Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal
E and U Oct 2018 cover detail


Current issue: Co-production: taking stock of achievements and possibilities

Co-production, or service delivery in partnership between citizens and the public sector, has come a long way in the decades since it was first conceptualized. In urban areas, co-production is being applied to water and sanitation provision, to post-disaster rebuilding, and to housing upgrading, among other uses.

This issue of Environment and Urbanization explores the range of urban co-production in the global South. Three papers profile urban poor groups in Namibia, Kenya and Thailand, explaining their history of working with and through government. Other papers focus on tools of co-production, applied in specific circumstances: memoranda of understanding in Zimbabwe, community mapping in the Philippines, and a network of knowledge production spanning multiple continents. Still others reflect on the nature of co-production, and how it relates to the strategies of urban social movements and the concept of intersectionality.

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Book notes

This book begins with a funeral. In the Durban settlement of Kennedy Road, Zithulele Dhlomo, a 27-year-old scrap metal collector, died in the two-room shack he inhabited with four other families. A candle set the plastic sheet walls on fire, and Dhlomo burned to death. Dhlomo’s death galvanized activists into demanding the electrification of the Kennedy Road shacks, so that residents would not need to rely on unsafe alternatives like candles. The problem was not that residents were ignorant of fire safety, as condescending NGO programmes implied.

Atlas of West African Urban Food Systems is a snapshot of the food systems of Tamale, Ghana and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. These are changing amidst a transition from subsistence to commercial food production, increasing concern with food contamination, and a shift in urban diets toward more rice and meat. The report emerged from the UrbanFoodPlus project funded by the German government, which brings together research partners from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cameroon, Mali, Nigeria and Germany.

Latest blogs

How far can ‘co-production’ improve the lives of the one in seven of the global population living in informal settlements without secure tenure or adequate access to services? Authors of the October 2018 issue of Environment and Urbanization (E&U) tackle this question by analysing the potentials and shortcomings of co-production.
There is a new way to finance community-driven development, working with local funds set up and managed by grassroots organisations. This can work well at scale with local governments to meet basic needs and reduce urban poverty. David Satterthwaite explains why it’s time external agencies took note of this. 
The New Urban Agenda sets ambitious sustainability objectives for cities of all sizes. At the 9th World Urban Forum, IIED worked with local governments on how to deliver against the wide-ranging goals. Alexandra Norodom reflects on the power of inclusive processes.

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E&U's sister journal  Medio Ambiente y Urbanizacion focusses on Latin America

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