Weekly Urban News Update
January 19th, 2018
In This Update

A few weeks ago, a story swept twitter into a frenzy: Elon Musk denounced public transit with some fiery insults, and the subsequent cascade of online debate included counterarguments ranging from positive transit experiences to data regarding how much transit has improved over the years. Public transportation does not, in Musk's words, 'suck'; it is an invaluable cog in the urban machine. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. The woes of transportation systems are varied, and omnipresent. This week, two stories focused on the challenges of urban transport in the United States and France.

The United States is facing a broad sweep of challenges related to public transit: lack of investment, poor urban planning around transit, sexual harassment, and persisting inequality that is only exacerbated by increased fares. Meanwhile, a unique challenge has emerged in Paris, where drug selling and drug usage has increased so dramatically in metro stations that drivers often skip the overrun stops altogether. Ahead of the World Urban Forum, it is important to recognize the challenges of transit around the world, on a macro scale and a micro scale. As City Metric points out, if Elon Musk's comments bring these issues to the front of our minds at WUF, then so be it.

Read more about the drug problem in Paris here, and the problems with transit in the U.S. here.

After three years of unprecedented drought, Cape Town's water supply is on its last legs, and is expected to run dry in 90 days if no steps are taken. This isn't an exaggeration; officials have determined the day of reckoning is April 22. Officials have decided that once the city's reservoir capacity gets down to 13.5% (the last 10% of water is unusable due to slit and debris), the municipal water service will be turned off for all but essential services. So how did Cape Town get here? The drought- spurred on by climate change- takes much of the blame, but the rapidly growing population has vastly outpaced any growth in the water supply as well. Time breaks down the facts: what's happening, when it's happening, why it's happening and what can be done before it's too late. As droughts and other climate disasters become more common, what happens in Cape Town will be a lesson for how other cities can approach water shortages in the future.

Read the full article here.
BUniversity of Chicago Final Breakfast Briefing for WUF9

The University of Chicago Office of Federal Relations is hosting a final breakfast briefing ahead of the World Urban Forum (WUF9).  The  breakfast will provide a forum for the exchange of policy perspectives, insights, and final planning details prior to departure to Kuala Lumpur. Speakers will include IHC Global Director for Global Programs Karly Kiefer, Next City President and CEO Tom Dalessio, and Habitat for Humanity Director of International Affairs and Programs Jane Katz, among many other representatives of the public, private, non-profit, philanthropic and academic sectors. Speakers will introduce the various frameworks for sustainable and inclusive urban development that U.S. participants plan to share with our international counterparts at WUF.  The breakfast will aim to not only provide a road map for participation in WUF9 but will reinforce the dynamic relationship among U.S. actors beyond the forum. 
When: Monday, Jan 22, 2018 
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
Where:  University of Chicago, Office of Federal Relations
1730 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Ste. 275
Washington DC 20006

The global refugee crisis is not only an international challenge, but an increasingly urban challenge. The epicenters of refugee migration have had to learn this the rough way, as the new homes to and the crossroads for tens of millions of people. Join the Center for the United States and Europe for a discussion on how Turkey, the country that sits uncomfortably between Syria and the rest of the West, has coped with this momentous task, and the lessons the government has learned from housing and integrating over 3.5 millions refugees in the country. Panelists will discuss the difficulties refugees face in accessing legal employment and the need for livelihood programs in Turkey's urban centers, the attitudes of the Turkish public toward refugee integration, as well as attitudes of the refugees themselves toward their host societies, and how Turkey's experience could relate to the broader issues surrounding global refugee governance and inform the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (a component of the Global Compact on Refugees).
When: Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM EST
Where:  Brookings Institution
Saul/Zilkha Room
1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20036

Learn more about the event   here.
Feature IHC Global Urban Feature: The World Urban Forum
What to expect from IHC Global at the World Urban Forum

The Issue
The days are ticking down until the ninth World Urban Forum (WUF9) begins, and IHC Global is eagerly anticipating a week's worth of diplomatic exchanges, dialogues and events focusing on urban development and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. The World Urban Forum is the next in a series of global conferences on urban issues. It will focus on the theme "Cities 2030 - Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda," and take on three facets of this theme: sustainable urban development for social inclusion and ending poverty, sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all, and environmentally sustainable and resilient urban development. The conference will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from February 7-13. 

Over 20,000 people are expected to attend the conference, and hundreds of national and local governments, members of the private sector and civil society organizations will be traveling to Kuala Lumpur to host and participate in events discussing every and any aspect of urban life. The goals of the conference are to raise awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders and constituencies, including the general public; improve the collective knowledge of sustainable urban development through inclusive open debates, sharing of lessons learned and the exchange of best practices and good policies; and increase coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders and constituencies for the advancement and implementation of sustainable urbanization. IHC Global is looking forward to helping achieve these goals.

IHC Global at WUF
IHC Global will be attending WUF with a jam-packed schedule highlighting the core issues at the heart of our policy and action agenda. IHC Global will be hosting three events:  From Theory to Reality: Using Data to Move the Bar on Property Rights for Women and the Most Vulnerable;   No Time To Waste:  Housing Policy and Advancing the New Urban Agenda; and Smart City, Just City: Working Towards a New Paradigm, an event that will unveil our new campaign to develop a policy framework to advance urban development that embraces technology of many sorts to make cities more equitable.

IHC Global will also be participating in a number of events and panels for WUF9. Ahead of the conference, IHC Global Director for Global Programs Karly Kiefer will be speaking at a pre-WUF urban policy breakfast hosted by the University of Chicago. During the conference, IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson will be speaking at an event hosted by the University of Chicago, discussing how to use data to promote the inclusion and empowerment of people living in  slums and informal settlements. Hermanson will also be speaking at an event for FIABCI, discussing how to turn urban density into prosperity. Many of our members and partners will also be hosting or participating in events, including the Land Alliance, the Affordable Housing Institute, Habitat for Humanity International, the International City/County Management Association, the World Urban Campaign and more.  IHC Global will be engaged in these and many other activities and we look forward to seeing many of our members and broader network there!
For more about the World Urban forum, visit our website page here or click here.

To learn more about IHC Global's Key Policy Topics, which are both barriers and gateways to better, more equitable urban development, click here
News In the news and around the web
  • China's infrastructure plans can help all of Asia's growing metropolises.
  • Should the 'sanctuary cities' be a reason for courts to stop issuing national rules for local cases?
  • There are only 20 cities left in the race for Amazon's new headquarters.
  • Putting a whole new meaning to trainers, these Adidas shoes can double as transit passes in Berlin.

An empty New York City street in the midst of January's "bomb cyclone" snow storm that hit much of the United States' East Coast.
     Source: Business Insider
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