development at MISEREOR, Clara-Luisa Weichelt, talked to Emanuela Barbiroglio about the challenges of addressing climate change in informal settlements and human-rights based solutions.

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Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas: A Status Update from the South

By |January 14th 2020| housing & informality, urban & metropolitan governance, , , , |

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.

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A Spark of Hope: Making Nairobi’s Slums Fire Resilient

By |January 9th 2020| basic infrastructure & housing, climate change & resilience, housing & informality, , , , |

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.

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COP 25 – What Impact on Cities and Regions?

By |December 17th 2019| climate change & resilience, municipal & climate finance, , |

Delegates at COP25 in Madrid reached an agreement, without the robust language and ambitions that were wished to be seen in the approved texts. This leaves subnational and urban leaders responsible for implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), making local climate activities the messengers of hope.

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Urban Settings Need New Approaches

By |December 12th 2019| economic development, energy & waste, water & sanitation, , , , , , , , , |

The traditional relief-rehabilitation-development paradigm does not hold true in urban conflict zones. A combined approach of long-term support for systems reinforcing short-term support for individuals would meet people’s needs, secure development gains, and represent value for money. The cost of failing to adapt is simply too high, argues Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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My City in Crisis: The Struggle to Reconstruct

By |December 10th 2019| basic infrastructure & housing, , , , |

As densely populated urban areas like Homs, Raqqa, and Idlib in Syria continue to be the site of years-long armed conflicts, architect Ammar Azzouz argues that cities must not wait for post-conflict reconstruction plans. Rather, amidst destruction, ideas for the cities of tomorrow should be developed.

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Urbanisation in Fragile Societies: Thinking about Kabul

By |December 4th 2019| economic development, urban & metropolitan governance, , , , , |

As part of the Blavatnik School of Government's “Challenges of Government” Conference, the International Growth Centre's Cities that Work team put together a panel on identity and legitimacy in Kabul. The discussion highlighted the importance of building legitimacy in fragile contexts, particularly given the emergence of fragmented identities and new networks of solidarity, resistance and governance in urban contexts affected by conflict.

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COP25 – A Chance To Discover Cities’ Potential

By |December 2nd 2019| climate change & resilience, global urban debates, municipal & climate finance, urban & metropolitan governance, , |

The climate summit in Madrid represents a unique opportunity for urban communities to take inspiration from each other, to build cities that are better prepared to tackle climate change, and to obtain investments. National delegates will need to increasingly confide in local authorities and provide them with more resources if they want to develop prompt and effective responses to the climate crisis.

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