Weekly Urban News Update
December 14, 2018
In This Update: 
The Effect of Climate Policy in Slums
U.N. Says City Leadership Must Play Key Role in Climate Policy
London Mayor Sadiq Khan Declares a Climate Emergency
World Enabled Global Compact on Inclusiveness and Accessibility
Urban and Rural WASH in India
Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation
Japanese Nonprofit Addresses Housing for Single Mothers 
Loopholes in City-Regulated Space Inspires Creative Architecture
In the News and Around the Web
Cities and the Environment

The Effect of Climate Policy on Slums
This week, Conference of the Parties (COP) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland focused international attention on addressing climate change in cities and countries. A dvocates are trying to remind policymakers to consider marginalized populations in urban climate planning. According to Sheela Patel, founder of the NGO Slumdwellers International, although cities are making an admirable effort to improve resiliency, they frequently fail to address informal areas, such as city slums. Patel says: "When I look at climate change, I see several challenges. The urban poor are not seen by national governments as worthy of national attention...Most cities are in denial of the informality in their city." IHC Global agrees with Patel that city leaders should consider marginalized populations during urban planning. Even the best- intentions to mitigate the effects of natural disasters on city centers can sometimes exacerbate dangerous conditions in city outskirts and slums.

Read more  here .

U.N. Says City Leadership Must Play Key Role in Determining Climate Policy
During this week's COP, the United Nations emphasized that cities must be the key implementers of climate policy. C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group published a new guide of possible strategies that cities can use to decrease carbon emissions and energy use by 2050. The guide targets city leadership, understanding that urban politicians can sometimes directly determine and influence urban environmental policy more than national leadership. Proposed ideas include reducing food waste, encouraging efficient buildings through building codes, and adopting cleaner public transportation.

Read more  here

London Mayor Sadiq Khan Declares a Climate Emergency
London is in the "midst of a climate emergency...(requiring) urgent government action and funding," says its mayor Sadiq Khan. Khan's statements followed similar declarations of other major British cities. Last month, Bristol declared a climate emergency and its intention to become carbon neutral by 2030, while Manchester asserted it would achieve carbon neutrality by 2038. According to Khan, London requires substantial investment to become carbon neutral by 2050. "My message to ministers is clear," asserts Khan, "Stop dragging your feet and gambling with our future and give London and cities across the UK the real powers and funding needed to protect our future generations."

Read more  here
Inclusive Cities

World Enabled Global Compact Promotes Inclusiveness and Accessibility 
On December 3rd, nonprofit World Enabled launched the Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities in Berlin. The Compact aims to recognize the 1 billion persons with disabilities and 500 million persons over 60 living in urban areas. With important civil society, INGO, and municipal support, the Compact seeks to embed the core principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda into city domains such as outdoor spaces, public transportation, housing, and employment to encourage age-friendly and accessible community participation and health.

Read more here.
Linking Rural and Urban Water, Hygiene and Sanitation in India

Urban and Rural WASH in India
In India, seven-year old Hanifa Zaara, brought her father to the All Women's Police Station for refusing to build a toilet he promised for their home. According to Hanifa, who felt ashamed by defecating in the open, her father told her should she excel in her classes he would build her a toilet, but despite her academic performance, "he kept giving me the same excuse about not having enough money." The City Commissioner S. Parthasarathy says he was happy to receive Hanifa's complaint as the city has tried to encourage toilets to be built in every home. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared India would be defecation-free by 2019, but the effort is an uphill battle. A recent study found 89% of rural Indians defecate in the open, largely due to deeply-held attitudes about waste "rooted in the social forces of caste and untouchability." While largely a rural issue, the World Bank estimates that 7% of a 450 million urban population continue to openly defecate. 

Read more here.
Innovative Solutions to Urban Problems

Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation
Since 2008 the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation has recognized cities that propose or execute innovative solutions to urban problems. This year's cities, according to Guangzhou Award grantor demonstrate the ways in which cities and municipalities can adapt global agendas, namely the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. Winning ideas include Milan's new urban food policy to address the food chain system from farm to table to scraps, and Metzitl, Turkey's efforts to help Turkish women enter the typically male-dominated traditional food markets by opening 9 markets exclusively reserved for 612 women.

Read more  here

Japanese Nonprofit Addresses Housing for Single Mothers
Little Ones, a Japanese nonprofit, won a World Habitat Award for pioneering a solution to two increasingly visible problems in Japan: the number of single mothers in poverty and the the number of empty and abandoned homes. According to Little Ones' Chief Executive, Koyama Kunihisa, social stigma around single motherhood lends itself to discriminatory housing in Japan, meaning apartment owners frequently refuse to rent to single mothers due to perceived financial instability. Since 2008 Little Ones has converted vacant, abandoned homes into subsidized housing for more than 300 single mothers in Tokyo, Osaka, and Chiba.

Read more here.

Loopholes in City-Regulated Space Inspire Creative Architecture
City architecture, notes Market Urbanism Report's Brandon Donnelly, is largely influenced by city regulations. In densely populated cities like Hong Kong, this means adapting to Gross Floor Area regulations that restrict the size of apartments. To work around GFA restrictions, Hong Kong architects and developers frequently project window ledges, not included in GFA by regulations, to add more space. Donnelly points out that architects have taken advantage of  these kinds of "perfectly legal loopholes" in other cities as well: in the past Toronto excluded solariums and New Orleans allowed camelback houses. 

Read more here
In the News and Around the Web
  • International Mayors Address Migration: The mayors of Athens, Kampala, and Bristol write that cities play a key role in determining international responses to mass migration.
  • Silicon Valley in the Sahara: Kenya planned the construction of a new smart city, Konza Technopolis, to be its Silicon Valley. But as infrastructure and development lag behind, some argue government funds and energy are best spent addressing existing urban challenges in Nairobi.
  • Sesame Street Tackles Homelessness: Sesame Street has reintroduced a Muppet named Lila, who is homeless, to give attention to issue of homeless children, especially prevalent in urban areas.

Critics of Kenya's Konza Technopolis argue that improving urban conditions in Nairobi 
are more important than constructing the Silicon Savannah. (Photocred: Place )

Help IHC Global spread our message by forwarding our newsletter to organizations and people who want to help create inclusive and sustainable cities. Support IHC Global further by becoming a member of our growing coalition. 

Please join us either as an individual or as an organization.  Your financial support and your voice are vitally important With your U.S. tax deductible membership, you will provide meaningful help in addressing the worldwide challenges of rapid urban growth, urban poverty and inequity. Help IHC Global "change cities for good" and secure a better urban future for us all - we need your help and your voice more than ever .

  SIGN UP
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
STAY CONNECTED: