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

Uganda has a progressive national refugee policy that grants freedom of movement, the right to work and rights to basic services, enabling refugees to pursue livelihoods in cities and beyond traditional camps. However, in reality many urban refugees face challenges in accessing basic services, which deserve further attention. IIED is working with a grassroots refugee organization, Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID), to train refugees to gather data on the experiences of displaced communities in Kampala.

The City as a Global Political Actor develops a nuanced and contextualized understanding of global urban political agency and its contribution to answering the question of how cities (can) act politically on the global scale. This book enriches a burgeoning scholarly debate brought on by a recent proliferation of pro-urban literature, epitomized by Benjamin Barber’s If Mayors Ruled the World. In Chapter 4, Gilles Pinson outlines some of the underlying assumptions of this literature, providing context to the debate.

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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