Weekly Urban News Update
August 23, 2019
In This Update: 
Buenos Aires Judge Bans Use of Delivery Apps
Rapid Deforestation Exacerbates a Water Crisis in Freetown
Fire in Dhaka Slum Leaves Over 10,000 Homeless
City of Detroit Grapples with Criticism of its Surveillance Technology
Melbourne Shows How Cities Can Take Renewable Energy into Their Own Hands
Leveraging Singapore's Urban Development Success
White House Will Not Move Forward with Proposed Cuts to Foreign Aid
This Week in Photos
In the News and Around the Web
IHC Global Will Publish Blog Series for World Water Week
IHC Global is Looking for an Intern!
Buenos Aires Judge Bans Use of Delivery Apps
A judge in Buenos Aires banned the use of delivery apps in the city until the companies comply with established transportation and labor laws. This follows a controversy in which Ernesto Floridia contacted his employer after a car struck him during a delivery. Text messages show that the company only replied:  "How is the order. It is in good or bad condition to be delivered?" The controversy highlights the tension between the informal work economy and tech companies as it plays out in densely populated spaces. Juan Manuel Ottavino, a labor lawyer involved in the case, believes the case underlines the conflict over whether delivery apps like should be treated as taxi services or technology companies. According to Ottavino, the informality of working for a tech delivery service has left drivers in a "legal grey area," yet drivers continue to work because they need the income.

Read more here.
Rapid Deforestation Exacerbates a Water Crisis in Freetown
The capital of Sierre Leone is facing a water crisis due to rapid deforestation, writes Nellie Peyton at Place. Freetown relies on water from reservoirs in the mountains surrounded by forests. Rainfall runs through tree roots into soil and streams that release into the reservoir. But, deforestation for construction instead forces the rain to drain off hillsides.  The water shortage has severe social consequences as well: children often miss school because they are waiting in line for water, disease proliferates, girls skip school when they are menstruating because they have no water to wash themselves, and some women and girls feel forced to exchange sex for access to water taps, resulting in unplanned pregnancies.  Freetown is pursuing a range of a solutions including planting large numbers of trees, rethinking its environmental bylaws and building codes, and creating a water fund next year to pool investments for water security projects.

Read more here.
Fire in Dhaka Slum Leaves 10,000 Homeless
Last week a fire in Dhaka destroyed 2,000 tin shacks in the Chalantika slum and left more than 10,000 homeless. According to the Bangladeshi State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, last week's blaze left over 80% of the slum completely or partially destroyed, including homes, businesses, and livelihoods. So far no deaths have been reported, which observers attest to the fact that large numbers of Chalantika's residents were celebrating at a festival for Eid al-Adha on that day. The government is currently conducting an investigation of the fire's cause, but fires frequent Dhaka's slums due to lax safety measures and overcrowding. This year alone fires have killed over 100 residents of Dhaka slums.

Read more here.
City of Detroit Grapples with Criticism of its Surveillance Technology 
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has failed to alleviate concerns about the Detroit Police Department (DPD)'s use of facial recognition technology despite his best efforts, writes Allison McDonald form the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law. In 2016, Detroit's Project Green Light program installed high definition security cameras and broadband internet at participating locations in the city. This enabled the security footage to stream directly to DPD's Real-Time Crime Center where law enforcement could surveil areas in real time. But McDonald believes that the city, including its Mayor, are not transparent about surveillance regulation or consistent with their surveillance terminology. 

Read her op-ed here.
Melbourne Shows How Cities Can Take Renewable Energy into their Own Hands
Australia is revolutionizing the urban switch to renewable power, Melbourne's Manager of Sustainability, says Deb Cailes  at  Fast Company.  The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. MREP is a collective of local governments, cultural institutions, universities, and corporations that have pooled together their resources to secure financing for a renewable energy developer to build out of a new wind farm. The collaboration helps resolve one of the key impediments for renewable energy: securing financial streams for the developers to implement the transition. Cailes enthuses that MREP helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, will create 140 jobs, and demonstrates that  cities globally can take a leading role in mitigating climate change."

Read more  here .
Leveraging Singapore's Urban Development Success
Singapore is an urban development success story, writes World Bank Operations Officer James Tay. This is why it is working with the World Bank Group to help to help cities around the world identify and address challenges of urbanization. Normally urban density negatively correlates to city liveability: the more urban sprawl, the better the living conditions. But Singapore, which has no land on which to grow, is the exception to the rule. Over the past fifteen years, the Singapore Liveability Framework has enabled it to overcome challenges of slums, traffic congestion, pollution, and water shortages through integrated master planning and development and dynamic urban governance. Now, the World Bank Group Singapore Infrastructure and Urban Development Hub is helping Singapore to share its knowledge, skills, and solutions with other countries, such as  Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Romania, Uzbekistan, and Saudi Arabia.

Read more here.
White House Will Not Move Forward with Proposed Cuts to Foreign Aid
IHC Global is pleased that the White House will not move forward with a multi-billion dollar proposal to cut foreign aid. The Office of Management and Budget announced the rescission earlier this mont and met opposition from both the House and Senate. IHC Global was proud to join 90+ NGOs in an InterAction sign-on letter  to oppose the proposed holds on U.S. foreign assistance that would "reduce the effectiveness of life-saving programs and undermine America's global leadership abroad." 

Read more here.
This Week in Photos
  • The South African Hospital that Houses Cape Town ResidentsIn Cape Town, evicted residents are occupying a former hospital and calling it home.
  • Dhaka Fire Devastates Chalantika SlumLast week's fire in Dhaka left over 10,000 homeless.
In the News and Around the Web
  • Hong Kong is a Pro-Urban Market Success ModelScott Beyer explains why urbanists should care about ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
  • Fifty Ideas to Solve the Affordable Housing CrisisBisnow identifies more than 50 suggested ideas, policies, and proposals to address the affordable housing crisis in the United States.
  • Do You Know Which City Has the Highest Slide or the Narrowest Street?Take The Guardian's "Record-Breaking Cities" quiz!
IHC Global Will Publish Blog Series for World Water Week
Next week the Stockholm International Water Institute marks the 29th year of World Water Week (WWW). WWW is the focal point for global water issues and a forum for conversations around water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). IHC Global will observe WWW through a special blog series on urban WASH issues centered around maternity and gender. Look for it in your inbox and on our website!
IHC Global is Looking for an Intern!
IHC Global seeks a  part-time intern for Fall 2019 to provide research and project support for a number of our ongoing initiatives. For more information, please email Natalie Gill at ngill@ihcglobal.org

A fire broke out in Dhaka on Friday, August 17. (Reuters)


IHC Global invites everyone who wants to help to create inclusive and sustainable cities   in which everyone can have a decent place to live safely and securely and benefit from their services and opportunities  to join  us  our vibrant network of supporters and help us share innovative ideas and influence the global urban agenda .  Share your views (info@ihcglobal.org). Get our regular updates. Become an individual member. Make a contribution. Add your company or organization to our growing coalition.

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: