Weekly Urban News Update
June 1st, 2018
In This Update
DIHC Global is moving!
 
IHC Global is officially moving house! As of June 4th, we will no longer be located at 1424 K Street NW in Washington DC. Our new office will be at 5425 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 600, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Please email info@ihcglobal.org with any questions.

As cities around the world make moves to become smarter, their achievements and struggles paint a picture of how complicated- but necessary- it is to implement technology into urban life.

Smart "redevelopment" in New Delhi is leaving some residents behind.
Gleaming smart development projects have sprung up across New Delhi, with the promise of making the city more accessible, cleaner and inclusive. But that's not the story for residents of an informal settlement squeezed between these projects. The developments that bookend their settlement have made residents' living situations worse than ever before, with fewer resources and the ever-present risk of falling debris. And as they wait to be relocated, their lives continue to be under threat.  Read more here .

In smart cities, collaboration is the name of the game.
Three urban and tech experts; Rainmaking Urban Managing Director Bas Boorsma, imec Vice President John Baekelmans, and Kansas City, MO, Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett; come together to discuss the power of collaboration that is unique to smart cities. From local-regional partnerships to public-private ventures, these collaborations can make cities more tech-friendly, economically successful, and inclusive.  Read more  here .

New technology gives cities a new way to help the homeless.
As IHC Global noted in our blog last week, homelessness has reached epidemic proportions in parts of the United States, and similar crises can be found around the world. But new smart city tools- like mapping apps and digital identification documents- are popping up every day, allowing cities to get an accurate measure of the scope of the issue, and to help the homeless access the services they need.  Read more here .

Now listen here: how cities can be security smart.
In a new podcast from Threatpost, Tenable CTO Renaud Deraison discusses the top security issues that smart cities face, and what tech-oriented urban developers can do to meet these challenges.  Read more here .

Using smart city tools to bring about better, more equitable urban development should be a priority for cities, and is the crux of IHC Global's "Smart City. Just City." initiative. Launched at the ninth World Urban Forum (WUF9), the initiative is in the early phases of outreach to all constituencies.  Want more info? Visit  our project page  or contact us at  info@ihcglobal.org.
 
Cities are feeling the effects of climate change, and are coming to terms with the ramifications they may face in the near future.

Send in the bees: what they can teach us about urban ecosystems
They may be scary to some (or all) of us, but bees play a critical role in maintaining the earth's ecosystems, a role that is threatened as the bee population continues to shrink. In trying to find a way to make bees flourish, researchers have discovered something interesting: bees love and thrive in cities. What can cities do to turn these unrequited affections into a love affair?  Read more here .

But don't forget about the birds: unmanaged urban growth is threatening biodiversity.
Melbourne's population is expanding at a rapid rate, and a new study warns that the way developers are planning for this growth is harmful to the region's biodiversity, especially for birds. The "land sharing" model these developers are using performed poorly compared to the "land sparing" model, which means that nature incorporated into human settlements just doesn't work as well as carving out environmental reserves alongside them.  Read more here .

California is coming face to face with the need to plan for climate change.
The threat of rising waters is a constant presence for California coastal communities. Del Mar, California, is one of these communities, and like their peers, the local government has the difficult task of deciding how to plan around the waves. Last week, Del Mar City Council decided that one of the strategies they won't be including in their Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Plan is "managed retreat."  Read more   here .

South African cities are setting their sights on "zero carbon" buildings.
Cities in South Africa have seen their fair share of climate-related emergencies, and so four of them are banding together to better tackle the problems at hand. Together, Cape Town, Johannesburg, eThekwini (Durban), and Tshwane (Pretoria), aim to cut climate-changing emissions by requiring new buildings to be more energy efficient.  Read more here .

Join leading public safety, transportation and governance experts for a discussion recent analysis from the WRI and Overseas Development Institute, which shows that it is possible to balance competing priorities and save lives by reframing road fatalities as a public health issue and by adopting a more integrated approach to road safety. Together, they will spotlight interventions that can reduce fatalities and serious injuries, identify ways that city officials can take to reframe the issue in public debates and point to steps that decision-makers can take to navigate tricky political dynamics.

When: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Where:  World Resources Institute, 
James A. Harmon Conference Center
10 G Street Northeast, #800
Washington, DC 20002

Learn more about the event here.
How do we raise awareness around the global housing crisis?

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married last weekend at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, they didn't simply walk down the aisle- they walked straight into the hearts and minds of millions of people from around the world, whether it was through binoculars, televisions or iPhones. But the talk and tizzy around the wedding wasn't just the dress designer or the guest list. Ever since a Windsor council leader sparked controversy by demanding that police remove homeless people from the vicinity by the day of the wedding, housing, the lack thereof, and the rising prevalence of homelessness (which is not only a result of a lack of affordable housing but can be an outcome of it) have been hot-button topics across the United Kingdom, conversations that have only been encouraged by the now-Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who named the U.K. national homelessness charity Crisis as one of seven organizations selected to receive official wedding gift donations. These conversations come at a critical time in the U.K.; about 160,000 households are experiencing homelessness, rough sleeping levels have increased by a whopping 132% since 2010 , and as of 2014, 44% of working families couldn't afford rent/mortgage for one month. But despite acknowledging the affordable housing crisis, the British government has responded to the issue at a fairly slow pace.

The situation in Britain is not alone in its scope or in its invisibility, and as the British prince married an American woman, the conversation has so broadened to include the similar plight of housing in the United States. In the U.S., housing prices are rising to alarmingly high levels even in cities with comparatively low costs of living; homelessness has reached "epidemic proportions" on the West Coast, and there is a growing divide between the affordable housing goals of the federal government and those of advocates (the Department of Housing and Urban Development just got slapped with a lawsuit from housing advocacy groups over the January suspension of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act (AFFH) ). The louder conversations on housing that bookended the royal wedding are certainly beneficial to raising awareness of the crisis, a global challenge that is by no means limited to the U.K. and the U.S. But the problem is bigger than the attention it's receiving. The question is, how do we highlight the issues of affordable housing and homelessness on the days when a prince and princess are not available?

Read the full blog here .

To learn more about IHC Global's policy priorities, click here.
News In the news and around the web
  • Losing your local newspaper doesn't just mean you lose the Sunday funnies; you're also losing a valuable watchdog.
  • At Venice's Architectural Biennale, making something extraordinary out of ordinary urban spaces is the new thing.
  • Listen to the Women in Public Service's interview with UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, where she talks about her new role, her work as a female urban planner and mayor, and her advice to women and girls around the world.
  • To raise awareness of the housing crisis in Berlin, activists have turned to squatting.

The Finnish entry into the Venice Architectural Biennale is all about the quiet beauty of your local library.
Source: Guardian Cities
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