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.
Many of Lagos’ residents live in informal settlements with no or limited access to basic services. With new immigrants arriving from rural areas every day, pressure increases on the already poor living conditions. Comprehensive action is needed to tackle interconnected social, environmental and health issues, says Olaoluwa Pheabian Akinwale.
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.
Without land reforms, sustainable urbanisation is set to fail, argues Danilo Antonio from UN-Habitat. In his article, he outlines the conflicting interests around land governance issues and points out ways to secure land access and property rights for all urban dwellers.
Almost half of Mumbai’s 12 million inhabitants live in informal settlements—“slums”—that are diverse and vibrant living and working spaces. Though unofficially nurtured by the city, these settlements are officially treated as illegal. Today, Mumbai’s state is radically transforming the city through market-led slum redevelopment. Lalitha Kamath and Himanshu Burte argue that the government is inflicting structural violence on the city’s slum dwellers by reshaping Mumbai’s physical space.
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.
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".
The idea of partnerships plays an important role in the formulation of the New Urban Agenda. But how can local communities have a real chance to participate? In an interview with Urbanet, Rose Molokoane, Deputy President of Slum Dwellers International (SDI), shares her vision of a New Urban Agenda co-created by the urban poor.
Rapid urbanisation accelerated by rural-urban and North-South migration due to economic imbalances causes serious challenges for local authorities in Ghana. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Support for Decentralisation Reforms (SfDR) programme supports the implementation of the Ghanaian decentralisation reforms at regional, district and local level.