Weekly Urban News Update
February 20, 2020
In This Update: 
What Densely Populated Urban Areas Means for Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Chinese Cities Use Drones, AI to Handle Coronavirus
World Bank Releases Handbook on Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design
Measuring City Progress on Advancing Inclusiveness
Lagos Ban on Motorbikes and Rickshaws Outrages Residents
Peter Kimm Oral History
IHC Global Attended the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi
In the News and Around the Web
What Densely Populated Urban Areas Means for Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Urbanization is a key challenge for public health, according to the World Health Organization. Cities often offer better healthcare and close access to facilities than rural areas, but densely populated urban areas also facilitate the spread of disease through increased risk of contact with infected human and animals. Furthermore, "unequal cities," or urban areas with wide socioeconomic disparities increases the vulnerability of residents living in substandard housing without access to basic utilities such as safe water and sanitation. This is why quality infrastructure and city services are key to controlling and addressing outbreaks. Matt Benson of Think City explains: "More than density, what facilitates the spread of diseases in cities is human behavior. You can have a neighborhood of low density, but if no one picks up their waste that could lead to dengue outbreak."

A key tenet in IHC Global's advocacy agenda is that what happens in urban areas has implications that extend well beyond the boundaries of that city.  The incidence and transmission of infectious disease that accompanies poor living conditions is one such example.

Read more here.
Chinese Cities Use Drones, AI to Handle Coronavirus 
Urban technology, like drones, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics, are key to helping cities detect and address public health threats and crises, such as the recent outbreak of coronavirus in China. For example, Beijing and Shanghai are currently employing AI-driven contactless technology at transportation sites to check travelers' temperatures and identify infected individuals. Chinese cities are also using drones to monitor quarantine and health regulation violations, such as whether citizens are wearing the required face masks. But, some critics wonder about technology's downsides: for instance, if technology will replace face-to-face healthcare, if the government will violate security and privacy as it collects and analyzes citizens' data, and if city departments are fully equipped to understand and handle such technologies.

Read more here.
World Bank Releases Handbook on Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design
The World Bank has released the "Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design," to help cities work for everyone, including women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities. The Handbook asserts that the built environment of cities can disadvantage women as it impedes their ability to access employment and education, accumulate wealth and achieve economic independence, enjoy social freedoms, and exercise their agency in public decision-making. For example, city transport systems and infrastructure that do not take into account the mobility needs of caregivers, who are primarily women, can create a disproportionate time burden.  The recommendations and methodology offered by the guide aims to help cities bridge the gap between gender-inclusive policy and practice. Above all, the Handbook emphasizes that gender-inclusive planning and design must be participatory, integrated, universal, knowledge-building, power-building, and invested-in.

Read more here.
Measuring City Progress on Advancing Inclusiveness
In a Devex interview, Victor Pineda of World Enabled explains why cities must measure their progress on advancing inclusion, especially for persons with disabilities and older persons. Pineda says major barriers cities face when promoting inclusion are lack of leadership invested in mainstreaming disability issues, institutional and administrative capacity, participation of people with disabilities in planning, and social attitudes. But, indicators provided by agreements like the Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities, can help cities overcome these barriers. Indicators include whether a city has a mayor's office for persons with disabilities, its commitment to inclusive and accessible transportation systems, and the strength of its civil society organizations

Read more  here .
Lagos Ban on Motorbikes and Rickshaws Outrages Residents
Protests have broken out in Lagos, Nigeria over a recent ban on motorbikes and rickshaws. Lagos outlawed the okada or motorbikes and keke or rickshaws for safety and security concerns. But, the ban has disadvantaged many in Lagos as okadas and kekes were a much-needed bridge for transportation gaps. The introduction of 55 additional buses and 14 public ferries has not placated protestors who are angry the megacity's traffic gridlock has intensified, people are forced to walk long distances, former drivers have lost income, and the buses are overcrowded. People with disabilities may be especially disadvantaged. Mohammed Zanna at Physically Challenged empowerment Initiative says that they are unable to compete with people "fighting and rushing to board packed buses."

Read more  here .
USAID Alumni Association Honors Former USAID Director of Housing and Urban Programs and IHC Global Founding Board Chair Peter Kimm With a Lifetime Achievement Award
At its 2019 Annual Meeting held in December,  the UAA conferred a posthumous Lifetime Achievement on Peter Kimm, recognizing his far reaching influence in policy thinking with respect to urban development and inclusion and the impact that he had on millions of people throughout the world who were without decent shelter.  David Leibson, an IHC Global member and USAID alumnus, presented the award, which was accepted by Peter's wife Grace.  The presentation and acceptance can be found   here at 2:58 .  
IHC Global Attended the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi Last Week!
IHC Global was pleased to attend the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi last week. IHC Global convened two networking events and participated in additional panels. Look for more information about what we did there in your inbox next week!
Property Rights, Context, and Culture
On February 10th, IHC Global convened  Habitat for Humanity International , the  World Bank , UN-Habitat / Global Land Tool Network , and Huairou Commission to discuss successful strategies for advancing women's land and property rights.



The Yin and Yang of Inclusive Cities: 
Technology and Local Partnerships
On February 11th, IHC Global and  Development Action Group (South Africa) co-convened a discussion of technology and local partnerships with the  City of Cape Town City Inside Out City Space Architecture , and  Huairou Commission .
In the News and Around the Web
  • U.S. President Proposes Major Cuts to Foreign Aid Spending: President Donald Trump proposed to cut American foreign aid spending by 21% in 2021.
  • Are Green Cities Less Affordable? In a new book, New York Times economic reporter Connor Dougherty says well-meaning environmentalists drove up housing prices in California.
  • Paris's Fifteen Minute Plan:  Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo wants all Parisian residents to be able to access all health, shopping, job, and cultural needs within a 15 minute walk or bike ride.

UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif opens the 10th World Urban Forum in 
Abu Dhabi on February 9, 2020. ( Photo Credit: UN-Habitat/Azeem Baig)
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