Weekly Urban News Update
March 16th, 2018
In This Update

A new study highlighted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences further establishes that rising CO2 levels are linked to suburban sprawl. The study used the Salt Lake City metropolitan area's impressive network of CO2 sensors- the longest-running in existence- to analyze CO2 levels in both urban and suburban areas, and concluded that while population growth in suburban areas led to increases in C02, similar population growth in the denser urban areas led to no such thing. As Next City puts it, it's common sense that sprawl would have a more negative effect on CO2 emissions than density, but data proving this has been scarce- until now. With data-backed research that supports this notion, cities that are struggling to manage large population growth can make better decisions with their spatial development, and decide to build up, not out.

Read more here.

Washington D.C. is reported to be America's fifth most spatially segregated city, and what has happened- and what will happen- with the Northeast DC apartment blocks of Brookland Manor are a representation of the way that segregation can be reinforced through real estate development that does not consider the needs of residents. Brookland Manor, a 535-unit complex inhabited mostly by low-income African American residents, is in need of improvements. But the plans that real estate developer Mid City financial has in store for the blocks have raised eyebrows, as well as a class-action lawsuit. The development plans will raze down the current units and build 1750 new apartments, only a small percentage of which will be reserved for low-income residents. Further, current residents fear that tripling the number of units will vastly cut back their size, making them unviable options for the many large families that currently inhabit the units. As a writer for a UK-based publication, Citymetric reporter Hettie O'Brien covers this story, from the individuals to the apartment blocks to D.C. at large, with a valuable outsider's perspective.  

Learn more here.

International Women's Day was last week, but the conversation is never over. Last week's discussions covered a number of barriers women continue to face on the way to achieving equality, including women's access to land rights. Within the topic of land rights, the division between law and custom remains a significant challenge for women, and it is playing out in real time in Kenya. According to campaigners from the Kenya Land Alliance, less than 2% of the land titles issued in Kenya since 2013 have gone to women, despite protections in the country's constitution specifically aimed at eliminating gender discrimination in law. The World Bank estimates that women run more than three-quarters of Kenya's farms despite 98% of them being owned by men, and this disparity between women's land ownership and women's role in maintaining land can be seen mirrored around the world. This means that the people that are most connected to the land and what it can produce have no power over what happens to it. If women had ownership over their lands, it could help them be better able to maintain it, as well as give them the power to make critical decisions for their families, their communities and the environment at large. With these facts in mind, land and property rights in both urban and rural areas is a global challenge that- if not remedied- will have a significant impact on the future of urban poverty, climate resilience, food security, and much more.

Read more  here .
Next week is the annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference in Washington DC, which will focus on the theme of land governance in an interconnected world. During the conference, civil society organizations, governments and members of the private sector will have the chance to present their latest research, projects and programs focusing on land rights. Among the topics discussed, there will undoubtedly be a significant amount of attention on women's access to land rights around the world. IHC Global will be taking part in this discussion by sharing our work on women's land rights on a panel called Creating Momentum for Land Policy Change on Tuesday March 20 from 8:30-10am in room MC 4-100. During this panel, IHC Global will present our final research and analysis from our program, Using Data to Support Women's Property Rights in Uganda. Learn more about our panel here an learn more about the conference here.

IHC Global will hold another event in conjunction with the conference called  Action From Every Angle: Approaches to Advancing Property Rights, an exciting dialogue exploring a few of the many ways our members are moving the dial on land and property rights. This session will explore how civil society organizations are coming at property rights 'from every angle', including through advocacy, data & research, innovative practice, and community engagement. The event is on  Friday, March 23, from  9am-10:30am at the  Interaction Offices.  RSVP for and learn more about the event  here .
In Seattle, homeless camps become a permanent part of the city.

The Issue
Seattle has one of the worst homelessness problems in the United States, and it is dealing with it in an unprecedented way. While homeless encampments are not unknown to cities in the United States, the city of Seattle has allowed 11 homeless camps to become permanent parts of the city. These are camps that did not crop up overnight, without permission or planning. Rather, these are orderly camps given government protection from raids, and with rights and rules such as the prohibition of alcohol and drug intoxication, self-appointed leaders, and the agreement for all residents to work volunteer security shifts. Within Seattle a debate has risen up about the experiment of these camps. Some are in favor, noting that these camps allow residents a semblance of constancy, sobriety, and community responsibility that can serve as stepping stones into better lives. Others fear that these camps are just a 'band-aid' for a much bigger affordable housing problem that the city needs to solve, and that the existence of the camps themselves take pressure off of the government for creating more permanent solutions...

Read the full blog  here. To learn more about IHC Global's policy priorities, click here.
News In the news and around the web
  • Uncharted territory: a team of OpenStreetMaps users is determined to make maps more accurate- and more equitable.
  • Chinese rural migrants made their way to cities to find opportunities, and a new study shows that it made them much less happier than before.
  • Weighing the costs of implementing a congestion charge in Manhattan.
  • Take a look at the entirely-privatized city of Gurgaon, India.
  • Check this out: a concrete house was 3-D printed in under 24 hours
In case you missed it:
  • In honor of #internationalwomensday last week, IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson penned her personal experience with the importance of women's access to land rights.

Picketers march for women's rights in honor of International Women's Day.
Source: NPR

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