April 2013 issue: Gender and Urban Change
Urbanization 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.
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.
April 2012 issue: Documenting the undocumented
The 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.