Weekly Urban News Update
May 1, 2020
In This Update: 
Mogadishu Is Unprepared for COVID-19 Outbreak
In Mumbai, Vanity Vans Help Policewomen on COVID-19 Duty
Jakarta's Wastepickers Feeel the Economic Effects of COVID-19
Public Transportation Must Be Protected from COVID-19 Fallout
The SDGS Can Help Cities Recover from Coronavirus
How the Cities of Tomorrow May Face Global Pandemics
UN Special Rapporteur for Housing Leilani Farha Steps Down
IHC Global Spotlight Webinar Event
In The News and Around the Web: 
Mogadishu Is Unprepared for COVID-19 Outbreak
Mogadishu is bracing itself for the impact of COVID-19 on its already overextended health system. Mogadishu is the site of most of the 500 reported coronavirus cases in Somalia. Only 50% of residents have access to medical care, living in overcrowded settlements and displacement camps without access to safe water and sanitation. Furthermore, the city's hospitals lack regular electricity supply and intensive care capacity. The Director of Madina Hospital in Mogadishu Dr. Mohamed Yusuf observed: "The problem that exists is that we don't have enough equipment to respond to the problem. Today in Mogadishu, there is no place that you can say is ready."

Read more here.
In Mumbai, Vanity Vans Help Policewomen on COVID-19 Duty
In Mumbai, Bollywood's vanity vans owners, a filmmaker's collective, and charities teamed up to donate "vanity vans," for female police officers to use as washrooms on lockdown duty. The vans  which normally serve as luxury trailers for Bollywood actors and actresses are now equipped baths, beds, soaps, sanitizer, and sanitary napkins. Women  comprise 20% of the 20,000 Mumbai police officers that now patrol the city and man roadblocks to enforce the lockdown.  The vans have been a welcome change for many female officers on 12-24 hour shifts who previously returned police station each time they needed to use the washroom. Van owners also say the initiative offers employment Bollywood's drivers and cleaners, whose livelihoods were also affected by the lockdown.

Read more here.
Jakarta's Waste Pickers Feel the Economic Effects of COVID-19
Jakarta's waste pickers are feeling the economic effects of COVID-19, report Adam Dean and Richard C. Paddock at The New York Times.  Approximately 6,000-20,000 people live by Bantar Gebang landfill which receives 7,000 tons of waste from Jakarta daily. Residents collect and sell plastic, metal, wood, electronic waste, and animal bones to recycling companies. Now, the companies have closed and a lockdown has forced waste pickers to stay home. Residents seem unconcerned with the virus itself. Dean and Paddock write: "There is a widespread belief in Indonesia that living in unsanitary conditions helps people build immunity to diseases like the coronavirus." One community organizer explained: "People don't need masks or hand sanitizer. People need food to feed their families."

Read more here.
UN-Habitat Executive Director Pens Next City Op-Ed on Urban Transportation
In a Next City op-ed penned by UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, she explains why cities must protect formal and informal transport from the COVID-19 fallout especially in emerging economies. She points to successful examples of city policies to protect transport and transport workers. In Nairobi, the government is regulating the popular, privately-owned minibuses and vans called matatus by limiting the number of passengers, requiring long-distance operators to keep a list of passengers, mandating drivers and fare collectors use handwashing stations at bus depots and also spray passengers hands with disinfectants. She also praises Amam, Jordan, where authorities have repurposed buses to deliver food, which has also allowed transport workers to keep their jobs.

Read more here.
The Sustainable Development Goals Can Help Cities Recover from COVID-19
In a Brookings Institution blog, scholars Anthony Pippa and Max Bouchet highlight four ways in which the Sustainable Development Goals can help cities focus their COVID-19 recovery on inclusion, equity, and sustainability. Pippa and Bouchet drew their insights from a Brookings Institution SDG Leadership Cities gathering hosted by Mexico City earlier this year. According to the authors, the SDG framework helps direct cities plan smarter and more strategic recovery by promoting national and international knowledge sharing and information exchange, identifying priority populations and areas to better mobilize resources and action, creating cohesive narratives and visions about their recovery plans, and leveraging financing and partnerships.

Read more here.
How the Cities of Tomorrow May Face Global Pandemics
In the 21st century, cities have faced multiple pandemics: Sars, Mers, Ebola, bird and swine flu, and now COVID-19. At BBC Future , Harriet Constable posits that the cities of tomorrow must be designed to support safe and habitable public spaces in the face of pandemics. She writes that a pandemic-resilient city will likely not entail "shiny new city-centre plans." Rather: "The changes will be quite practical like pop up hand washing stations." Changes could also include shutting down streets from cars for pedestrians and cyclists to use to facilitate social distancing and promoting local, sustainable food purchases, as experts hypothesize bats in Chinese wet markets transmitted coronavirus from an intermediary species.

Read more  here .
UN Special Rapporteur for Housing Steps Down
U.N. Special Rapporteur for Housing Leilani Farha stepped down yesterday after a six year tenure. In her term, Leilani advocated for governments to see the provision and delivery of adequate and affordable housing as a human rights obligation. Most recently, she produced the film PUSH with Swedish Director Fredrik Gertten which followed Farha and her team as they investigated the housing crisis in major cities like London, Barcelona, and Seoul. PUSH was featured as part of a new global advocacy campaign #MakeTheShift, which Farha will continue to lead. IHC Global was pleased to host the first Washington, DC area screening of PUSH in  November. Farha will be replaced by  Balakrishnan Rajagopal.

Read the IHC Global blog on PUSH and #MakeTheShift  here .
IHC Global Spotlight Webinar Event
Property Rights and Markets:
Key Building Blocks of an Equitable Post-Covid  Recovery

Center for International Private Enterprise
Thursday, May 7th

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) will host a panel of expert speakers to discuss best practices and challenges in making property rights broadly accessible and economically transformati ve within the context of COVID-19, especially for women and marginalized groups.  Speakers include  Bill Endsley , Principal at the  World Citizen Consulting  and the former Secretary General of the International Real Estate Federation's US Chapter (FIABCI-USA), J udith Hermanson , President & CEO of  IHC Global  (formerly the Internation alHousing Coalition),  Vicky Sampah , Realtor, Consultant and Founder of the  Ghana Real Estate Professionals Association  (GREPA) and Moderator   Anna Kompanek , Director, Global Programs,  Center for International Private Enterprise.

Find the event information and registration  here
In The News and Around the Web
  • Vietnam Says It Has Contained Its Coronavirus Outbreak: The country, which has recorded no deaths from COVID-19, has reopened after national lockdown.
  • Reflections on Filming Rio de Janeiro during COVID-19 Photojournalist Nicolo Lanfranchi arrived in Brazil on March 3rd to make a film about traditional medicine, but COVID-19 soon became the focus of his photography.
  • Sweden's Herd Immunity Strategy is Up for Debate The world has yet to agree on whether Sweden's refusal to mandate a national lockdown has worked.
This Week in Photos
  • The Spanish Children Running Free: After forty-five days inside, Spanish children are allowed to leave their homes.

  A boy bicycles in Seville earlier this week after a 45 day regulation mandated children stay home 
 (Photo Credit:  Marcelo del Pozo/ Getty Images)
The ongoing COVID 19 crisis underscores the vital importance of livable cities and decent living conditions globally. The mobility of diseases within and between urban centers adn across borders is sadly demonstrated by the current pandemic. Now more than ever, we need your financial support and your voice to bring about change. Decent living conditions for one billion people worldwide is a fundamental building block of future resilience and pandemic preparedness.

Please make a contribution, whether small or large, to make a difference for all.
Head Office: 5425 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 600, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Satellite Office: 430 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
301-718-4821  Email | Website