October 2018 

Urban newsletter

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Hello from IIED's Human Settlements Group,

In our newsletter we highlight our key recent publications, news and project updates. This month we're pleased to share our latest issue of flagship journal Environment & Urbanization. We've been busy securing exciting new projects to develop our work within the urban health sphere, and we say a sad farewell to one of our researchers, Diane Archer, who has joined SEI Asia as an urban research fellow based in Bangkok.

We welcome any comment and feedback from you. 

With best wishes,
Alexandra Norodom – Human Settlements Group


Home workers making bouquets (Photo: Siddharth Agarwal/UHRC)

Two new urban health projects to begin

IIED and partners are assessing the occupational, environmental and public health risks faced by workers in the informal economy. This project will explore responses to these risks with workers in India and Zimbabwe, while also helping to build their resilience to climate change. We will partner with the Training and Research Support Centre (TARSC), a non-profit organisation in Zimbabwe that conducts action-research and capacity-building activities on public health. In India, we are working with the Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC), a non-profit organisation that works closely with residents of informal settlements to promote health and nutrition. 

Our second project analyses urban refugees’ health vulnerabilities, health-seeking practices, barriers to care, and access to water, sanitation, and other vital infrastructure. We will be working with the Africa Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) in Nairobi, and Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID) in Kampala.
Jockin Arputham: 5 August 1947 - 13 October 2018

Remembering Jockin Arputham

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Jockin Arputham. He more than anyone has fought for the rights of ‘slum’/shack dwellers – going back to the early 1970s as he tried to stop the bulldozing of the settlement in which he lived. More on his influential work can be found in our Environment & Urbanization paper.
Flyer: Cities that work for people and the planet

New flyer: Cities that work for people and the planet

IIED has worked on urban environmental and poverty issues since the 1970s, aiming to support more equitable and sustainable development in urban centres in low- and middle-income countries. Find out more about our work in a new flyer.

Latest E&U journal now available

Our latest journal on Co-production:Taking stock of achievements and possibilities is hot off the press and a briefing Co-production in cities: providing services, empowering communities, changing relationships is also available to download free of charge. 

We now have a web based guide to all (90+) papers published in Environment & Urbanization on climate change and cities.

Submission call: We are calling for papers that examine food and nutrition related issues in urban areas for our October 2019 issue. 
Dr Siddharth Agarwal presents at Climate change, health and well-being for cities and informal settlements

Climate change, health and well-being for cities and informal settlements

On 9 July 2018, IIED hosted interdisciplinary urban health researchers from UCL, Imperial College, University of Warwick, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to discuss ongoing projects and opportunities to collaborate. They were joined by Dr Siddharth Agarwal, director of the Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC), which partners closely with residents of Indian informal settlements to improve health and enhance local governance.

That meeting was followed by a public event with Dr Agarwal, David Satterthwaite (IIED), and Sari Kovats (LSHTM) on ‘Climate change, health and well-being for cities and informal settlements.’ A recording of the event is available (.mp3 file).

Major projects

Publications from the Urban Crises Learning Fund

The Urban Crises Learning Fund

The Urban Crises Learning Fund has now officially closed. When the work began in 2015, there was very little documentation of the scale and nature of urban humanitarian crises, or of the ways in which a range of actors responded to them. We have developed new partnerships from refugee organisations in East Africa to global humanitarian agencies, which has helped to build understanding of this topic and how it intersects with the myriad other challenges facing cities in low- and middle-income countries. 

All of the final briefs and working papers from the urban humanitarian crises project can be found in the IIED publications library.

Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge

Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge (Urban-ARK) is a research and capacity-building programme seeking to understand the full spectrum of risks facing urban Africans, including everyday, small, and large disasters. Led by researchers at King’s College London and other academic, civil society, and grassroots partners in nine African cities, Urban-ARK has aimed to reduce disaster risks in African cities by breaking cycles of risk accumulation.This 3-year programme (funded by DFID and ESRC) has produced a range of publications.

Recent publications

Responding to Climate Change in Cities and in their Informal Settlements and Economies 

Responding to Climate Change in Cities and in their Informal Settlements and Economies 

This paper was prepared by IIED and IIED-América Latina for the IPCC for the International Scientific Conference on Cities and Climate Change in Edmonton, in March 2018.

SDI logo

Know Your City

IIED's Sarah Colenbrander, David Satterthwaite and Diana Mitlin contributed to SDI's publication, Know Your City: Slum Dwellers Count (pdf) prepared for the World Urban Forum 2018. This document profiles the work of SDI federations in data collection, demonstrating how community-led data is changing our understanding of urban poverty and inequality, and showing how data can build new relations with the formal world to secure “slum-friendly” cities.
Food (In)Security in Rapidly Urbanising, Low-Income Contexts 

Food (In)Security in Rapidly Urbanising, Low-Income Contexts 

Urbanisation in low and middle-income nations presents both opportunities and immense challenges. This paper written by Cecilia Tacoli for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, describes how, for the urban poor in low and middle-income countries, food affordability and utilisation are shaped by the income and non-income dimensions of poverty that include the urban space.

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