Latest news and publications from IIED's Human Settlements Group.
IIED urban newsletter
Welcome to our latest urban newsletter.

This issue highlights the important work of the Urban ARK project, a 3 year international research and capacity building programme focusing on risk reduction in sub-Saharan African cities. IIED is one of 12 partners in this important piece of work. 

As always, we also share our recent news, blogs and work from the last two months. All the publications listed and many more are available to download free of charge. Print copies of publications will continue to be sent where requested. Please do feel free to get in touch with any feedback.

Kate Lewis - Human Settlements Group
 

News

Coalition for Urban Transitions

Coalition for Urban Transitions membership


IIED is now a member of a major new international initiative; the Coalition for Urban Transitions. The Coalition aims to support decision makers to use the power of cities for enhanced national economic, social, and environmental performance, including reducing the risk of climate change. All the latest papers can be found online to download. 
Resilient Cities

ICLEI Resilient Cities


At the ICLEI Resilient Cities Congress 2017 held from 4-6 May in Bonn, Germany, IIED organised a panel discussion entitled 'Towards resilience in the face of urban displacement – learning from Africa, Asia and the Middle East'. The discussion was part of work we are carrying out under our Urban Crises Learning Fund. Speakers shared experiences from Ramallah (Palestine), Amman (Jordan), Kampala (Uganda) and Tacloban (the Philippines). Diane Archer reflects. 
April 2017 E&U cover

E&U is on facebook


All the latest updates from Environment and Urbanization can now be found on our facebook page. We publish relevant and topical content, news, blogs, and videos on here related to E&U, and we welcome links, comment, chat and posts from you related to the field of urban poverty. 
Urban Crises

Stronger Cities Initiative toolkits launched


The Stronger Cities Initiative, part of the Urban Crises project, has launched a series of practical guidance notes and toolkits to be able to put urban response principles into practice, from understanding urban contexts and the diversity of needs of displaced people to the application of area-based and integrated approaches for programming. 

All publications from the Urban Crises project can also be found on our publications database.
 

Project - Urban ARK

Urban Africa risk knowledge


Urban ARK (Africa Risk Knowledge) seeks to open up an applied research and policy agenda for identifying risks in urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Led by Kings College London, it is formed of 12 policy and academic organisations, including IIED. The programme aims to reduce disaster risk in urban sub-Saharan Africa by breaking cycles of risk accumulation.

 
African urbanisation: Implications for risk accumulation and reduction
African urbanisation: Implications for risk accumulation and reduction

The extent to which cities in Africa face climate change and natural hazard related disaster risks is shaped by much more than just their exposure to hazard. Past and current patterns of urban growth and development have shaped the context of risk in multiple ways.
Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge – A Research Agenda
Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge – A Research Agenda

Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK), based in nine cities across sub-Saharan Africa, aims to break cycles of urban risk accumulation by bringing together science and policy actors in the production of knowledge and action – an approach we call ‘co-production’. New risk reduction innovations are being developed, providing our partners with a real chance to ensure that sub- Saharan Africa’s increasingly urban future is more resilient and sustainable.
African Urbanisation and Urbanism: Implications for risk accumulation and reduction
African Urbanisation and Urbanism: Implications for risk accumulation and reduction

The purpose of this background paper is to describe recent trends in African urban centres, review potential future trajectories of these, and examine their possible implications for risk accumulation and risk reduction. 
The data gap: An analysis of data availability on disaster losses in sub-Saharan African Cities
The data gap: An analysis of data availability on disaster losses in sub-Saharan African Cities

This paper examines the availability of data on disaster losses in urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and what this data tells us. 
IIED's urban matters blog

URBAN MATTERS

IIED's Urban Matters blog focuses on urban poverty, reducing urban risk and rural-urban linkages. It is part of IIED’s hub for research and action to influence policy and practice.
Who can we trust to measure urban poverty?
Who can we trust to measure urban poverty? 

International definitions of the poverty line don't take into the account the additional costs of living in cities. The urban poor can help institutions such as the United Nations and the World Bank develop accurate, local, definitions of urban poverty.

Bloomberg and public health: did he get it right?
Bloomberg and public health: did he get it right?

While welcoming the support from Michael Bloomberg for a new city-focused global public health initiative, David Satterthwaite and Sarah Colenbrander raise concerns about what is not included.
 
Coping with forced displacement: lessons from cities
Coping with forced displacement: lessons from cities

People forced to leave their homes are often displaced for many years, and most end up in urban areas. So how can host cities become more resilient while managing such crises? A meeting last week shared learning from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Reducing risks in urban centres: think 'local, local, local'
Reducing risks in urban centres: think 'local, local, local'  

Urban centres can be among the world's most healthy places to live and work – but many are among the least. How healthy they are is powerfully influenced by local government competence, local information, and support for local action.
Sustainable cities: the nexus between resilience and resource efficiency
Sustainable cities: the nexus between resilience and resource efficiency

A new report explores how cities can increase their resilience and resource efficiency – but highlights possible tensions between these two environmental agendas. 
 

Latest publications

Refugees in urban Egypt: it’s time to reassess UNHCR’s 2009 Policy on refugee protection and solutions in urban areas
This briefing assesses how UNHCR’s 2009 policy on refugees in cities could be further developed to help resolve the difficulties faced in Egypt.
Tackling violence against women and girls in urban humanitarian crises: the case of Gaza
Tackling violence against women and girls in urban humanitarian crises: the case of Gaza

Gaza, a mostly urban and densely populated area, chronically experiences complex emergencies, with bouts of acute violence. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is aggravated by the exposure to ongoing and acute political violence. VAWG protection and support services are mainly delivered by local non-state actors, and better information on the vulnerabilities of women and girls and the dynamics of violence against them would help to improve their services. 
 
Urban planning following humanitarian crises: Supporting local government to take the lead in the Philippines following super typhoon Haiyan
Urban planning following humanitarian crises: Supporting local government to take the lead in the Philippines following super typhoon Haiyan

In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of the importance of humanitarian agencies supporting and collaborating with local governments in order to restore city functions following humanitarian crisis. This research aimed to identify, document and disseminate learning from UN–Habitat’s experience providing urban planning support to three Local Government Units (LGUs) in Guiuan, Ormoc and Tacloban after super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
 
Aid in context: the importance of market-based approaches to aid delivery in northern Syria
Aid in context: the importance of market-based approaches to aid delivery in northern Syria

Aid in northern Syria focuses inflexibly on food kits that are expensive to administer, designed to satisfy short-term needs. Many people sell their food aid to pay for other urgent needs. Urban communities’ capacity to do business in wartime conditions is a clear strength that humanitarian aid should support. It is time to shift from focusing on food aid to using context-sensitive, market-based approaches that leverage benefits from existing local strengths, resources and capacities.

All these recent publications form part of our Urban Crises work. 

Partner spotlight

sdi logo
SDI (the slum and shack dwellers international) is a network of community-based organisations of the urban poor in 32 countries and hundreds of cities and towns across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The human settlements group at iied work closely with sdi to help strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them — from village councils to international conventions.

SDI’s city-wide profiling work has fed the growth of the 'Know Your City' Campaign; a project providing community-driven data on slums. This work creates alternative systems of knowledge that are owned by the communities and have become the basis of a unique social and political argument that supports an informed and united voice of the urban poor. This data is freely available to all to search.
 
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The urban newsletter is produced every two months by IIED's human settlements group. Our work focuses upon urban poverty and environmental issues. 
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