Weekly Urban News Update
February 16th, 2018
In This Update
During the World Urban Forum, IHC Global unveiled its new initiative: 'Smart City. Just City.' At its core, the new initiative is about linking the 'smart city' movement with the movement for greater urban equity, and using technology and data for greater inclusion and better urban development.

At the World Stage, IHC Global President Judith Hermanson presented the new initative, and panelists from Next City, CitySpace Architecture, the World Bank, discussed how cities can use smart city approaches to achieve more prosperous cities for all. The Mayor of Baltimore, Catherine Pugh, also spoke via video message about the great work Baltimore is doing to utilize data to achieve equity.

Participants were also given copies of IHC Global's new policy report called Mobilizing the Data Revolution to Support Urban Development, which is available on our website.

Read more about IHC Global's new Smart City Just City initiative here. Listen to a Podcast about the new initiative here .
CThe humanization of the smart city

Speaking of smart cities, there are so many ways that tech for good can be achieved, and one creative example is quite a literal take on putting people into technology. Agent-based modeling creates an actual virtual world that is used to simulate the true nature of cities- down to the individual residents that call it home. It may sound freaky, but this technology allows urban planners to create worlds that mirrors ours in every way, from 'traffic jams to social segregation,' and analyze all urban aspects at once, something that is otherwise almost impossible. They can determine where a city is going wrong when it comes to the well-being of its residents, until they eventually figure out what will go right.
Read more here.

The ninth World Urban Forum is over, but the conversations are just beginning. One particularly heavy topic is urban sexual violence, a global 'pandemic' that boasts a frightening statistic: 1 in 3 women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. There are a million conversations to be had and solutions to be brainstormed about sexual violence, but the conversation that held the audience at the Next City World Stage at WUF9 was about the thing we need first: data. ElsaMarie D'Silva, the creator of the Mumbai-based non-profit, Red Dot Foundation, presented the organization's Safecity platform as one of the innovative and inclusive ways this data can be collected, and used to make a difference. The platform collects personal stories about sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces from around the world, via slips of paper in boxes and online submissions alike, and uses it to analyze what solutions will work in these women's communities. Since its creation in 2012, it has collected over 10,000 stories from over 50 cities in India, Kenya, Cameroon and Nepal.

Read Next City's coverage of this platform  here.

Though urban farming has become popular over the past couple of years in the climate experts circles as much as in the hipster circles, its true benefit over rural farming has been hotly debated. But any uncertainties have been relatively quelled by a new study from the journal Earth's Future. Through the use of Google Earth and population, meteorological and other data sets, the study has determined that urban farming done right could produce 180 million metric tons of food each year, a crazy number. Through looking at 'ecosystem services,' aka the ecological and environmental benefits of maintaining an urban farm, the study has also determined that urban agriculture could be worth as much as $160 million annually. The researched benefits of successful urban farming seem endless; 15 billion kilowatt hours of annual energy savings worldwide, sequester 170,000 tons of nitrogen, prevent as much as 57 billion cubic meters of stormwater runoff, and so much more. Though rural farming will always be essential to cities, urban farming has proven to be a worthy reason to make your city green.

Read the article  here.
Feature IHC Global Urban Feature: IHC Global at WUF9

The Issue
Want to know about our time at WUF9? Check out our website next week for a full breakdown of our events and experiences. In the meantime, check out our twitter for our coverage of the conference.
News In the news and around the web
  • Coming out of WUF9, a new tool aims to measure how walkable cities are, and make pedestrians happier in the process.
  • Smart city, cyber secure city? Forbes lines out how the cities of the future can protect themselves from cyber attacks.
  • Everything in transit: Ethiopia's new railway could launch an inclusive urban boom.
  • Guardian Cities imagines what a true disabled-accessible city would look like.

A crowd files in to watch IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson, Next City President Tom Dallessio, Cityspace Architecture President Luisa Bravo, and World Bank Lead Urban Specialist Ahmed Eiweida discuss IHC Global's new initiative: 'Smart City. Just City.'

safetyTake our Making Cities Safe survey
IHC Global has created a survey to increase understanding and share knowledge around issues of safety in cities-looking specifically at safety in the home, on public transport, in formal and informal workplace settings, and in common spaces such as sanitary facilities. Results from this survey will provide input into a policy report addressing how SDG 11, Target 7, Indicator 2-which focuses specifically on making urban spaces safe--can be met.

Help us gain a better understanding of urban safety; take our survey  here!
Spread the word!

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!  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! 

IHC Global: Changing Cities for Good.
Head Office: 1424 K St. NW, Ste 600, Washington, D.C. 20005
Satellite Office: 430 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
202-239-4401 | Email | Website