Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Latest blogs

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.

How can cities in poor countries raise funds for major infrastructure projects? Sarah Colenbrander and Denise Chan look at two success stories and suggest how local governments can build their financial skills and credibility with investors. 

From 'natural disasters' causing large-scale destruction to slow-onset crises such as droughts, through to conflict and persecution, the number of people around the world needing humanitarian assistance is growing – and increasingly, they are found in urban areas.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is comprised of the most water scarce countries in the world. Since 2011, the wave of violent conflicts and protracted crises hitting MENA has badly aggravated the situation. A new study looks at how to improve resilience of water services in the region.

New research confirms the importance of urban planning in empowering local governments and communities to manage their own recovery after a humanitarian crisis. Elizabeth Parker argues that humanitarian agencies can support the challenging planning process by sharing knowledge, experience, staff, tools and technology.

Institutions such as religious and cultural associations are helping refugees meet their basic needs in urban settings. Humanitarian agencies should support, not ignore, the work of these groups, argues Will Monteith

The idea of a 'Special Planning Area' might not immediately be alluring. But for the residents of Mukuru, one of the largest 'slums' in Nairobi, this mundane phrase hides the potential for a radical transformation in their homes and lives.

Guest blogger Katharina Neureiter explores whether impact investors are missing a trick by not engaging with community groups. 

A decade on from the global financial crisis, can the world's banks and financial institutions learn about value and values from grassroots savings schemes that help the world's lowest-income people?

International definitions of the poverty line don't take into the account the additional costs of living in cities. Sarah Colenbrander says the urban poor can help institutions such as the United Nations and the World Bank develop accurate, local, definitions of urban poverty.

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