Weekly Urban News Update
October 5th, 2018
In This Update
Urban October
Opportunity Atlas: Rethinking Economic Mobility
Vision Vancouver: A Consensus on Affordable Housing
The Vancouver Example: Lessons for in Affordable Housing
Urban Crime: The Safest and Most Dangerous Cities for Women and Girls
What We're Listening To: Combating Urban Violence in the Americas
This Week in Photos
Urban October

IHC Global CEO Speaks at FIABCI for World Habitat Day
IHC Global CEO and President Judith Hermanson spoke at FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation's World Habitat Day event, "A Global Dialogue on Affordable Housing." Dr. Hermanso n joined experts in a panel on "Utilizing Technology and Architecture in Sheltering,"
where she brought an international perspective. She spoke about the advantages that technologies such as GPS enabled mapping and smart tools for enhancing water access contribute to cities. She also stressed the importance of integrated solutions and advance anticipation and planning if cities are to be diverse and inclusive,  citing the "No Time to Waste: Lessons Learned from 50 Years of Housing Policy in Latin America," written by IHC Global Senior Technical Advisor Eduardo Rojas

Urban October on Twitter
In recognition of Urban October, IHC Global is excited to share an #UrbanArticle a day on how communities can implement policies and procedures that will galvanize urban economies and provide opportunities for every citizen. Follow us on Twitter  @IHCGlobal for daily urban news articles throughout October!
The Rural-Urban Divide and Economic Mobility

Opportunity Atlas: Complicating Economic Mobility
This week, Opportunity Insights, a research collaboration between Harvard Universtity, Brown University, and the U.S. Census Bureau published the Opportunity Atlas, an interactive map that provides extensive data on economic mobility in cities, towns, and counties across the United States.

Richard Florida, University of Toronto Professor and co-founder of CityLab has written extensively on urban inequality and the middle class .   As   Florida observes, the idea of economic mobility frequently conjures up images of "savvy, ambitious kids from the cities and suburbs of...New York, Boston and San Francisco getting ahead," while children from "isolated, rural areas fall further and further behind."  But Opportunity Atlas data suggests that  rural counties surpass urban areas in rates of economic mobility, implying that " upward mobility is a function of remoteness." Opportunity Atlas may prove invaluable for future urban research: Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham concludes, at its minimum, Opportunity Atlas demonstrates that " our understanding of how places shape who we are and how we live is still in its infancy."
Vancouver Tackles Affordable Housing

Housing and Economic Mobility in Vancouver 
In July, an extensive study by Professor Andy Yan, Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, concluded that metropolitan Vancouver was the most expensive housing market in North America, surpassing cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto. But recently, Vancouver has caught the attention of urbanists and policymakers for a different reason. This past week, the Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to create the Vancouver Affordable Housing Endowment Fund. The Fund promises to finance and produce 72,000 units of affordable housing over the next ten years. This development, explains  The Globe and Mail,  did not emerge organically. Rather, the efforts of Vision Vancouver City Councilor Andrea Reimer, Mayor Gregor Robertson, and housing sector officials and professionals made the unanimous vote a reality.

The Vancouver Example: Lessons in Affordable Housing
In  The Mandarin this week,  Carolyn Whitzman, Katrina Raynor, and Matthew Palm argue  that Vancouver's efforts to promote affordable housing provide an excellent example of how cities can address big housing affordability problems. The authors hope to  influence policymakers in Melbourne, but much of the advice is practical and applicable for all cities struggling to manage housing.  Read  to see  how your city might match up. 
Crime in Cities: Approaching Urban Violence Globally

The Safest and Most Dangerous Cities for Women and Girls
This week, Plan International published a report, "Girls' Safety in Cities Across the World." The NGO surveyed gender-based rights in 22 different cities. Plan International examined incidents of harassment, assault, legal protections and their actual implementation, and the extent to which women could successfully advocate for themselves in policy making. Stockholm scored the highest on safety for sexual harassment, while  Johannesburg and Bogota  were scored as some of the most dangerous cities for women

The publication of the Plan International report is especially timely given yesterday's announcement that the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize awardees were Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad. Dr. Mukwege has treated thousands of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ms. Murad, a Yazidi Kurdish activist once kidnapped and enslaved by ISIS has done extraordinary work advocating for Yazidi Kurds, especially female victims.
 The recognition of their work , along with the much needed urban perspective provided by Plan International, is a reminder of the importance of combating gender-based violence for women's empowerment.

What We're Listening To: Combating Urban Violence in the Americas
The latest  Chicago Council Deep Dish podcast episode featured a panel on " Cities Combating Urban Violence," including Flavia Carbonari, a World Bank citizen security expert, Mario Maciel from San Jose's Gang Prevention Task Force, and Santiago Uribe, Medellin's Chief Resilience Officer. The panelists agreed that cultural contexts were crucial for measuring and responding to urban violence, but emphasized that municipal policymakers must be willing to share and engage with their counterparts in different cities across the world t o best implement holistic approaches to curbing violence in cities. 
This Week in Photos
  • Unequal Scenes in Mumbai:  Last month, the Weekly Update linked to photographer Johnny Miller's Unequal Scenes photo series, showcased in the BBC. This week, Business Insider delves deeper into Miller's work on extreme poverty in Mumbai.
  • Recycling Trucks in Color: D.C. commissioned local artists to redesign fifteen city recycling trucks to encourage sustainability. 
  • Photographing the U.N: CNN highlights the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly - including an appearance by the three-month old daughter of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
In Mumbai, slums sit adjacent to some of India's most expensive real estate.
Photo credit: Johnny Miller, "Unequal Scenes."
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