Weekly Urban News Update
November 30, 2018
In This Update: 
New Research Suggests Children in Cities Can Fare Worse than Rural Counterparts
Traffic Fatalities Spark Riots in Accra
Smallholder Farmers Feed Ethiopian Cities
Berlin Wants Affordable Housing - But Does it Have the Space?
World Bank Urges Cities to Mainstream Culture in Reconstruction and Reconciliation
Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act
IHC Spotlight Event: Where's the New Frontier in Sanitation Service Provision?
Spotlight on Housing
IHC Mourns the Passing of John T. Howley
Urban Challenges
New Research Suggests Children in Cities Can Fare Worse than Rural Counterparts
According to a new UNICEF report, the "so- called urban advantage" varies globally and that in a number of countries, children living in cities are more likely to die before the age of five than their rural counterparts. They are also less likely to complete primary school. The urban advantage, says UNICEF Director of Data, Research, and Policy, Laurence Chandy, connotes better access to jobs, healthcare and education for children. Y et, Chandy asserts: "In many cities, they are forgotten, with millions of children cut off from social services in urban slums and informal settlements." The quantitative data provides stark evidence that the effects of rapid and unmanaged urbanization can produce inadequate access to housing and social services. Read more here and find the report here.

Traffic Fatalities Spark Riots in Accra
The unrest followed the death of a local high school student who attempted to cross the Adenta- Madina highway in Accra by foot. Protesters were angered by what they see as a callous disregard for pedestrian infrastructure by politicians. Although the road was completed 10 years earlier, its six footbridges remain only halfway finished, now draped with political and commercial advertisements
Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation says: "Accra, like many African cities is experiencing rapid motorization and rising traffic casualties. Politicians and urban planners urgently need...to prioritize the health of pedestrians and children." The problem is not only a lack of urban planning, but the capacity and willingness of political leadership to execute plans. Read more here.

Smallholder Farmers Feed Ethiopian Cities
Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing populations in the world, especially in Addis Abba. But, the rate of urban expansion combined with the prevalence of weeds and pestilence in farming areas have raised concerns that small farmers will no longer be able to produce enough yield to feed the cities. SNV Netherlands Development Organization, the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and CropLife International have responded by pioneering a Horti-Life program to create farmer field schools that teach sustainable pest management and weed control, including pesticide spray services. The project's success speaks vitally to the urban-rural continuum and the vital linkages between urban centers and rural livelihoods. Read more here.
Affordable Housing

Berlin Wants Affordable Homes - But, Does it Have the Space?
Berlin has promised to construct 200,000 affordable homes - but, does the city have the space for it? Despite widespread support for the construction of affordable housing, the city, its residents, and its political leadership are embroiled in a debate over where to build. As CityLab contributor Ferguson Sullivan points out, the historical context of Berlin's urban development over the twentieth century - uneven development at the beginning of the century, massive aerial bombardment during the Second World War, and subsequent political division has meant a "checkered and polycentric" layout, in addition to "interspersing housing and industrial areas" on the city's fringe. Read more here .
Reconstructing Cities
World Bank Urges Cities to Mainstream Culture in Reconstruction and Reconciliation
The World Bank is urging policymakers to prioritize culture when planning the reconstruction and recovery of cities after conflict, natural disasters, and urban crises. A new position paper, "Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery," argues that culture is a cornerstone of the physical and social fabric of cities and must be taken into account when rebuilding. Case studies from Seoul, Beirut, and Timbuktu, among others, suggests that the reconstruction of iconic landmarks and places, supporting cultural expressions to deal with post crisis trauma, and engaging local residents and governments is key. Read more about mainstreaming culture in reconstruction and reconciliation here .
Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act

H.R. 5480 Advances to Senate Floor
IHC Global is thrilled that the Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act has left the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and advanced to the Senate floor, after passing the House earlier this year. IHC Global continues to support this bipartisan legislation as it contains a critical recognition of the role of women's property and land rights in economic empowerment. IHC Global has been a strong supporter of these efforts together with some of its member organizations.

IHC Spotlight Event
Where's the New Frontier in Sanitation Service Provision?
An  event  IHC Global is co-sponsoring with Society for International Development and AECOM
December 4, 2018
4 pm - 5:30 pm

A moderated panel that will examine lessons about what works and why with sanitation services delivery, in both urban and rural areas, and how policy, technological/non-technological innovations and a circular economy approach may close the gap to meet SDG 6.2.  A reception follows.

Find more information  here.
Spotlight on Housing
  • Bamboo Housing in the Philippines: A 23-year-old designer, Earl Patrick Forlales, won $64,000 to create a low-cost bamboo housing unit to address slums in the Philippines. 
  • New York City Housing Under Fire: Federal housing officials and prosecutors allege that New York City Housing Authority deliberately misled them about housing conditions, but Federal Judge William H. Pauley suggests HUD shares some accountability.
  • G20 Leaders Urged to Address Adequate Housing: UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Leilani Farha urges G20 leaders to address the housing crisis ahead of the annual summit in Buenos Aires.
In Memoriam: John T. Howley

IHC Global mourns the passing of John T. (Jack) Howley, who played a pivotal role in IHC Global's two predecessor organizations. Howley was founding president of the International Housing Coalition in 2005. From 2004 to 2005, Howley worked for IRPF as a consultant where his contributions to helping professionalize real estate markets in emerging economies were critical. His expertise assisted the streamlining of the real estate market assessment tool which later resulted in the development of the International Real Property Markets Scorecard. Prior to his involvement in IHC, Howley enjoyed a distinguished public service career with USAID.

A low-cost, four-hour bamboo house in the Philippines
(Photo cred: BBC  News )

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