Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Current issue

October 2016: Urban livelihoods

 
E and U Oct 2016 cover detailThe 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.
 
The papers on climate change in cities address adaptation at two different levels: collaborative production of a municipal climate adaptation plan in Bergrivier, South Africa; and the adaptation of wetland communities in Kampala, Uganda to flood risk and other vulnerabilities.
 
In the Feedback section, the three papers on India analyse the successes and failures of initiatives in three informal settlements: grassroots efforts to upgrade housing in Mumbai, basic service provision to migrants in Ludhiana, and canal reclamation that threatened to displace canal-side residents of Kolkata. The two papers on China both make use of political and historical analysis, to understand urbanization policy before and after the Millennium Development Goals, and the factors behind China’s urban sprawl in the past 20 years. The remaining papers address the take-up of basic services in low-income areas: a new type of toilet in Kumasi, Ghana; and efficient lighting technologies in the Kibera settlement of Nairobi.
 

 


April 2016: From the MDGs to the SDGs and Habitat III

E and U Apr 2016 cover detailIn 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals. And the UN Conference Habitat III to be held in October 2016 is meant to agree on “the new urban agenda” through which these goals are to be met. This issue of Environment and Urbanization looks critically at whether the much-needed changes in urban policy and practice will be achieved. It includes papers on:

  • what inclusive urbanization actually means (and whether governments will act on it)
  • the rapidly expanding urban agenda but with diminishing expectations for Habitat III
  • the return to large, heavily subsidized and inappropriate mass housing
  • the high rates of return that can come from good urban policy
  • whether we need a new urban agenda for refugees/those displaced by conflict
  • whether urban centres are taken seriously in the post-2015 Agenda
  • indicators that allow cities to measure and monitor their SDG performance
  • missing the MDG targets for water and sanitation in urban areas
  • getting public and environmental health back into urban agendas

The papers on climate change in cities examine how vulnerability and adaptation are shaped by particular spatial contexts, community practices and political decisions in Dakar, Brazilian municipalities and Rio Branco.

Papers in Feedback describe the varied responses to inadequate services and infrastructure in urban areas, with a particular focus on informal settlements. These encompass young entrepreneurs providing critical sanitation services in Kisumu, urban poor federations building housing in Mumbai, and wetland communities adapting to flood risk in Kampala. Other papers examine the effectiveness of communal toilets in Kisumu, the decline of rental housing in Mumbai, and how the Ahmedabad government’s infrastructure projects not only displaced large numbers of low-income groups, but also passed on costs as well as maintenance and management responsibilities to those in the resettlement sites.


View full contents and access papers in this issue

 


October 2015: Sanitation and drainage in cities II

E and U Oct 2015 cover detailIn light of the failure to reach the sanitation target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this issue of Environment and Urbanization explores methodological, political, financial and other challenges to measuring and improving sanitation in urban areas.

This is the second 2015 issue of Environment and Urbanization to cover sanitation and drainage. Only one of the countries covered in these two issues met its MDG target. Some even saw their urban populations’ access to improved sanitation decline from the start of the reporting period in 1990. These papers are therefore very timely given the global discussion around how to ensure the stronger performance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, as the editorial points out, it will be essential to establish a robust monitoring system to actually implement the SDGs.

The themed papers in this issue cover Maputo (Mozambique), Johannesburg (South Africa), Mumbai and Chandigarh (India), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Lusaka (Zambia), Cap Haitien (Haiti), Shanghai (China) and Accra (Ghana). Topics covered include the realities and limitations of market-driven sanitation services; the interplay of politics and history in determining the context of urban sanitation; the role of tenure in sanitation decisions; and innovations in the management of waste. Several papers address the prevalence of communal sanitation in poor urban environments, despite shared sanitation not falling under the definition of “improved” sanitation. The papers also highlight that progress in extending sanitation access has been highly uneven.

The papers on climate change provide examples of positive steps toward resilience. These cover Uganda (where residents of informal settlements are engaging in participatory resilience building) and Indonesia (where two cases of adaptation in riverbank settlements are compared).

The feedback section features a paper documenting how urban poor leaders have set their own national poverty lines. Other papers explore climate and health in informal urban settlements and uneven disaster risk in Tigre, Buenos Aires.

Articles on:

  • EDITORIAL: Will urban sanitation “leave no one behind”?
  • Development and application of a methodology to assess sanitary risks in Maputo, Mozambique
  • Using tenure to build a “sanitation cityscape”: narrowing decisions for targeted sanitation interventions
  • State-led versus community-initiated: stormwater drainage and informal settlement intervention in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Opportunities and limits to market-driven sanitation services: evidence from urban informal settlements in East Africa
  • Sites of entitlement: claim, negotiation and struggle in Mumbai
  • Evaluation of a closed-loop sanitation system in a cold climate: a case from peri-urban areas of Mongolia
  • Reworking the relation between sanitation and the city in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • The role of power, politics and history in achieving sanitation service provision in informal urban environments: a case study of Lusaka, Zambia
  • The urban sanitation conundrum: what can community-managed programmes in India unravel?
  • User perceptions of and willingness to pay for household container-based sanitation services: experience from Cap Haitien, Haiti
  • Everyday practices of sanitation under uneven urban development in contemporary Shanghai
  • Urban sanitation in India: key shifts in the national policy frame
  • Solid waste management and sustainable cities in India: the case of Chandigarh
  • Public toilets and their customers in low-income Accra, Ghana

Climate Change in cities

  • Local and participatory approaches to building resilience in informal settlements in Uganda
  • A tale of two cities: comparing alternative approaches to reducing the vulnerability of riverbank communities in two Indonesian cities


Feedback

  • How urban poor community leaders define and measure poverty
  • Climate and health in informal urban settlements
  • Present-day capitalist urbanization and unequal disaster risk


View full contents and access papers in this issue
 


April 2015: Sanitation and drainage in cities

In much of Africa and Asia, provision for sanitation and drainage in urban areas has improved little. In many, it has got worse as today, a higher proportion of residents lack provision than in 1990 or 2000.
 
This issue of Environment and Urbanization has many papers showing new approaches. They include innovations in Blantyre (Malawi), Chinhoyi (Zimbabwe), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Kitwe (Zambia) on matching needs with what can be afforded and working with local government.  A paper on Chinhoyi reports on community-led mapping and enumeration of sanitation to inform a city-wide sanitation strategy while a paper on Mumbai (India) shows the scale and reach of community toilets and a paper on Cap Haitien (Haiti) reviews the experience with container-based toilets.
 
There are also papers on: how poorly the sanitation needs of adolescent girls are met; violence, gender and water and sanitation; and scoring cities in India for sanitation and cities in China for health and hygiene. Three papers look at building urban resilience to climate change: in Warri (Nigeria); Bandar Lampung (Indonesia); and the University of Ibadan (Nigeria). A fourth paper on resilience discusses its use in wider sustainability challenges. There are also papers on: the impact of participatory budgeting in 20 cities; displacement in Ahmedabad; land contestation in Karachi; rural-urban interlinkages in China; sustainability and neoliberal urban restructuring; and post-disaster reconstruction in Llico, Chile.

October 2014 issue: Conflict and violence in 21st century cities

This discusses the dramatic increase in conflict in urban areas and a paradigm shift in the approach to managing violence. Violence in cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America can no longer be seen as a problem which can be overcome through development programmes. It also provides new insights which could help those affected to manage violence on a day-to-day basis, as well as empower them to question and address the causes.

 It includes papers on: urban violence and displacement of Colombian migrants to London; partnerships for women’s safety in the city; gangs in global perspective; violence in post-invasion Kabul and in post-war Juba; exploring insecurity, violence and resilience in the fragile city; the “humanitarianization” of urban violence; visible and invisible violence in Santiago; and knowledge transfer on urban violence: from Brazil to Haiti.

The Feedback section has four case studies on water governance – in eThekwini Municipality (South Africa), Guarulhos (Brazil), and Lima and Arequipa (Peru).  It also has papers reflecting on urban citizenship, impoverishment and inequality in Delhi, urban fantasies and emerging realities from Luanda, policy-relevant differences in slum types and adaptation strategies in Bangalore and addressing disaster risk in a small town in Malawi

View full contents and access papers in this issue


E and U april 2014 cover

April 2014 issue: Towards resilience and transformation for cities II

After an editorial on how to get local governments, residents and enterprises to respond to the new IPCC Fifth Assessment, four papers discuss different aspects of resilience. These include how the IPCC understands transformative adaptation; how resilience must be coupled with transformation; what cities are doing to build resilience to disasters; and building resilience in an informal settlement. Six papers show the full spectrum of responses to climate change, while another paper reviews urban residents’ coping and adaptive practices. There are also papers on the highly inappropriate city plans being developed in sub-Saharan Africa and India; on urban poverty in Zambia; participatory budgeting in Chengdu, China; community upgrading in Manila; and participatory methods for researching entrepreneurship.
 
 

October 2013 issue: Towards resilience and transformation for cities

This focuses on what builds resilience to climate change in cities – and beyond this, what contributes to mitigation and the avoidance of dangerous climate change. It includes case studies of climate change adaptation in Durban, Dar es Salaam and Rosario (Argentina), and others that address flood risks in Surat (India) and Bursa (Turkey). It also has papers that discuss shared learning for resilience thinking across 10 cities in Asia; the political underpinnings of resilience; methods for integrated assessments of climate impacts, adaptation and mitigation as applied to London and Durban; and governing urban climate change adaptation in China. The Feedback section includes papers on urbanization and economic growth; professional support to people’s organizations; formalizing informal recycling in Buenos Aires; watercourse sanitation in cities in Taiwan; incorporating agriculture into the Dar es Salaam master plan; and the costs of being “Olympic citizens” in Beijing.

 

View full contents and access papers in this issue


April 2013 issue: Gender and Urban Change

cover imageUrbanization is often associated with greater independence and opportunity for women – but also with high risks of violence and constraints on employment, mobility and leadership that reflect deep gender-based inequalities.  These issues are explored in the April 2013 issue of Environment and Urbanization, which is on Gender and Urban Change.  It includes papers on: where and when urban women enjoy advantages over their rural counterparts; community savings schemes that build women’s leadership and support upgrading;  how transport planning still fails to respond to women’s travel needs;  how urban contexts can reduce gender-based violence, although often they can increase it; how income and ideology influence women’s decision-making in rural and urban areas in Nicaragua; the changes in women’s participation in labour markets in Dhaka and the tensions this can generate within households;  what was learnt from a project working with girls and boys with disabilities in Mumbai; and the particular roles of women in seeking to get better services for their low-income/informal neighbourhoods in Bengalaru.

The editorial which has a summary of the key issues covered is open-access at http://eau.sagepub.com/content/25/1/3.full

This issue also has two papers on climate change, which are a detailed benefit-cost analysis applied to Durban; and the different responses of low-income tenants and squatters to adaptation in Khulna. Other papers include: the limitations in the Indian government’s Basic Services for the Urban Poor Programme;  the politics of non-payment for water in Manila’s low-income communities; community-managed reconstruction in Old Fadama (Accra) after a fire; developing a solid waste collection service in informal settlements in Managua; how well-connected individuals control land allocations and water supply in an informal settlement in Dhaka; and an assessment of provision for water, sanitation and waste collection in two informal settlements in Kumasi.

View full contents and access papers in this issue


October 2012 issue: Addressing poverty and inequality – new forms of urban governance in Asia

This issue has seven papers that consider the design and implementation of an ambitious Asia-wide initiative to support community-driven citywide upgrading − the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA).   Starting in 2009, this programme has supported 950 grassroots initiatives in 165 cities in 19 Asian nations and has set up Urban Poor Funds in more than 100 cities to help continue such support.  These initiatives were also to encourage and support communities to learn from each other and to work together to get the engagement and support of city governments for citywide upgrading.  

The papers consider different aspects of ACCA, including how it evolved and how it uses finance to support community action and engagement with local governments (and the setting up of national and city Urban Poor Funds). Also, how it supports collective processes within low-income communities, including: collective information collection (settlement mapping, citywide surveys); collective definition of problems and search for shared solutions; and bringing together savings networks.  One paper presents the perspectives of two community leaders from the Philippines on change-making by communities, and who helps or hinders them; another explains how the community initiatives are being assessed by peers (those engaged in comparable community initiatives) rather than outside ”experts” who have no experience of living in informal settlements on very low incomes; and another discusses the role of community architects and other professionals working in grassroots-directed initiatives.

Five papers are on climate change and cities: lessons from practice in Asia for building climate change resilience; addressing climate change in New York City; incorporating cities into the post-2012 climate change agreements; Ibadan’s vulnerability to wind hazards; and assessing climate change adaptation for water and sanitation providers.

Papers in Feedback include: why enumeration counts; the health and social implications of living in a non-notified slum in India; financing urban agriculture; and mapping and enumerating informal Roma settlements in Serbia.

View full contents and access papers in this issue


 

April 2012 issue: Documenting the undocumented

Environment and Urbanization coverThe April 2012 issue is on Mapping, enumerating and surveying informal settlements and cities. It includes case studies from Ghana, Kenya, India, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda of how the residents of informal settlements worked with grassroots leaders and local NGOs to map and survey their settlement. These discuss how this helped to develop better relations with local government and in some cases partnerships.  Also included is an account of how community-based enumerations started in India, a discussion of the role of architects in community mapping and planning, and a paper reviewing the environmental effects of informal urban expansion in Xalapa.

 

On climate change adaptation, there are papers on exploring ecosystem-based climate change adaptation in Durban, assessing flood protection measures in Dhaka and drawing in private finance to develop resilient cities.

It also has papers on revisiting a rehabilitation programme, 10 years after the earthquake in Gujarat, the fragmentation of urban landscapes worldwide, socioeconomic characteristics of informal dwellers in South Africa , assessing the performance of constructed wetlands in Thailand, the transformation of “villages in the city” in Guangzhou (China) and migration and mobility in a rapidly changing small town in Ethiopia.

View full contents and access papers in this issue


October 2015: Sanitation and drainage in cities II