Weekly Urban News Update
November 9, 2018
In This Update: 
IHC Spotlight Event: Latin America's Housing Success and Challenges
UN DESA Reports on Urban Disaster Vulnerabilities
Risk Prevention in Manizales
Chennai is Running out of Water
Small Farmers' Water Rights Deliberately Ignored
Urban Hunger in Asia-Pacific Region
Creative Urban Solutions
This Week in Photos
IHC Spotlight Event
A Conversation about Latin America's 
Housing Success and Challenges-
Perspectives from the Field 
An event co-sponsored by Habitat for Humanity International
November 13, 2018

A discussion of Latin American housing issues, w ith a focus on developing Mexico's housing infrastructure on the national level.

Find more information  here
Natural Disasters and Risk Prevention
UN DESA Reports on Urban Disaster Vulnerabilities
A United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs ( DESA) report released this week found cities with populations greater than 500,000 are at high risk of natural disaster.  The report concluded that to minimize economic and infrastructural damage and protect human lives, cities must embrace good governance, preparedness, and resilient infrastructure. Read the  news release  and the  report .

Risk Prevention in Manizales
This week,  The Guardian reports on Manizales, Colombia, frequently at risk for natural disasters. Manizales city policy  is now globally recognized for investment in risk prevention. Successful innovations include tax breaks for homeowners who reduce the vulnerability of their properties, a city map that evaluates disaster risk down to individual buildings, and a city wide "prevention week" each October.  Mayor Jose Octavio Cardona says "[It] has become part of our culture. Citizens understand the importance of investing in prevention."   Read more  here .
Urban and Rural Water Rights

Chennai is Running out of Water
Chennai, India is nearly out of water- if rain does not fall within the next two weeks, the city's four reservoirs of water will run dry. India is experiencing "the worst water crisis in its history," according to Indian think tank NITI Aayog.  The issue has lent itself to criminality as well, giving rise to what has been dubbed "the water mafia." Residents face the choice between waiting for government-run water supplies that have yet to appear or paying exorbitant  sums of money to private water distributors.  Read more here .

Small Farmers' Water Rights Deliberately Ignored
National governments in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are deliberately ignoring small farmers' customary rights to water a ccording to the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).  When governments refuse to acknowledge customary informal water rights, IWMI says, small farmers' access to water can be criminalized, leaving the farmers vulnerable to prosecution. IHC Global agrees with IWMI that hybrid water systems that recognize both formal and informal water rights will benefit national governments as well, given that water rights are intimately tied to land rights, administrative efficiency, and agricultural production.  Read more here :  
Urbanization and World Hunger
Urban Hunger in the Asia-Pacific Region
Rapid urbanization in Asia and the Pacific mean that the region is feeling the effects of dysfunctional food systems, under nutrition, and obesity especially in growing slums.  With 821 million undernourished people in the Asia-Pacific region, the UN has urged urban planners in Asia to  take a leading role in nutrition planning by emphasizing account transport, infrastructure, education, and water and sanitation.  Read more  here .
Creative Urban Solutions
  • Barcelona: Barcelona prepares for its urban resilience week.
  • Building Tiny Homes in Backyards: Portland is building tiny homes in willing homeowners' backyards to house homeless families.
  • The Reinvented Toilet ExpositionBill Gates hosted the Reinvented Toilet Exposition in Beijing this week to address the 4.5 billion people in the world who live without access to safe water and sanitation. 
This Week in Photos
  • Shenzhen's Urban Mountains: A rooftop garden project is launched in Shenzhen.
  • Alternative London: The Guardian presents an alternative look at London.
  • The New Calgary Library: Calgary opens a new public library . 

A rooftop garden in Shenzhen 
(Photo cred:  The Guardian)
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