Weekly Urban News Update
October 11, 2019
In This Update: 
International Community Observes World Habitat Day
Activists in the Philippines Protest Evictions on UN-Habitat Day
Delhi Implements Legal Protections for Street Vendors Against Evictions
UN-Habitat Leads Waste Management Project in Turkana, Kenya
Kutupalong Refugee Camp Looks to the Future
How Lagos Became the Megacity it is Today
Los Angeles Metro Publishes Report on Understanding How Women Travel
In the News and Around the Web
International Community Observes World Habitat Day on October 7th
Monday, October 7th marked World Habitat Day . This year's theme: "Frontier Technologies as an Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth," encouraged policymakers and development practitioners to think about how technology can promote sustainable waste management and ultimately contribute to inclusive, safe cities. Some of the many worldwide activities that took place included the furthering of UN-Habitat's  #WasteWiseCities campaign  and the announcement of a Global Green New Deal at the C40 Cities meeting in Copenhagen. IHC Global observed this important event with a Policy Dialogue co-hosted with the Woodrow Wilson Center's Urban Sustainability Lab. The panel featured speakers from HUD, USAID, and UN-Habitat as part of the lead up to the tenth World Urban Forum to be held in Abu Dhabi in February 2020.
Activists in the Philippines Protest Evictions on UN-Habitat Day
In the Philippines, some activists chose UN-Habitat Day to protest government urban policies. The protesters believe that the government lends support to and engages in practices like land grabbing and evictions.  The  Save San Roque Alliance estimates government infrastructure projects and the influence of private corporations will displace more than half a million urban dwellers in the next several years. One activist explains why the intersection of government planning and corporate interests distresses the urban poor:  "These commercial establishments are better off than us, because land is being allocated to them. What we need are homes and land of our own. We helped build the city and we deserve to stay here."

Read more here
Delhi Implements Legal Protections for Street Vendors Against Evictions
Delhi will become the first Indian city to fully implement legal protections to street vendors from the threat of evictions. These protections will especially target bribery. Federal lawmakers introduced the Street Vendors Act in 2014.  The Act asks cities to create vending zones, set up Town Vending Committees to survey the vendors, and then issue certificates that give them the right to operate. Shivani Chaudry, Executive Director of the Housing and Land Rights Network explains that the law "emerged after a long struggle for improved livelihood security, legality, and protection from eviction." It is also hoped that formalizing street vendors can support the city economy as a whole. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asserted: "Without street vendors, no city can function. We just need to regularize them so that other citizens are not inconvenienced."

Read more here.
UN-Habitat Leads Waste Management Project in Turkana, Kenya
A new pilot project in Turkana, Kenya is promoting sustainable, waste management in the Kalobeyi refugee settlement.  According to a UN Human Settlements Program report, prolonged conflicts means camps "become 'mini cities' and challenge notions of planning and service provision." But, they are "often viewed as transitory constructions and not worthy of long-term planning, let alone the provision of facilities and basic services, like waste management. UN-Habitat, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) the Government of Japan, and Turkana County Government  hope that a new waste management plan can provide for the long term. UN-Habitat believes the plan will succeed as it emerged from stakeholder involvement, draws on UN-Habitat planning tools and methodologies, provides technical advice on planning and design components, and incorporates environmental and ecologically sensitive approaches with special expertise from the Japanese. 

Read more here.
How Rohingya Refugees in the Kutupalong Camp Live
In Bangladesh, governmental authorities and non-governmental organizations are also recognizing that repatriation of the 900,000 Rohingya refugees residing in the Kutupalong camp and nearby satellite camps may take longer than anticipated. The international community share this perspective and has invested over $1 billion in foreign aid to the camp. The investment has so far  stabilized food security, increased immunization coverage to over 90%, and even developed shopping and trade districts within the camp. Still, Bangladesh has banned the construction of permanent housing for the refugees and its patience with hosting refugees is wearing thin. Furthermore, while small changes in the camp makes life more bearable for the refugees, conditions are not ideal. As one refugee ntoed: "[In Myanmar], we had our own home, compound, and village. Here, we have only shelters."

Read more here.
LA Metro Publishes Report on Understanding How Women Travel
Los Angeles is the first transit agency in the United States to study women's travel patterns and perspectives of their travel. The agency published their findings, based on multiple sources such as focus groups and customer surveys, as "Understanding How Women Travel." The report found that women had different travel patterns and concerns than their male counterparts. For instance, women are more likely to "trip chain," than men or to stop at multiple places in their daily travels. Women were also far less likely to feel safe on public transit, especially at night and when waiting for or traveling to the transit. LA hopes to use the report to design a Gender Action Plan to improve women's transit experience and to integrate a gender perspective in all its programming.

Read more  here .
How Lagos Became the Megacity It Is Today
Lagos, Nigeria has felt the negative effects of rapid, unplanned urbanization including infrastructure problems, lack of functioning transportation system, efficient and safe waste management, and slum housing. But, Lagos was not always this way, reports Ndubisi Onwuyani. The emergence of these issues coincided with the decline of good governance during a three decade period of military rule. The tipping point was when the military chose to move the capital to Abuja in 1975, which came to fruition in 1991. Onwuanyi explains: "At that point the state really withdrawn from Lagos; the city was left to its own devices, both in terms of money and services." According to Onwuanyi, the key to regenerating Lagos is the antidote to what precipitated its decline: good and effective bottom-up urban governance, based on civic participation.

Read more  here .
In the News and Around the Web
  • A Traffic Crisis in Manila: Responding to criticism of Manila's traffic congestion, President Duterte's spokesperson told disgruntled commuters they should just leave home earlier.
  • C40 Network Awards Environmental InitiativesSeven cities won the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards
  • Tackling Harassment on the Montreal Metro The Montreal Metro began an anti-sexual harassment campaign. 
  • The United Nations May Run Out of Money:  Secretary General Antonio Guterres says that member states need to contribute their promised amounts.
Commuters in Manila are discontent with the traffic congestion.
(Getty Images// BBC)

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