Weekly Urban News Update
In This Update

IHC Global is a strong proponent of housing as a driver for equity and equality and agrees that housing should indeed be "at the center" of the New Urban Agenda.  In this agreement, we have an expanded definition of "housing" that extends beyond "new construction." In so doing, we recognize that no one size fits all. Housing should be tailored to each city's circumstances and viewed within a comprehensive city level framework. IHC Global agrees that housing policy should include in situ upgrading together with strong engagement and participation of residents, so we were pleased to see a recent article on this subject. Marie Huchzermeyer of the Center for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies (CUBES) describes such a case in South Africa, where grassroots pressure has pushed the government to forgo the "housing at the center" rhetoric that- in South Africa's case- tended to manifest into slum upgrading driven by demolishing informal settlements and replacing them with formal housing units. While this strategy is attractive on paper and has worked in other instances, it requires temporary relocation for residents and quashes any chance for upgrading in situ. As Huchzermeyer has discovered, in South Africa, that "these temporary relocation areas often have become places of permanent uncertainty, with no ability for residents to invest in livelihoods and house improvement." Recognizing the need for specific strategies for housing- designed from city to city- is imperative in making sustainable development successful in every corner of the world.

Read the full article  here .

As Public-Private Partnerships become increasingly invaluable to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the New Urban Agenda, it is important for all actors involved to understand the inner-workings of PPPs. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) is answering this call by hosting a new e-learning series on Public-Private Partnerships. This course is built off of years of study by the ESCAP Secretariat, and is designed to provide a basic minimum knowledge of various issues that policy-makers dealing with PPPs have to be aware of. The course is for self-study, and contains 6 modules covering different issues related to PPPs.
Learn more about the course  here.
Two Early registration for DNC2017 is now open

Registration is now open for the Dresden Nexus Conference 2017: SDGs and the Nexus Approach - Monitoring and Implementation. The conference will focus on multi-functional land use systems and resource management in resilient cities, and aims to serve as a platform to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, by bringing actors together who apply a Nexus approach to resource management. Researchers and implementers from civil society, government, and the private sector will be participating in this conference, which serves as an important contribution to furthering the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

When: May 17-19, 2017
Where: Deutsche Hygiene Museum
Dresden, Germany

Participants who register for the conference before February 28th will get a reduced rate.  See the program-at-a-glance here and register for the conference here .

Each year, the winners of the annual "Reducing Urban Poverty" graduate student paper competition, co-hosted by IHC Global, the Wilson Center, USAID, the World Bank, and Cities Alliance, present their research findings in Washington, DC. Prior to this years' presentation at the Wilson Center, IHC Global will host a roundtable lunch with the competition winners and finalists at the Inter-American Development Bank for a conversation about field research. Competition winners and finalists will discuss how they were able to organize their field work and bring their projects to fruition, with a focus on practical challenges and issues specific to young scholars getting started in the field, such as making connections to facilitate interaction with communities and obtaining proper research approval. Leading urban scholars and experts will join the competition winners and other young scholars for a conversation-style event to discuss the challenges and opportunities of field-based research and share advice on how to get started with planning and conducting field work.

When: Monday, March 6th
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Where: Inter-American Development Bank
Conference Room SW 945

Register for the roundtable here to reserve a seat. Lunch will be provided.
DNew Urban Perspectives: Climate Change, Refugees and Planning

Directly following the roundtable will be a discussion on the latest research on innovative urban approaches to climate change, accommodating refugees in urban areas, and inclusive city planning, featuring the winning authors of the 2016 Graduate Student Reducing Urban Poverty Paper Competition. The winners will present their research, with commentary provided by experienced professionals from the urban sector, including IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson. 

When: Monday, March 6th
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Where: Wilson Center
Ronald Reagan Building
and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania, Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Register for the event here.
NewsIn the news and around the web
  • The Economist weighs in on why cities sink here.
  • Take a look at the grueling six-hour commute many of Beijing's workers take into the city every day here.
  • Find out what human bones can tell us about cities here.
  • An MIT composer is turning urban noise into a symphony. Check it out here.

As pollution remains one of the greatest threats to global health, a new study shows that millions of premature births could be linked to fine particulate matter, a common air pollutant, with Africa and Asia especially affected.
Source: Guardian Cities
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