Weekly Urban News Update
In This Update
 B For the SDGs, the private sector is more important than ever

Tentative numbers show that despite global economic and political troubles, official development assistance (ODA) actually rose slightly in 2016. While this is a promising sign for the future of global development, the collective aid isn't nearly enough to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In response to this challenge, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Ángel Gurría said that achieving the SDGs hinges on investing development dollars in the private sector, and the private sector investing in development. Statistics back the presumption that the private sector will be a key driver in development- it is responsible for 9 out of 10 employment opportunities- and creating a better approach that includes private investment in the equation will jumpstart efforts to implement the SDGs by 2020.

Read the full article here.

In the next coming weeks, the U.S. administration will decide whether or not it will stay in the Paris Climate Agreement. Since it seems apparent that climate change will not be a top priority of the current Administration, climate diplomats are not optimistic. If the administration does decide to stay in the Agreement, "the trade-off is likely to be weaker emissions commitments and no new climate aid for the remainder of President Trump's term." However, climate diplomats would rather settle for what the U.S. administration will give than lose their participation altogether. The Agreement will likely be forced to compromise to meet the U.S. administration's conditions. The international cooperation breakdown is happening on the national level, but with proper investment and commitment, the Paris Climate Agreement can survive as it is at the local level in cities across the world, including the United States.

Read the full article  here.

In times of political and social turmoil, cities have stood as leaders in diversity and equality, and have been epicenters of progress and protest. With Europe seized in a grand upheaval due in part to Brexit, growing Euroscepticism and the rise of several grim populist movements including the European far-right, cities may be the only entities up to the task of healing these divisions. City administrations represent the closest level of government to citizens, and as the Mayor of Ghent, Belgium, Daniël Termont points out in an article for Citiscope, city leaders can bridge the growing disconnect between citizens and EU institutions. Urban leaders can also invest in increasing diversity and cooperation within their cities, in order to suppress those movements aimed at increasing nationalism and division between peoples. The power that cities have to evoke positive change can and should be supported by the private sector, local government and civil society, especially now when it is needed the most.
Read the full article  here.

You are cordially invited as IHC Global in partnership with NextCity addresses the vexing question of implementation of the New Urban Agenda, in light of its complexity and sometimes competing priorities: "Can We Really Have it All?" The event will open with a screening of a short film, "The Moment to Get Cities Right: Inside Habitat III, The Urbanization Summit of a Generation," shot by Next City during the conference in Quito.

The panel will be  moderated by IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson,  with Next City President and CEO Tom Dallessio, and panelists Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities Ani Dasgupta, Inter-American Development Bank Senior Housing and Urban Development Specialist Michael Donovan, and World Bank Lead Urban Specialist Ellen Hamilton.
When: Wednesday, April 12th
9:30-11:30 AM
Where: Interaction Africa Conference Room
1400 16th Street NW, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20005

RSVP to the event here. Light refreshments will be served.
FeatureIHC Global Urban Feature: Tenure Security
Trailer park families fight eviction over sewage leaks

The Issue
The underground sewage system that lays under the East End Mobile Home Park in Manassas, Virginia is failing. Crumbling pipes "leak sewage in some spots and swallow up groundwater in others," problems which have cost the city tens of thousands of dollars in attempts to fix. Last year, after reaching the conclusion that there was no way to convince the owner of the private sewer system to fix it, Manassas officials agreed to buy the land, but only if they could evacuate the trailer park. But the residents are fighting to stay, and upon the advice of a pro bono attorney, have withheld $150,000 in monthly lot fees, as a part of a court case that has thus far delayed their eviction date and will decide whether the owner of the park can be compelled to make repairs. But the residents, who claim that they cannot move their trailers elsewhere or afford any traditional homes with comparable space in the Washington, D.C. area, are fighting an uphill battle, and this court case is the last hope they have to keep their homes.

What We See
The reality is that the sewage system can be fixed if the city buys the land, and so the evacuation of East End Mobile Home Park is an unnecessary casualty. The residents of Manassas could be yet another mobile home community that vanishes without a trace. Mobile home neighborhoods are disappearing across the country, with some gone by way of housing code violation sweeps and others forced out to make room for new condominiums and apartments. The steep decline- the prevalence of manufactured homes has gone down from 8 million in the early 2000s to about 6.3 million in 2016- has raised some eyebrows and has led some organizations, including the Manufactured Housing Institute, to look into the matter further. While there are federal policies geared towards protecting mobile home communities, they remain incredibly vulnerable, and residents are often too poor to fight an eviction notice. As an organization dedicated to creating equitable housing in urban areas, IHC Global believes housing should be just that: equitable, and inclusive. Creating the optimal metropolitan area includes lifting the poorest residents up, not forcing them out.

Read the full article here.
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NewsIn the news and around the web
  • Check out our Spotlight on IHC Global member organization IRPF here.
  • Devex writer Andrew Steer thinks that what engineers do in cities will set the course for the next century. Find out why here.
  • What does it take to create a great public space? Find out here.
  • Get an inside look at life on London's night buses here.

In an ongoing series, photographer Sarah Lee captures life on London's night buses.
Source: Guardian Cities
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