Weekly Urban News Update
April 21st, 2017
In This Update
BA turning point for monitoring the New Urban Agenda

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres made his first official pronouncement on cities this week, nearly six months after the conclusion of the Habitat III conference and the passing of the New Urban Agenda. According to Citiscope, the pronouncement announced the creation of an eight-member panel that will assess the future of UN-Habitat and have a significant impact on the oversight of the New Urban Agenda. The panel marks a turning point in determining the fate of UN-Habitat as an independent organization, and in resolving what the monitoring mechanism will be for the voluntary and thus far tension-filled process of adapting the New Urban Agenda.

Read the full article here.

The World Bank Spring meetings started on Tuesday of this week, and will continue until Sunday with all-day scheduled events. The meetings thus far have demonstrated a "world in flux," as multiple sides of society grapple with the ever-changing playing field of development and humanitarian relief, and the confluent variables that will make the greatest impact. Highlights from the meetings include a panel with Water.org co-founders Matt Damon and Gary White, a proclamation from African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina stating that more capital will be needed to stem Africa's demands for financing, a sneak preview of the 2018 World Development Report, a panel on the global refugee crisis, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva calling hunger "the world's most solvable problem."

Read full coverage of the events here.

The sheer number of times that the idea of "smart cities" has been brought up in global urban development discourse shows that the idea is trending on an international scale. But cities have a long way to go before they can become truly smart. The Wall Street Journal reports on the new developments and successes that American cities have achieved in their bid to become smart cities, including gathering data on everything from parking citations to illnesses and using the collective data to create solutions to complex urban issues. But the smart city revolution has only just begun, and as cities get better at collecting information and innovative technologies make cities work better, new issues arise, such as important questions of privacy. These privacy concerns that cities will face on their way to becoming smart, as well as other issues like rising inequality and affordability, should not be overlooked. IHC Global believes that in order for a city to be a smart city, it also must be a just city, that includes the most vulnerable.

Read the full article here.

The American University Metropolitan Policy Center is co-hosting an full-day symposium celebrating migration in cities. The event will bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss the different facets of urban migration, and the artistic and political expression they find through it in the D.C. area.
When: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT
Where: Hughes Formal Lounge,  American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Email Sarai Johnson at  MigrationandtheCity@gmail.com to learn more.
FeatureIHC Global Urban Feature: Urban Violence
Madrid opens world forum to seek solutions to urban violence

The Issue
This past Wednesday, King Felipe VI of Spain inaugurated the World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace, a "meeting of mayors and civic groups to discuss possible solutions to extremism and violence in cities." While the three-day forum was proposed by the mayors of Madrid and Paris following the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, organizers are looking at the bigger picture, stating that cities are settings of many types of violence, including terrorism, gang and gender violence. The forum brings together over 100 mayors from cities like Rome and Tripoli, as well as international bodies and civil society organizations, and will aim to address and find solutions to issues in urban violence through education and dialogue.

What We See
IHC Global believes that cities cannot be inclusive or sustainable without becoming safe spaces for everyone. Violence in cities, whether it is based in extremism, is gang-related or is gendered, completely contradicts what urban areas represent, and what they set out to be: inclusive, progressive and full of opportunity. Creating and enforcing solutions to violence in cities should be an imperative for every local and national government. In the aftermath of Habitat III and the passing of the New Urban Agenda, local and national governments, civil society organizations and the private sector alike are seeking the path forward in creating cities that are both safe and inclusive. This forum represents a first step in addressing the pressing issue of urban violence in a way that enables peaceful channels for coexistence and conflict mediation.

Read the full article here and learn more about the forum here.
To learn more about our Key Policy Topics, click here
NewsIn the news and around the web
  • Learn about the strange trend of "homeless tourism" here.
  • Why is "affordable housing" so expensive? Citylab tackles the question here.
  • Read about the toll that China's rapid urbanization has taken on its rural schools here.
  • A Sri Lanka rubbish dump has collapsed and killed at least 19 people. Find out more here.
  • A landslide in Colombia has killed at least 17 people. Find out more here.

Urban sprawl on the outskirts of Mexico City, encasing the La Presa in Ecatepec, one of Greater Mexico City's most dangerous and closed-off neighborhoods.
Source: Guardian Cities
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