Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal
E and U Oct 2016 cover detail

Current issue: Urban Livelihoods

The network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) guest edited this issue, drawing on its experience of working since 1997 to improve the situation of the working poor in the informal economy. The themed papers in this issue therefore focus on informal employment in particular sectors and contexts, providing both comprehensive surveys of the related literature and grounded accounts of the working lives of specific groups. The occupational groups span street vendors, waste pickers, fisherwomen, and home-based workers.

Geographically, the papers examine India (Ahmedabad and Udupi), South Africa (Durban), Tanzania (Arusha) and Peru (Lima). And in terms of theme, the papers explore the ways gender, youth, class and caste intersect with employment that is often precarious or under-valued, as well as the resourceful solutions that the urban informal workforce is drawing upon to improve health, safety, and earnings. All this leads to concrete policy suggestions for ways to strengthen urban livelihoods. A strong gendered component runs through the papers on urban livelihoods, as WIEGO particularly works to mobilize female workers.


Book notes

The City in the Making, by Marcel Hénaff, explores the making of the future city. In doing so it bridges the fields of anthropology, philosophy and urbanism, whilst providing a poetic read. It starts by looking at the ancient cities of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia. Then it moves through time and place to explore how cities have evolved and what this implies for the future of the city. In particular Hénaff questions whether urbanization creates an urban planet or if, ironically, it causes the dissolution of the city.

Men, Masculinities and Disaster brings into view the place and role of masculinities, how they are socially constructed, and how they enter into all phases of the disaster cycle. It stems from the collaboration between its editors, Elaine Enarson (an independent scholar in Colorado, USA) and Bob Pease (a professor at the University of Tasmania), who share a kindred interest in the interlinkages between gender and disasters (page 4). They position this book to address the invisibility of men as gendered actors in disaster studies.

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