Weekly Urban News Update
September 6, 2019
In This Update: 
Hurricane Dorian Decimates the Bahamas
Should the Federal Government Provide More Support for Municipal Cybersecurity?
Sidewalk Labs CEO Says Urban Data Collection Can Still Protect Privacy
Bonito, Brazil Will Formalize 17 Urban and Rural Informal Settlements
In Some Areas in Rural Kenya, Land Fraud Cases Against Women are Increasing
Guadalajara Fosters Disability Inclusion in Transportation
Gwangju, South Korea Will Host UCLG Forum on Human Rights in Cities
This Week in Photos
In the News and Around the Web
IHC Global Spotlight Event: World Bank Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research
Hurricane Dorian Decimates the Bahamas
This week, Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas. The historic hurricane that left has left thirty dead and hundreds homeless obliterated the islands' infrastructure, housing, and shantytowns. The Washington Post reports that one such shantytown, The Mudd, built by thousands of Haitian migrants over the past decades was razed within a matter of hours. Hurricane relief efforts have been made difficult by destruction of the Grand Bahamas International Airport, but the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other foreign aid organizations and departments are sending supplies by airlifts and ships. The hurricane is currently making its way up the Eastern Coast of the United States, passing over North Carolina and Virginia today.

Read more here
Should the Federal Government Provide More Support for Municipal Cybersecurity?
At the Tampa Bay Times, the Editorial Board argues that the federal government must offer more financial and technical assistance to city and local governments to enhance cybersecurity. The Baord asserts that cyber attacks present as serious a challenge to cities as climate change and immigration. Cybersecurity attacks compromise the ability of governments to provide basic city services and can cost taxpayers millions of dollars in ransom and damages. The Board urges the federal government to offer the financial and technical means that city governments frequently lack to prevent and defend themselves from sophisticated attackers. Possible avenues of help include security grants and technical assistance from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Read more here.
Sidewalk Labs CEO Says Urban Data Collection Can Still Protect Privacy
Over the past year, Sidewalk Labs, the company tasked to build Quayside, Toronto's first smart neighborhood, has faced widespread criticism over its collection and use of public data. But, at the Center for Livable Cities, Sidewalk Labs CEO Daniel Doctoroff says that establishing clear governing principles can address concerns about user trust and privacy while still enabling companies to use public data as a resource for improving peoples' lives in cities. Doctoroff identifies three principles that address the challenge of using data responsible: recognizing and handling urban data as a distinct category, setting clear guidelines for the responsible use of urban data, and above all establishing an independent urban data trust to oversee and audit the collection of urban data.

Read more here.
Bonito, Brazil Will Formalize 17 Urban and Rural Informal Settlements
On August 15, Bonito, Brazil began a program to formalize 17 urban and rural informal settlements, under official decree by Bonito Mayor Gustavo Adolfo. The decree was made possible in large part by the work of civil society organization Espaco Feminista (EF).  In February 2018, EF and its partners collected data from local communities that highlighted the effect of tenure insecurity on families, social inequality, and especially for women living without official marriage documentation. Significantly, their research pointed to the need to prioritize and pay special attention to formalizing women's land titles regardless of marital status.

Read more here.
In Some Areas of Rural Kenya, Land Fraud Cases Against Women Are Increasing
The Kenyan constitution mandates that women have equal rights to own property as men, but custom and social norms frequently prevent women from exercising their rights says Kagondu Njagi at Place. Local police in the village of Chera report that there is a growing number of "homeless grannies" or women whose land was stolen by their family members. The police also say that they are unable to prosecute such land fraud cases because it falls under the purview of the county courts. Land rights activists argue that the national government in Kenya is not doing enough to protect women's property rights and note that land fraud increases rates of homelessness, mental illness, and even suicide.

Read more here.
Guadalajara Fosters Disability Inclusion in Transportation
The city government of Guadalajara, Mexico is improving disability inclusion in its public transportation system with the help of the World Bank Urban Transport Transformation Program, report World Bank Urban Transport Specialists Abel Lopez Dodero, Dorothee Georg, and Max Hamrick.  Disability inclusion is a challenge for local and national governments across the world. This is also true in Mexico  where individuals with disabilities are 28% less likely to complete primary school, 62% less likely to finish a university education, and 32% more likely to be unemployed. But, with technical and financial support from the World Bank the Guadalajara government has made important steps to foster disability inclusion in public spaces. Notably, its transport lines are beginning to include things like braille on each system information stand, elevators at stations without ground-level entrance, and employee assistance upon request.

Read more here.
Gwangju, South Korea Will Host UCLG Forum on Human Rights in Cities
At the end of the month, the United Cities and Local Governments Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights will host the 9th edition of the World Human Rights Cities Forum in Gwangju, South Korea. This year's forum, titled "Local Governments & Human Rights: Reimagining Human Rights Cities," will help strengthen and expand local governments' commitment to human rights protection and promotion to the global stage. Topics will explore accessibility, rights of the child, women's rights, participatory democracy, and the right to the city. UN-Habitat will also partner with UCLG to host a special session on adequate housing as a fundamental human right.

Read more  here .
This Week In Photos
  • Hurricane Dorian in Pictures: The New York Times presents devastating photos of Hurricane Dorian's destruction in the Bahamas.
In the News and Around the Web
  • U.S. Leadership Must Play a Key Role in Development Projects: John R. Allen, President of The Brookings Institution argues that defending U.S. foreign aid is more important now than ever.
  • Hurricane Dorian Highlights Challenges Facing Coastal CitiesMonths after the U.S. Army Corp completed a $16 million project to restore beaches in Jacksonville, its success may be undermined by Hurricane Dorian.

  • What Exactly Does Multistakeholderism Mean?At Pass Blue, Harris Gleckman says closer ties between the UN and corporations may result in the exclusion of civil society, academia, and member-states from major decisions.
  • The German City Where Rent is 88 Euro CentsAtlas Obscura explores Fuggerei, Germany is the world's oldest charitable social housing complex.
IHC Global Spotlight Event: 
World Bank Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference

Monday, September 9, 2019
8:30am - 7:30pm 
1818 H Street, Washington, D.C.

The World Bank will co-host its 6th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference with George Washington University, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the International Growth Center next week. The Conference will bring together academics and development practitioners to present and discussion questions relating to "People, Markets, and Cities." The conference will especially focus on effective land, housing, transport and local labor market policy in cities and their implications for economic development and social inclusion. 

Find event information here.

Hurricane Dorian has largely destroyed infrastructure and housing in the Bahamas. (Photo Credit: New York Times )


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