Museologia Social e Urbanismo XXIII

Raising living standards : Health

I’m Srinath Reddy,President, Public Health Foundation of India speaking to you from New Delhi. Today we will discuss Urban Health. You may ask ‘Why is urban health important all of a sudden?’ It is because many people are now currently living in urban areas, and more will be living in cities and towns as the years roll by. And this is not happening only in high-income countries, it is also true of low and middle-income countries. Indeed in some of the low and middle-income countries close to 80% are now living in  cities and towns in urban areas whereas in others, it’s around 30% now but it is increasing year by year. With the majority of the world’s population going to be living in the cities or in towns, urban health becomes an important consideration because that is where they’re going to be spending all or most of their lives.

Urban health becomes a particularly important problem because of the special characteristics of cities where people live not only in large numbers but highly crowded communities. And we find that some of the health problems arise because of the configuration of cities, the nature of services available or not available and some of the living conditions that are created by urban lifestyles.

So, if we are really trying to keep people healthy over a life course and are trying to provide them essential health services whenever they need, health planning has to become an important part and parcel of city planning or urban planning.

Unfortunately that’s not happening now and that’s why we find a very large number of health problems in our cities. One would intuitively think, and it’s to some extent is true, that people in cities are healthier than people living in rural areas – at least in the low and middle income countries where there is a fair amount of poverty, deprivation in the rural areas compared to cities. And one would think that a higher life expectancy in people who live in cities or in urban areas compared to people living in rural areas is an indicator that in general they’re living healthier lives.

That’s not really true. Firstly, the very high level of what we call morbidity or disease-related disability because of a number of diseases which may not kill early but certainly occupy a very large part of one’s life. Secondly, the urban poor are particularly disadvantaged and those living in slums or low-income communities and cities and towns experience not only poor health but also a fair amount of early mortality which cuts down their life expectancy and they become prey to a very large number of diseases. Even the urban middle class and urban rich are not spared from diseases and disability which accrue from the kind of lives they lead. Therefore there is a wide variety of diseases and disorders that now we find in urban population. Quite often its a mix of the problems of under development, which are particularly seen in rural and poor populations and diseases of maladapted modernity. For example, infectious diseases: one would think that people dwelling in cities would not have much of infection but access to clean drinking water, proper sanitation and unpolluted air are not available in most urban environments particularly in low and middle-income countries. And when you have poor sanitary conditions with huge garbage heaps or open defecation there are bound to be infectious diseases like diarrhoea, respiratory infections which are particularly problematic in children, Kill them early or disable them significantly and childhood under nutrition is often a problem that occurs by itself in poor communities and sets the stage for infection, and infections also create undernutrition and therefore this is a vicious cycle affecting child health.

Similarly, poor communities also have problems in young women going in for pregnancies in a state of poor nutrition and having higher Maternal Mortality Rate and indeed when we take urban health indicators as single aggregate, we mask huge inequities that exist between the urban rich and  urban poor. The urban poor, in some cases are worse off than the rural population when it comes to those indicators – whether they’re living in slums, or whether they are recent rural migrants from rural areas, who will now have the double jeopardy of the diseases they have carried and the risk they’ve carried from rural areas to the risk they have acquired, and the diseases now they manifest because of their urban living. When it comes to infections, there are also other problems in urban areas. We now find a large number of vector-borne diseases coming in because mosquitoes are breeding in fresh water pools that are occurring in stagnant water collections. These stagnant freshwater pools in cities tend to breed mosquitoes which spread dengue, chikungunya and other forms of vector-borne diseases which are particularly prone to occur in urban areas now. Even urban malaria is now becoming an increasing problem. The crowded communities in urban areas make them extremely vulnerable for a very rapid spread of infection. If you get a virus like H1N1 or H5N1 and if it enters the urban community it is likely to spread very rapidly through the respiratory route because people are crowded together. And while tuberculosis does occur everywhere, again, lack of adequate access to healthcare and living in crowded communities makes multidrug – resistant tuberculosis, a nightmare in urban areas. So infectious diseases are still a reality in urban areas. Even if you trace the history of public health, if you take what happened in London in the 19th century where John Snow discovered that the Broad Street epidemic of cholera was because of contamination of sewage into a water pump and by removing the handle of the water pump, they could control the cholera epidemic. Importance of having clean drinking water and sanitation and not having putrid garbage or unclean rivers as your environment, was clearly recognised by Europe and therefore the whole sanitarian movement transformed the living conditions and raised life expectancy and well-being in Europe. Now many of the low and middle income countries have not had the level of civic planning in cities that is required to ensure regular availability and access to clean drinking water, good hygiene and sanitation, as well as a relatively unpolluted air.

In addition, we find that there are a whole host of diseases, we call ‘non-communicable diseases’ like cardiovascular or heart diseases like diabetes, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases many of which are related to the urban living or the patterns of our lifestyle.

For example, poor diets which are rich in unhealthy fats, sugar and salt, a high consumption of ultra processed foods which are easier to obtain in a busy working day creates conditions for all of these diseases.

Over and above that, there is the big problem of physical inactivity partly because of the working conditions and partly because of the way cities are configured without adequate space or time, for pleasurable and safe physical activity. So physical inactivity and diet actually create most of the conditions for these chronic diseases and then you have problems of air pollution which again compound respiratory problems, create the conditions not only for cancers but also for heart attacks and stroke.

Then you have addictions to tobacco, whether it smoked or oral tobacco, substance abuse, alcohol; all of these are particularly prevalent in cities especially in slum areas and therefore, we find many of the low-income communities now vulnerable to chronic diseases despite their relative poverty.

In addition, we have other problems like mental illness because the poor with their subsistence living and struggle for reeking out an existence out of meagre incomes are also subjected to a lot of stress compounded by migration and the problems of migrant living.

At the same time the middle class and the rich also have the stresses of daily living and being caught in crowded traffic jams: all of that of course creates stress a chronic condition. And all of these can lead to mental illness and whether it’s depression or violence, including domestic violence- all of these are major problems that we encounter in urban environments.

We also have the problem of traffic accidents – quite often young people die or are severely disabled because of poor traffic regulation and road traffic injuries occurring in urban areas. About 52% of all deaths that occur in the age group of 15-29 are because of road traffic injuries and about 90% of them occur in low and middle income countries. Therefore, again poor urban planning leads to many avoidable health problems.

We are now seeing new challenges coming up. Climate change, for example, is raising temperatures all over the world and in many cities the temperatures are rising to such an extent that people are suffering the consequences in terms of heat strokes, heat deaths and of course a variety of other problems which are also fostered – like mosquitoes grow faster in warm environments and therefore again vector-borne diseases increase.

As cities grow, we must also recognise that they need to become much more resilient, they need to be resilient to Climate Change, they need to be resilient to natural disasters, we have seen floods hitting so many cities. Cities seem to even crumble with heavy rainfall and that has its own health consequences.

Diseases can spread rapidly in terms of natural disasters, mental health can get disturbed during natural disasters and services breakdown including access to health services breaks down when hospitals are disabled or healthcare providers are stranded during natural disasters.

resilient and climate resilient cities?” – is going to be one of the future challenges that we have to address.

One of the problems of course, is, that health ervices too are not appropriately distributed or are accessible in urban areas. Many times we feel that urban areas are going to have more of health professionals, more doctors, more nurses etc, so, ‘why on earth our health services not going to be adequately available?’ but there was the huge maldistribution in urban areas. The poor are unable to access good quality health services because of differential concentration of health professionals as well as financial barriers to access of good health services. Quite often they depend upon informal healthcare providers who are not qualified ranging from quacks to poorly trained healthcare providers and many times their health suffers as a result of poor management of their health problems and the contrary is also true that they do seek treatment for minor ailments too in large hospitals which makes the hospitals overcrowded that’s because primary care services are not well organised in health services. And if they do seek healthcare, they often get impoverished in the absence of universal health coverage. So one of the things that’s missing in many of the low and middle income countries is financial protection apart from quality of health care. If they actually are going to become poorer, or get crushed into poverty further because of unaffordable healthcare then that itself is a cause of huge health inequity. And organising urban health services to provide assured access, quality as well as affordability especially in the slum and low-income communities is absolutely critical but at the same time we ought to ensure that there is greater coordination between city planning and health planning.

Whether it is housing for everybody including low-income housing, whether it is safe cycling lanes, safe pedestrian pathways, well-lit streets where people can walk without fear of crime or falling, the risk of falling into potholes, clean and green community spaces where they can exercise, public transportation which are likely to be available and promote active living – all of these are going to be important elements of city planning. Unless you have a good land-use mix, street connectivity, look at residential density as an element of promoting active living, prevention of crime so that people can actually exercise safely; all of these are going to be coming into in city planning and if this is not paid attention to, then health will suffer.

Therefore what we need now, is a much greater coordination between urban planning which is traditionally in other sectors outside of health, and health planning. Then we also need a greater integration of health services, unless that happens we’ll have vertical programs functioning in silo, then we need  to promote greater access to disadvantaged communities both in terms of physical access as well as financial affordability and also provide greater education so that they know what kind of services need to be accessed to increase the demand generation from the poorer sections of the people who need those health services. We also need to bring in urban health-related awareness into health professional training. A large number of healthcare providers and public health professionals are still not familiar with some of the special features of urban health planning, they’re still rooted in terms of looking at traditional health care models and traditional public health systems. So even professional education of health professionals and healthcare providers needs to be transformed but most important, we also need to make sure that urban local bodies and administrators, municipal authorities- all of them become much more alive to the need of protecting urban health whether it is food safety or whether it is clean water and sanitation or whether it is ensuring urban primary care services.

Unless urban local governance becomes more responsible, as well as more accountable we are not going to see urban health in a good shape for years to come. But cities also provide the solution – because the sheer size of the cities and there are urban aggregation as well as their access to technologies including information technology makes it easier to do things on scale. We can actually build water and sanitation services to scale, we can build health services to scale and integrate all of them in a manner that we can actually ensure both healthy living as well as appropriate and affordable healthcare. So with Smart City Planning we can actually build-in much better health and make sure that urban health becomes a living reality for every person living in a city or a town, at every stage of his or her life. But that’s the way to go and that’s the way we must ensure that as an enlightened community, we make sure that things happen at different levels, but in an integrated way to make that a concrete reality.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo XXII

Human rights and justice

The concept of Human Rights and Human Development are intrinsically linked and in this particular chapter, we’re going to look at how it impacts life in the city. To be able to take you through this short journey, I want to say a little bit about what Human Rights are, what the conceptual underpinnings are.

I want to refer to a very fundamental document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. I want to then, from that perspective identify a set of Rights and I want to highlight the socio-economic dimension that has its fundamental to understanding how life in the city works, how it ties into Human Rights and how it impinges on Human Development. Much of the content in this particular chapter will focus on material that’s relevant to Goal 16 on ‘building just institutions’ but also of course in looking at Goal 11 on ‘Sustainable Cities’. So when we think about Human Rights itself, the fundamental aspect to bear in mind, is that this is a series of concepts that are designed to promote the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.

It’s really important to understand that these are inherent dignities i.e., they are not dignities that are earned in any way, they are dignities by virtue of being human and a fundamental aspect to that is, it’s based on the equal inherent dignity and worth of every individual; not just individuals we like, not just individuals we think deserve it but every individual, irrespective of who they may be and where they are.

This concept is fundamental to understanding development, primarily because if we understand what sustainability means, we need to understand that as a sustainable future that includes everybody irrespective of gender, ethnicity, caste, class or any other distinguishing feature.

Now, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights actually set out this vision and in setting out this vision, it brought together states from all around the world to express this in what has become a very famous and foundational document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the time it was passed in 1948 the world was just emerging from the Second World War, the United Nations had still been formed and of course vast parts of the globe was still under colonial rule but, in articulating that vision it was decided that if we wanted to prevent World War III and the kinds of atrocities that had become normal in that particular period, the only way to do it was in building a society where every single individual’s rights were respected.

In articulating those rights the Universal Declaration for Human Rights talked about what can broadly be defined as five types of Rights: so we have Civil Rights, we have Political Rights, we have Economic Rights, we have Social Rights and we have Cultural Rights. The Universal Declaration for Human Rights deemed these rights to be ‘indivisible’ that means you could not divide them, that you had to look at all of the rights in conjunction with each other to be able to achieve that goal of creating societies where equality was valued.

However, the problem became that immediately in it’s aftermath we got into East-West debates and laissez-faire politics where states in the West believed much along the lines of economics based on Adam Smith, that ultimately the state needed to only provide enough room for enterprise to flourish and that somehow economic, social and cultural rights would be sorted out by the market. This was already at odds with the vision of many developing countries who argued that the Right to Food for instance was far more important than the Right to Vote.

The fact is you can’t prioritise one over the other, you need to have them all together, functioning in a robust manner to be able to create and construct the kind of societies we aspire for. Now in the context of how Human Rights had developed itself, the vast majority of it developed through the ambit of Law; so the idea is that you articulate a Right of some kind, you enshrine it in Law, you put into documents and then lawyers can argue those documents in front of a court of law.

Now there’s a fundamental problem with this model: it assumes people have access to lawyers, it assumes people know what their Rights are. And as we know from inequality across the world that actually one of the biggest problems of being unequal is not knowing that you actually have a Right to be equal and that you actually have a right and a redress for the violations that you face.

So this has been a challenge that has really dogged the world of Human Rights, even organisations like Amnesty International for instance always emphasised Civil and Political Rights and didn’t emphasise enough Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In the context of Sustainable Development Goals, we have a chance once again now, to reknit those concepts together: there’s far greater emphasis these days in any case on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights but to be able to knit them together into a whole narrative that worries about the entirety of the human condition, is the only way of understanding how we can build societies that believe in the inherent equal dignity and worth of every individual.

This agenda comes to the fore in cities. Cities have often been considered to be the places, the central places that will generate wealth and that will move societies forward, but in fact what we see in the reality of many cities is a great disparity and emerging inequalities. In a famous city of London for instance, if you are trying to get a tube they often say ‘Mind the Gap’ tbecause there’s a gap between the Tube and the platform, that gap is more like a chasm.

You have,you have an aspiration of equality, you have Rights in books that talk about these equalities but there’s a chasm between how you can get from where you are, to where you want to be; and you see that chasm dramatically in cities, you see it in the way communities that are further away from sites of power are excluded from power, you see it in the way that they have no access to institutions, you see it in differential health conditions, you see it in differential educational conditions and the inevitable impact is you see it in employment and unemployment. So what we often see in the context of cities and Human Development and Human Rights is that particular groups tend to be further away from the wealth generating capacities of cities. These groups are usually definable based on gender; women are never in the same parameter in terms of any of these indicators as men are. You see dramatically in terms of ethnicity, you see it dramatically in terms of religion and all of these identifying tags are then used to differentiate the haves from the have-nots. It’s much more stark in cities, because in cities you get now increasingly the great big wealthy compound right beside the slum.

Now in a situation like that, we need to just think of, think of this pragmatically: if you are building and if you have a fantastic, great, big glass house you don’t want to put it in a slum, because if you put in the slum you’re going to have to invest a lot of money protecting your investment from the rest of the slum. And I’m going to take you back to to even ancient Greece which is celebrated so much and had a photograph of that original Athenian democracy, imagine you could see it in some shape or form, you would find that all the individuals there had two things in common: they were all rich, landowners and they were all men. And essentially their first quest in making law was, to make law to protect their wealth from that of others. So actually law has been used historically as an instrument of the powerful, framed by the powerful, to protect the interests of the powerful and that challenge then sits very uneasily against the equality agenda. And in cities which are often the places where these ideas get generated you live with that contradiction far more than you can, if you are further away from a central place where people agglomerate. The real challenge that we face then in terms of cities, is how do we ensure that cities are allowed the space to generate the wealth for the rest of society, that cities are the engines, the power houses to be able to create that wealth – but how do we also ensure that, that wealth creation process involves people, because if you create wealth without creating employment, you’re not really going to solve the problem because then the wealth has to be used to give handouts and again there’s a lot of disparaging comments made about the extent to which people live on handouts. People don’t particularly want to live on handouts, they want to participate fully and robustly in every element of society and they want to do that irrespective of their gender and irrespective of their caste or class or ethnicity or any other factor or facet that you can imagine to differentiate them. And that’s the real challenge: being able to create enough wherewithal, for enterprise to flourish while doing so in providing enough for the people who are involved in the creation, distribution and reorientation of that enterprise.

So at the very least, Human Rights are fundamental to cities in ensuring adequate health systems, adequate educational systems and adequate criminal justice mechanisms to provide the order that exists there. A central part then to moving this particular agenda forward is to look at the institutions that are charged with creating this kind of an environment. If we look at the institutions as currently exists across the world, you will find that they are largely homogeneous and they’re largely male dominated. And that in itself is a problem. That means that you have institutions that are run from a particular caste, or class, or gendered perspective claiming to create the conditions for the rest of society. So instead of a society that’s firing on all its cylinders, benefiting from all its diversity, benefiting from all its richness, benefiting from all its experiences, you have by and large the 1% who are creating and generating the mechanisms allegedly for the  99%. Even if this 1% were the most fair, liberal-minded individuals there is inevitably a bias in how they construct these services, inevitably a bias in how they value human life.

The consequence is stark. And you see that in the differential treatment available for patients based on their ethnicity, gender, class, religion or any other element, you see that in educational attainments. So you often find that people from particular backgrounds somehow tend to end up in the best universities, they somehow tend to end up in the best businesses, they somehow tend to end up creating clubs and those clubs promote the interests of the people in that club. Does it sound familiar?

Perhaps back to the Athenian democracy there? So we cities need to understand that despite the rhetoric of Human Rights and despite the rhetoric of Human Development, we still remain a long way, further away from the aspiration of equality that we commence this journey from and actually we remain closer to the idea that cities like Athenian democracy were created by the powerful, for the interest of the powerful, to promote those interests and make sure that those interests are sustained.

Essentially what lies at the heart of this is a very 18th-19th century idea that somehow, if I have more you need to have less and actually none of human history bears that out. What we do see is that Human Development is not a finite pie that has to be carved among you and your friends. That actually getting a greater number of people to construct that particular pie is much more likely to end up generating the kind of wealth that can flow across boundaries.

This is not advocacy by the way for equality per se in every rung. We need to understand that essentially equality as a concept is about equal opportunities, and the extent to which people can chart their life trajectories irrespective of who they are. That’s the principle here. We don’t want to say, for instance, have a situation where you say ‘Well I want to be a brain surgeon – Why are you preventing me from being a brain surgeon?’ You can’t say ‘I haven’t done medicine therefore I can’t be a brain surgeon.’ That’s not discriminatory, that’s acceptable because we understand that we want our brain surgeons to be well-trained and we want the brain surgeon in front of us to be the best possible brain surgeon – because after all they’re going to be operating on our brain. What we don’t want necessarily is that that brain surgeon job or profession is only restricted to people who come from  1% of society. That’s a problem.

How do we know that the 1% has all the talent possible to solve all the possible problems that exist? And increasingly we seem to rely on the 1% to solve the problems of the 99% and then we are surprised when the 99% have an objection to it. The way forward is to understand the extent to which Equality and Human Rights can be knitted in to development, and cities are the best possible petri-dish to try this because in a city you have people who are committed to a place, and in that commitment to a place, you can then commence and make real – this idea of creating a system which protects the inherent dignity and worth of every individual. If we do that, we will have taken a giant step towards Human Development, if we do that we will have taken a giant step towards ensuring that our cities are safe and sustainable

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo XXI

Capital markets and investments

  1. Why is the gap in inequality increasing in cities?
  2. What perpetuates wealth accumulation, and can better policy and regulatory framework affect this for long term equity?

This is what our cities increasingly look like in many parts of the world. The disparity between the urban rich and the poor is large and growing. How can we envision and bring into being a more equal world? Today we will explore how wealth is created in cities, the roots of inequality and examples of how we can reach out to a more equal and just future.

Cities are epicentres of production, employment and economic opportunity. Savings and value addition from the economic activities as diverse as agriculture and mining, fishing and forestry flow too, and are reinvested in cities. Largely urban based activities like manufacturing, higher education and services like real estate, finance and IT further concentrate savings and wealth creation in urban areas.

This often leads to a virtuous cycle of increased urban output and savings leading to a further concentration of prosperity, income and savings in urban areas and the further growth of urban wealth. Cities reflect in na exaggerated manner, global wealth and income disparities.

As an example, India is a low middle income country with the largest population of poor people in the world over 200 million but in 2015, it’s 48 billionaires collectively had a Net worth of 11% of its 2 trillion dollar GDP. Over half these billionaires live in Mumbai. In 2015 the 421 billionaires in the United States which had a population of over 320 million had a Net worth of 10% of the 18 trillion US economy. New York is home to close to 20% of these billionaires. Other cities that hosted billionaires in 2015 include Moscow – 68, Hong Kong – 64, San Francisco – 26 and Sao Paulo – 25. So we see the cities are the first choice of residence for the very wealthy, but they are not the only inhabitants of cities, even the most prosperous ones.

Many urban residents are poor and vulnerable. Both rich and poor people are necessary for cities to function and to be productive. The poor are drawn to cities as sites of social and livelihood opportunity. For as long as we can look back, urban poverty has tended to cluster along with prosperity, wealth and often opulence in  cities. The urban poor face various forms of social exclusion that often reduces the access to the very resources that they need to improve their living conditions: work, education, affordable healthcare, safe housing and basic services, in short, the universal entitlements promised by the SDGs. This is why the commitment to a universal goal of Reducing inequality ‘Goal 10’ and enabling Gender equality ‘Goal 5’ and ensuring that no person is left behind has so much transformatory potential.

Many contemporary cities tend to concentrate wealth and poverty in particular areas through spatial segregation, exclusive planning and limiting access to public goods and services. Across many low and middle-income countries, cities are home to large and expanding informal settlements, shrinking public and green spaces, expanding footprints of gated communities and exclusionary comercial spaces. An extreme case of this was the Apartheid state of South Africa which before 1994 excluded the majority of its population from employment, residence, education and dignity by segregating neighbourhoods, facilities and cities. But similar processes are at work in the everyday-life of cities across the world.

Further, land allocation and ownership in cities tends to discriminate against the poor leading to the creation of informal settlements which are then exposed to forced evictions and displacements. Such processes destroy the limited assets that poor and vulnerable people have put together with great difficulty over the years and worsen urban inequality.

In South Africa’s most important economic province Gauteng, for example, nearly two decades after the end of apartheid, spatial inequality and multi-dimensional poverty have not declined much, with the peripheral townships still continuing to be marginal.

Research on Bangalore in India shows similar trends of the concentration of poverty and inequality.

This is in spite of an IT-led economic boom that almost doubled the city’s population in less than a generation. This can be seen in this 2015 map of Bangalore that shows both informal settlements in the heart of the city and poor peripheral areas that do not have access to the infrastructure and connectivity of richer neighbourhoods.

Conventional economic theory encourage such trends, many of which are now shown to be incorrect and inappropriate in a world committed to the SDGs. The economist Simon Kuznets, hypothesised in the 1950s based on the rapid growth of the US economy and the investor behaviour of the wealthy that as a country’s per capita income rises, inequality would first rise and then decline. This led to the common development policy prescription of encouraging rapid economic growth in spite of increasing inequality and the consequent destabilisation that it brings using the analogy that a rising tide would eventually lift all boats.

Thomas Piketty, recently showed in his much cited book ‘Capital’ that Kuznets misread the facts and by extension, that the implicit public policy of letting inequality rise to be addressed by economic growth was a misplaced policy position. Piketty’s analysis is based on a long reading of economic history that shows that the rate of return on capital is higher than the rate of return on economic growth.

This implies that people who hold wealth typically financial and physical assets will tend to get more wealthy overtime than those who derive the income from employment, education or natural resources. The exception in current high income countries was the period between 1930 and 1975, due  to the Great Depression and a World War that destroyed much of the wealth of the elites. Unequal wealth distribution and urban poverty causes social and economic and hence, political instability.

This is especially observed in highly unequal urban areas like Hong Kong which has seen a decline in its quality of life and an increase in inequality over the 2000s alongwith a massive increase in the wealth of the super-rich. One of the provocations behind Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella movement was popular concern about income disparity and high housing prices.

Similarly, parts of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement was led by students calling for the reform of the economic system and reducing inequality in cities following the 2008 financial crisis. cause for urban concern. Social exclusion and discrimination based on race, on gender, ethnicity and caste are common in many parts of the world and are inter-twined with questions of class and economic inequality. The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement for racial justice in the workplace and everyday life spread rapidly across cities in the United States in response to racial profiling and brutality which are closely related to access to livelihoods and economic opportunity in inner-city and black neighbourhoods.

How does one address the challenge of rising inequality and cities, and its consequent impact on all the other SDGs?

First, we need to recognise that urban inequality defines our cities, especially in low and middle income countries where cities are magnets for growth and jobs, but also reflect disparities in economic and living conditions of their residence.

Second, we need to raise the floor for the most poor and vulnerable in the city, to meet the universal goals of the SDGs. Especially access to employment, safe housing and basic services, sustainable and affordable transportation. Participation in the city economy on more equal terms with access to services, credit and information on pricing and markets, will help the poor earn more and potentially decrease income and wealth gaps.

Third, we need a universal social security system or safety net that really leaves no one behind. Children, women, the elderly, the differently-abled and excluded social groups. A range of methods can be used to do this. Brazil’s Bolsa Familia program is reported to have helped over 1.7 million households, move out of poverty and reduce Brazil’s high GINI coefficients.

This was done via direct income transfers to poor households, if their children went to school and participated in public health initiatives. Unemployment benefits, subsidised housing, public health and education programs are other ways of ensuring that the minimum needs of the urban poor are met.

Fourth, we need to enable markets and tenure systems to work for poor people and not exclude or displace them. Here again, multiple Latin-american initiatives, including Brazil’s Statute of the Cities, help provide the space for the regulation of real estate markets, enabling greater access and social control.

Fifth, we need to address taxation and intergovernmental fiscal arrangements, to strengthen local governments that are more responsive to local needs. Progressive taxation systems are needed – that enable the wealthier sections of the population to fund a larger share of public expenditure and investment.

Sixth, we need affirmative action to break the nexus between social exclusion and economic stratification on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, caste and ability grounds. To enable access to entitlements like education and healthcare and access to public services and finally, to enable employment and equal compensation.

In summary, what have we learned?

One – Cities concentrate economic and social opportunity. This often leads to a virtuous cycle of increased output and savings, leading to a concentration of prosperity and savings, and further growth of urban wealth.

Two – Cities, individuals and enterprises that control this economic activity through ownership and knowledge, tend to accumulate more and more of this wealth.

Three – the world is highly unequal in terms of both wealth and income and this trend is unfortunately growing. The largest inequalities are often seen within cities which concentrate wealth and poverty through spatial segregation, limiting access to public goods and services, or through lack or denial of entitlements, or poorly regulated markets.

Four – ownership of financial and physical assets by elites enable a steady accumulation of wealth and consequente exclusion of others, sometimes leading to social, economic and political instability.

Fifth – inequality can and has been successfully addressed in some parts of the world, for a time. But one has to first acknowledge its existence as a challenge, and then addresses it through safety nets, public services, urban planning and regulation and progressive taxation.

More equitable and inclusive cities are possible, and are in fact essential, if we are to achieve the SDGs

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo XX

Ethics of wealth and inequality

  1. How can we re-imagine the constraints on national boundaries and mobility of people, particularly in the context of internationally accepted human rights?

I think liberals should pause on the idea that lots and lots of immigration is always good. This is modern capitalism: (it) wants money to move about, people to move about. Migrants lose. I mean they’re brave people, always. They want to have a better life but they lose a lot. Their granny isn’t there, their mom isn’t there, their not speaking their language. So imagining that a world of massive people moving about is the best possible world is not right. Now, of course, if anyone’s fleeing from trouble they must be cared for – but I think we should aspire to develop the world more evenly, so everyone has got a fair chance in their own vicinity, and then people move about out of curiosity and learning for each other, so, I think this pretence that big movement of people is freedom, is liberation, is the best possible way of organising the world, is not right but that’s been the liberal assumption and what’s happened in Britain is that the the people who’ve got nothing for the last 20 years out of globalisation as their stable jobs went to the communities, they’re objecting to immigration because they think at least wages going down, pressure on the schools and the health services: that’s not an unreasonable set of things to say and a lot of people who come and work and they’re great workers in Britain would much prefer to have that job at home.

So I think we should look again and open up this question. We must never, ever indulge any xenofobia of any kind and once people have arrived in any country they must be treated with respect and equality, but the idea that capital can roam across the world and rip people out of their roots and encourage them to go elsewhere, I think that needs looking at again. I think in the poorer parts of the world, people really resent this – “Oh! I’ve come here to help you, here is my charity!” People want better chances in life but they don’t like that patronising approach. So it’s got to be much more about justice, fairness for everybody, security for all of us. The way we get that is to have sustainable fairness across the world. So getting a just solution in Syria, is of course, the right thing for Syrian people but it’s actually the right thing for all of us.

And people who have a few chances in life, having a better chance in life is very important but there’s lots of excluded people in the so-called rich countries. We’ve got quotes from sort of Piketty and how is the wealth distributed and who pays tax and let’s stop having this race till the bottom of that taxation, we’re going to have a certain amount of taxation, in order to have decent public services, in order to have a civilised world and countries – but then on the other hand isn’t all about handouts, it’s also about opportunities to work, opportunities to be educated, opportunities to have skills, opportunities to have a productive life. So, I think we need to work at the reduction of inequality, not just the old-fashioned taxation and so on but the the kind of education and skill training that enables people who at the moment don’t have the chance to have a job that gives them any kind of decent income and so on is all part of it. And I think if you look at countries in Western Europe, World War? We had the 1930s, and all that unemployment, the swing to fascism and right-wing ideas and it wasn’t just in Germany, I mean in Germany, we’ve got Hitler but that kind of fascismo was going on right across Europe in the conditions of lots of unemployment and exclusion and after the war, shattered countries with no money commit to full employment in the welfare state and a massive advances in the quality of society.

Well, we need that kind of mood again but worldwide because that’s been eroded now to a more unequal and because it’s quite a cheap welfare state if everyone has a decent job. It’s when you marginalize lots of people and they either can’t work or own work that’s so low paid that is not enough to keep their family, so the state subsidises them to keep them going; that’s when the welfare state’s expensive. So, we need a kind of post-45 mood. And, we can do it. Now, the SDGs is a chance to lift the world up and say ‘come on!’and instead of all these grumpy, demoralised fed up people, everyone could get excited again and think – Yes! We can move forward, we can make the world sustainable and fairer and I think it would be people worldwide would get excited and hopeful, which is what we need.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo XIX

Chapter 3. Migration, mobility and urban-rural continuum

  1. What are the various reasons that make people migrate?
  2. What are the current gaps in the international, national and urban imaginations regarding migration, that affect the policy directions?

Sustainable cities require prosperous rural areas with sustainable agriculture and protected terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to thrive. Since cities are only capable of producing a small proportion of the ecological services that they need like food, water and clean air, their symbiotic relationship with the regions in which they are situated is critical for sustainability. Cities also provide economic, education and health, cultural and social opportunities for people who live in the countryside. Flows of goods, services and money between urban and rural areas are important contributors to rural livelihood security and prosperity.

Why is city living different from life in rural areas? First, how do countries define rural and the urban? You may be surprised to learn that there is no formal, common definition of the rural and the urban across the world. Most countries use their own definitions of the urban that is often a combination of population size, population density and occupational characteristics. These definitions are often fluid and some countries have become less or more urban simply by changing their definitions.

Second, urban and rural areas in many countries have different administrative systems, population registration processes are different, legal structures and very often laws are different, government taxation rules and entitlements are different. In some countries, people who live in rural áreas and have agricultural incomes are not taxed, in others, rural residents have to be registered and receive limited or no social security which is a privilege of urban citizens. In yet other contexts, villages receive rural development entitlements not on offer to their urban counterparts.

Third, there is a perceived difference in the quality of life in rural and urban areas. Many people believe that villages have a better quality of life because they’re cleaner, less congested and in greater proximity to nature. Yet these perceptions are not always true. In most cases, urban areas are more prosperous and offer better public services than rural areas. Much of the economic vibrancy of cities is what attracts migrants in the first place.

The opportunity for social mobility is also an important differentiator especially, in highly stratified societies where cities allow gender, ethnic and caste identities to be blurred.

All of these factors make for a very different living experience in cities and rural areas, in many cases encouraged by policy choices. A classic case is China’s Hukou or Household Registration System which for decades officially discouraged migrants from moving from rural areas to its more prosperous eastern coastal cities. Large metropolitan regions such as Shenzhen and Shanghai attracted workers from all across China. Healthcare, education and even housing was made difficult for rural migrants to access in urban areas, even if they had a job, largely to prevent mass migration and the overcrowding of cities.

But effectively, this national policy created a significant disparity between rural and urban areas, especially after the ‘iron rice bowl’ was broken in the 1990s, while urban citizens continued to get a range of entitlements. Changes are now being brought about in the system to make it less exclusionary. Such inequities are unsustainable, hence SDG 11 speaks of sustainable cities and human settlements linking urban and rural areas together across the continuum and as part of a system of places that are interconnected, share resources and provide a scaffolding for people and communities to move in search of new opportunities and aspirations. Na important question for us to consider is – ‘How important is migration in the context of cities and how does it affect both the cities and the regions that they’re located in?’ The movement of people from rural to urban areas is not a new phenomena. Migration is as old as human civilisation itself. People choose to move for environmental, political, economic and socio-cultural reasons.

Rural to urban migration is just one of the three drivers of urbanisation, accounting for about 25% of urban population growth. The other factors are natural population increases and the reclassification of rural áreas into urban ones. Young people are 40% more likely than older people to move from rural to urban areas or across urban areas.

They are a range of pull and push factors that influence migration dynamics. Pull factors include urban opportunities that attract mostly young, better-educated, enterprising people because of the prospects of jobs and better income as well as access to better health and education services and improved quality of life. Push factors include war and conflict as seen in Syria, famine and drought and extreme weather conditions as seen in the Sahel. Climate Change is anticipated to become a significant driver of involuntary migration in many parts of the world over the next few decades. Other push factors include rural economic distress, as in the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s and poverty or poor living conditions in Northern Europe in the late 19th century that brought migrants to the Americas.

There are four major forms of migration within a country: Rural to Rural migration, which is the most common form of migration in many parts of the world, especially, as people move their location of residence economic opportunity; Rural to Urban migration- the most dramatic was 117 million Chinese moving from rural to urban areas to seek better employment opportunities between 2000 and 2010; Urban to Urban migration as people move from smaller to larger cities in search of opportunity and sometimes in the reverse direction as they retire or in search of better environments; Urban to Rural migration, which happens in cases of serious urban unrests or economic breakdown- a classic case is a nine-month long Mumbai mill workers strike in the 1980s which led to the shift of striking workers back to villages from which they had come from. But there are complex and counter-intuitive dynamics that underlie urban-rural migration. In the 1960s, the new post-colonial Kenyan government tried to address unemployment in Nairobi, by establishing an agreement with public and private employers to increase employment in exchange for a wage freeze by workers. In practice, rather surprisingly, urban unemployment increased rather than decreased. Harris and Todaro, demonstrated through their theoretical model that the rate of rural to urban migration is a function of the rural-urban wage differential and the ratio of jobs to jobseekers. While urban wages are usually higher than rural wages, urban incomes maybe less than rural incomes because not everyone can find work that they’re looking for in cities.

People will only migrate from the countryside to cities if their real income in the city is more than their income in the countryside. How do cities cope with migration? According to the World Migration Report 2015, the biggest challenge for urban governance is a need to ensure adequate infrastructure and service delivery to diverse and growing populations. This requires new and innovative policy approaches that recognise urban diversity as positive, and take an inclusive approach to all segments of society.

Migration and how it’s governed is thus at the frontline of urban planning and sustainable development and yet we have several instances where this is far from being accomplished. An example is Operation ‘Move the Rubbish’, a cleanup campaign in 2005 led by the President of Zimbabwe. Shanty towns on the outskirts of the capital Harare were demolished. Over 700,000 residents were displaced and at least 2.4 million people were indirectly affected. According to the government, the campaign was to improve Harare as it cleaned up illegal housing and informal employment while also reducing the risk of disease. In effect this only accelerated involuntary migration.

Parte B

Let us now turn to the issue of International migration. In 2015 the number of international migrants worldwide, that is, people residing in a country other than their country of birth was the highest ever-recorded at 244 million.

Close to 1 in 5 migrants in the world live in the top 20 largest cities according to the World Migration Report 2015. International migrants makeup over a third of the total population of cities like Sydney, Auckland, Singapore and London. At least 1 in 4 residents of Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris is foreign-born. The first point to note here, is that millions of people move in difficult circumstances even though migration is often subject to serious barriers. This is in a world, that encourages the mobility of capital and technology but not of people. 2015 saw the highest levels of force displacement globally, recorded since the Second World War with a dramatic increase in the number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people, across many regions of the world from Africa to the Middle East and South Asia. The second point to note is, that most of these migrants move to cities in other countries since they offer better  opportunities for work, social services and the chance to connect and cluster with their own ethnic groups.

Let’s look at a few examples: migration from Mexico to the United States has both positive and negative effects for both countries. In many cases, Mexican migrants take on menial jobs for lower pay in US cities providing them wages higher than in Mexico but effectively subsidising and supporting wealthier US enterprises and citizens. As economic growth slowed in the United States and unemployment soared, politicians have used migration as a tensions. Mexico has a significant agricultural economy. Many migrants come from rural backgrounds leaving a shortage of farmers in rural areas. The financial remittances sent by international migrants back to their families in origin countries amounted to na estimated 600 billion dollars in 2015, over two-thirds of which was sent to developing countries. The biggest source of foreign exchange in the Philippines is remittances from international migrant workers. In 2012, the country received 23 billion dollars of remittances largely from Saudi Arabia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Migration can also be forced – within a country or between them because of war, civil strife or extreme poverty, lack of employment opportunities or even development or disaster-linked displacement. Most forced displacement globally, still occurs within national boundaries with an estimated 38 million people internally displaced by conflict and violence at the end of 2014: from Iraq to South Sudan, from Syria to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. National governments like France and the United Kingdom have adopted strong policies of immigrant assimilation, they encourage migrants to adapt to the customs, attitudes and culture of their host country often leading to other forms of identity conflict. Yet there are many examples of successful integration: In 1907, the Brazilian and Japanese governments signed a treaty allowing Japanese migration to Brazil, many people of Japanese origin centered in neighbourhoods near the centre of the Sao Paulo.

Since then, an influx of Korean and Chinese migrants contributed to the East Asian charm of these neighbourhoods. As more immigrant populations moved in, so did the neighbourhood’s commercial worth. These neighbourhoods are now popular among tourists and are na integral part of Paulista culture.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia social e Urbanismo XVIII

2. Employment, labor markets and informality

  1. Why is there a disproportionate representation on women in the informal economy, what are the particular vulnerabilities that arise from that?

I’m Renana Jhabvala, and I represent the Self-Employed Women’s Association and that stands for SEWA. Self-Employed Women’s Association is actually a trade union of women in the informal economy.

We have yearly membership, last year we were 1.7 million, hopefully this year 2 women together for their rights but we also realise that development is equally if not more important, and so we have helped women to have their own companies, their own cooperatives, we have our own bank and I think we must have sponsored by now, over 105 cooperatives or companies. All my life, I’ve worked with, for, on behalf of women in the informal economy and that is what I’d like today’s lesson to be about.

Let’s start with the SDGs. As part of implementation of these SDGs, the UN, in fact, the Secretary-General in the UN had set up has set up a panel; it’s called the Secretary General’s UN High-level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. This is the first time that at that level women’s economic empowerment as opposed to reproductive rights, education, violence that women are recognised as economic actors and that very much fits in with the SDGs. The panel has submitted its first report, here you can see the cover of the report. It was launched at the UN General Assembly this year in 2016 and I’m showing, I’d like to show yo  u this particular diagram which sort of represents a summary of all the things that this panel says. Now in the diagram, if you’re looking at it now, you can see that work, women’s work is divided into four types Informal work, Formal sector employees, Agriculture and Women-owned enterprises.

Informal work and Agriculture: these two are by large, by far the largest number of women work there, employees the largest number, some are self-employed, some are wage employed, some are contract, all types of work both in agriculture and in informal work. However, if we look at urban áreas then we see that informal work is by far the predominant. Now, let’s go back to this diagram: the seven primary drivers of women’s economic empowerment. I’m going to go through it with you only because this is the direction and then it’s very broad, obviously, urban,rural, every country and so on and then how does it apply to our country, our urban workers, our urban informal workers and I’d like to give you some examples. So, first of all, is Adverse norms and role models: We all know girls are not allowed to the houses, girls are married off early, girls are allowed to study up to a certain point and not after. Legal protection: there’s all kinds of legal protection, I’ll come to that for our country.

Recognising, reducing and redistributing unpaid work and care: now a lot of girls and women are not able to work, are not able to work productively because they have to do care work in the houses but also a lot of women work productively like domestic workers, in care work. Then this one, which I think is perhaps the most important is: Building assets and assets means property but assets today are also financial assets and digital assets. And the others are: Changing corporate culture, Improving public sector practices and Strengthening visibility, collective voice and representation. If you cannot voice your issues and if you cannot epresent your issues, then there is very little likelihood your issues will change. So, this is sort of, for me a very central point. Let me now come to India and what we have been seeing.

The largest or a very large number of women are what is called home-based workers. It fits in with the social norms: women are not allowed out of the houses, women have to do care work and therefore they try to do productive work within the homes. Here you can see some examples of women doing home-work. Now, if you ask the women what’s the best thing about doing home-work, they’ll say that it’s in the home and they can do other duties but what’s the worst thing is because it’s in the home they are not able to be productive, get skills, get finance. So, they always work at very low skill levels and very little earnings. What is very interesting about these home-based workers is that they’re linked-in with the market.

Some of them are self-employed, a lot of them, very interestingly, are linked-in with global supply chains. If you actually look at what they’re making, it leads into a very long chain with the big companies, big multinational companies like GAP, Monsoon or Ikea or Walmart or many, many others. So these home-based workers are often the very last chain of a global supply chain.

What can we do? And I’d like to give you some solutions. Now these women in the global supply chain, in the urban areas, where do they live? They live in a slum areas where they don’t have toilets, they don’t have access to water; so their productivity is obviously very low. They can’t raise their productivity, they don’t even have access to markets. Perhaps, if they did they could become self-employed and earn more.

What are some of the solutions? First is, to recognise that the home is often the workplace – it’s not just a dwelling-place, it’s also the workplace and especially for women and so when you improve slums, you’re also improving productivity, you’re also increasing employment and you’re also contributing to a global supply chain. So improvement of slums is not just about increasing people’s happiness, bettering the living conditions but it’s also about increasing our own GDP, increasing earnings and linking us in with the international markets.

In SEWA, this is something we have been doing, we have our own organisation called Mahila Housing Trust (MHT) and this Trust has helped women in, I think it would be over a lakh (1,00,00) families actually improve the dwelling through loans, through better and more safer housing, through better lighting and especially through better toilets, as you can see.

I’d also like to point to a new venture which is quite innovative, which is that many of these women don’t have access to loans for housing because their houses are not considered mortgageable. So, we have started a new venture called SEWA Grih Rin: SEWA housing finance company which actually lends loans to informal sector women even if their houses are not mortgageable. They are securitised but not mortgaged. Another solution is something that we have tried which is bringing women together and dealing directly with the multinationals, so that all the cuts that are made by the contractors and the steps in-between go to the actual producer and through that we find we have just, for many years, of course, for last 6-7 years we have this company called Ruaab and through it women have doubled and now almost tripled, their own earnings by directly supplying to the international market.

The second one, I want to tell you about is: the street vendors. Street vendors are not considered a real part of our economy, they’re driven away but public spaces are often used by street vendors and others to generate not only their own livelihoods but to also deliver na important service.

SEWA has been organising the street vendors, bringing them together, raising their voices and we now have a law which protects street vendors, which gives them a space in the city.

Unfortunately, that law has not yet been implemented in many cities, and so I would urge you and if you would like to look at different cities and see what is happening with the street vendors, I would urge you to look at the law, is it being implemented and if it is to be implemented, what kind of urban planning would we need, where street vendors can come in the morning and leave in the evening or have night markets or have temporary markets? There are many solutions which can be worked out for street vendors which will really protect employment.

Domestic workers, you know, they come to our houses, they do our work, and they go back again but they have very little access to improving their skills, they earn very little and they have no social protection. So, if they’re ill, they miss a day’s work and they have to spend. There are lots of issues around domestic workers, I would urge you to find out more.

The one thing I would like to point to, which is: the daughters of the domestic workers, the street vendors, the home-based workers, the informal sector: What is their future? Will they become street vendors and domestic workers? And SEWA has been trying, has been educating these girls – helping them to get into school, helping them to graduate and that’s not enough, you know. Girls who graduate from government schools find it very difficult to get into the labour force, so they need skills but they need a lot of confidence and you know a very important area which we have discovered and didn’t even know that it’s something that can be done is, you remember, I was talking to you about property: Digital property, the internet and all kinds of applications are a huge source of information which these young girls don’t have. Once, it’s either they cannot get on or if it at all exists it’s mediated through their brothers, their fathers and so on.

And we find that direct digital information is a sort of power for them, what we’re calling empowerment. So that’s a whole area of these young girls who are being educated – how do we get them into the workforce, how do we make them productive for the country and for us.

Just a small figure: the McKinsey Global Institute did a study and they found that if women were fully participant in the workforce as men are, then the GDP of the world would rise by 26%. So, from the economic point of view too, it’s important to get women into the workforce and especially in the urban workforce where the women’s participation rate is very low due to the fact that all those factors that I told you.

Finally, I think the only thing that will really change is for those women’s voices to be heard, for them to come together. I told you about our cooperative, I told you about our bank, I told you about our housing finance company and the way that we were able to change their own infrastructure was, they come together and they talked to the municipality. So, collective voice, a woman’s own empowerment by getting together, I think that’s the most important thing if we want to go towards change.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia social e Urbanismo XVII

How can we make cities productive and reduce inequality at the same time?

Focuses on the theme of “productive” cities which although is not part of the formal SDG 11 statement, but it is an inevitable counter of the existing inequality in cities. We start the module with Aromar talking us through the what makes cities loci of production, and the forms of employment that exist in different parts of the world. Renana will lead us into the role of women in informal economy, followed by a case study on Self-Employed Women Association, India. Aromar then will also bring light to another critical phenomenon of migration, who migrates and why and what are the gaps in urban provisions and governance for them. Clare then reflects briefly on our current global debates around international migration and refugee crisis. Aromar then closes the module again with an overview of how wealth and inequality manifests itself in cities and how can these gaps be reduced[1] [2].

Cities are loci of production

  1. What enables cities to become centers of production, and yet reproduce and accentuate the inequality gaps?
  2. What are the ways in which inequality can be reduced, and cities can flourish?
  3. What are the implications of over-consumption in cities across spatial and temporal dimensions?

In this session, we will examine how cities are sites of production driven by economies of scope and scale, how they are transforming in the early 21st century with changes in the urban metabolism and economy, new technology and innovation.

We will also understand how to address social and environmental challenges that emerge from the growth of urbanisation and the transition towards sustainable production and consumption patterns.

Since the late 19th century, and the Industrial Revolution, cities have been primary centres of production of both goods and services across the world. Since the late 20th century as more than half of the global economy has come from urban areas, cities have also become primary centres of consumption and in some cases, over-consumption and associated debt which is starting to challenge not only national economies, but also the local and global environment. A key question for us is “Why is this production concentrated in cities?

The availability of infrastructure and basic services, access to finance and markets, lower transportation and transaction costs, better living and working conditions, the presence of government institutions, other enterprises, centres of education, knowledge and innovation – all of these spur urban productivity in almost all parts of the world and this leads people and enterprises to cluster in cities, making them more productive than villages.

This positive feedback loop where production concentrates along centres of demand or consumption is driven by economies of scale, opportunities for competitive pricing and positive externalities. The action of one enterprise, let’s say an IT firm or a market for agriculture produce in the limited confines of a city creates demands for other goods, computers, transportation, building and insurance services in the same location. As innovation, research and development, access to finance and more recently the creative economy become important drivers of economic activity, cities that are more attractive become increasingly successful and competitive. These activities drive the demand for jobs and with higher wages expand urban markets. This creates a positive spiral of production and consumption and greater concentration of enterprises, talent and creativity in networks of cities across the world.

There are two broad processes that drive this: First, Economies of Scale or Agglomeration and the Second, Economies of Scope. Urban systems tend to experience significant economies of scale, especially, around the provision of economic and social services such as potable water and sanitation, comercial energy, transportation, health and education. The cost of provision of these services reduces dramatically as the size and density of population of an urban area increases. This tends to bring down the cost of living, production and consumption in towns and cities.

But as cities grow very large, economies of agglomeration tend to slow, and sometimes stop because of the negative externalities of urban sprawl, declining environmental quality and the concentration of urban risk.

Economies of Scope is about making different but compatible products in a way that distinct goods can be produced without additional inputs. This has become more important with the growth of the internet and connectivity in both manufacturing and the services sectors and especially in network societies.

Multifunctional flexible spaces such as large wholesale markets for everything – from agricultural produce to electronics, in Asia are a powerful reminder of this. The close proximity of enterprises, creative activity and their dense inter-connectivity enables rapid gains in productivity.

For example, in Dharavi, Asia’s largest informal settlement, which is home to tens of thousands of informal enterprises, they share the same supply chains and credit services. This is often true even among competing enterprises in the same industry in the same city.

Detroit became the world’s Auto-capital in the 20th century because Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, all clustered there. This brought large numbers of skilled workers to multiple factories in the city making it cheap and easy for suppliers to transport and distribute motor parts and sub-assemblies across Detroit. But this unfortunately rarely lasts forever, especially if the productive base of the city is tied to one industry. The decline of the American Automobile Industry in the 1990s triggered a contraction of Detroit’s urban economy, many parts of the city were abandoned and finally in 2013 the city filed for bankruptcy.

The clustering of banks and financial institutions in a few global financial centres like New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Frankfurt also reflects a similar process. The productivity gains that we see from innovation clusters like in the Silicon Valley, Cambridge and the Tsukuba Science city near Tokyo speak to the impact of economies of scope, deployment of new technologies, innovation and the power of knowledge-networks in cities.

Over many waves of globalisation, networks of different sets of cities have driven and dominated the world economy. This map shows a network of world cities of the 16th century tied to the old Silk Road and the Indian Ocean trade routes.

This next map shows a late 20th century economic network dominated by cities, trade and financial flows between the largest industrial economies. The clustering of cities and patterns of exchange are changing rapidly in the early 21st century.

This reflects shifts in the global economy as it moves from Europe and North America towards Asia and the global South. This view of night lights from space is a powerful visual exposition of this change. But even in the early 21st century, a few cities and urban regions tend to concentrate a disproportionate share of value-added. Just 100 of India’s cities are estimated to produce 40% of its economic output, the rest come from 7800 urban centres and 640,000 villages.

Contrary to the popular perception that mega cities of 10 million and above, are the drivers of the world economy, the reality is, that almost half the world economy and much of its economic growth comes from mid-sized cities of between half a million to about 10 million. This is where the battle for the SDGs will be fought and won.

The rapid growth of urban production since the mid – 20th century has had its consequences. In a bid to improve productivity of labour and capital, enterprises have engaged in competition to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. While these productivity gains signal innovation and efficiency, they can also impose severe economic, social and environmental costs.

For example, labour concentrated in and around Mexico city is much cheaper than that in the United States. Over 1.5 million children and teenagers between the ages of 5-17, are reportedly employed in garment factories near Mexico city that produce a mind-numbing item-a-minute for export to the United States. While this does provide productive employment and considerable value addition to the enterprises involved in export to the United States, the impact on human health, safety and inequality are often extreme.

The electronics industry in Nigeria has grown dramatically over the last few decades. Lagos, Africa’s largest city is also one of the largest e-waste dump sites in the world. This leads to severe water and air pollution putting the health of large numbers of people as well as the planet at risk.

These dis-economies of scale limit the expansion of cities and regions through a process of participative planning, appropriate policies and incentives, cities can define the appropriate spatial scale, density, urban form and connectivity that can enable sustainability: this will enable a holistic implementation of the SDGs in urban areas and their surrounding regions. Cities like Vancouver or Melbourne have attempted to do this through their long-term planning and sustainable development processes.

Cities now host half or more of the global population. City-dwellers typically have higher incomes and expenditures than most people who live in the countryside, hence, urban consumption will typically be higher than rural consumption. The challenge is to ensure that it satisfies two requirements: First, that it meets the needs of everyone and leaves nobody behind and Second, that it does not harm the environment.

The metabolismo of cities, by which I mean the flow of people, money, goods and services is increasingly becoming the metabolism of the world. How we transform this will determine how we achieve the SDGs. Cities and citizens of the 21st century can establish a new trend in which they are both producers and consumers. This has significant implications for urban and city design: it signals a shift from na earlier imagination in which production and consumption was separated and cities were zoned to segregate places of work from places of residence.

This implies in sustainable cities, a shift to more mixed-use, moderate to high density urban fabric and a more sustainable economy and urban metabolism. A classic example is a growth of rooftop solar PV electricity that is growing not only in high-income but also in middle-income countries. Each building can now become a centre for decentralised energy production. During electricity is produced that is required in the building, it can be sold electronically to the power grid or stored locally. The presumer that is, the producer and the consumer, is billed only for the net amount of electricity that’s drawn from the grid, deducting what they produced. Germany now meets significant proportions of its energy demand from rooftop solar power. To make cities more sustainable, urban resource flows need to be transformed from being linear to circular where there is effectively no waste production.

The waste of one process becomes a feed for the next as has been practiced by waste-pickers in many cities of the global South. Metals and other materials such as glass and paper can be separated at source and recycled multiple times.

Cradle-to-cradle production and consumption systems are starting to become mainstream in high-income economies: these need to be adapted and incentivised more broadly in other parts of the world.

The threat of climate change will require a transition away from the use of non-renewable resources like fossil energy and fóssil groundwater to renewable resources like photo-voltaic and wind energy, recycling and re-using surface and rechargeable groundwater.

In some parts of the world, this may mean embracing a steady state urban economy, in others, it will imply na aggressive transition to a productive, green and circular economy in cities.

What’ve we learned from the session?

People and enterprises are drawn to cities because of dramatic increases in economic productivity and opportunities that come from the economies of scope and scale.

The growth of over-consumption, sprawl and excessive city-size creates serious social and environmental externalities and impact, that first reduces and then negates these gains.

Addressing the urban SDGs in a holistic manner can reduce the concentration of environmental externalities and risks in cities. Citizens and cities have to be both producers and consumers in the 21st century as we initiate a shift towards a productive, green and circular economy.

[1] https://books.google.co.in/books?id=SFMJ3PqJjfEC&lpg=PA18&dq=cities%20as%20loci%20of%20production&pg=PA33#v=onepage&q&f=false

[2] http://www.unep.org/rio20/About/SustainableConsumptionandProduction/tabid/102187/Default.aspx

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo XVI

. Safety and Violence in cities

Lecturer: Professor of Law, Dean of the School of Law, Middlesex University, London + Adjunct Professor of Law, Irish Centre for Human Rights, Galway, Ireland

Discussion prompts:

  1. Is the city unsafe for all, or is it a few who are more vulnerable? Give examples of cases where attempts have been made and cities have been made safer places to live in for all?
  2. How does the failure of law and order lead to violence in cities and in what forms?

In understanding the concept of Safety and Violence, there’s an analogy I want to draw in what law tries to achieve. Let’s talk about Justice on the one hand, and Order on the other. And law has always tried to straddle this particular divide between Justice and Order. So on the one hand, Law is nothing more than a series of rules guaranteed, or seeking to guarantee, that there is an ordered society. So that gives you the Order.

Justice is quite a different aspect altogether. Justice requires you to go deeper to understand the extent to which everybody within that particular society, can benefit from certain elements within it. And this straddle between Order and Justice has been a constant battle, and unfortunately Law has always, always come down on the side of Order.

There’s a famous writer – in 1973 he wrote a book called ‘Cultural Forces in World Politics’; his name was Ali Mazrui, he was a Kenyan and Ali Mazrui talked about – he said something like … the Prince of Peace resides at the United Nations, and he was trying to argue, that actually we seem to have chosen a Christian version of how Order and Justice marry each other. So he said for instance, in Christianity, you talk about Justice in the future in heaven – here we need Order, Peace and Order and he said – Well in some other religions he talked about Islam, I don’t necessarily agree with everything that he says, but he said ‘Well in Islam, sometimes there’s a predominance of thinking about Justice and Order’. So they are diferente weights that people give these particular concepts and it’s hard to understand where you fit, in that spectrum; between on the one hand creating a society that’s ordered, on the other hand ensuring that the order is not just order but a ‘just Order’ that is an Order with Justice at the heart of it.

Cities give you a landscape to examine that concept against, because cities on the one hand, will function well if they’re ordered, if everything works as it should, if there’s a good health system, if there’s a good traffic system, if the sanitation works, if businesses feel comfortable in investing there. So you need Order to run the city, but what about Justice?

How important is Justice in the agenda of cities? Now Justice for me in that particular concept, would be to understand a city where all the inhabitants there, have access equally to those mechanisms you’ve created. So the challenge is not just to stop at Order, but to ensure that the order we create is a ‘just Order’ and for me if you can create that ‘just Order’ in a city, then you’re moving a great way towards generating the Safety, and the Freedom from Violence that you want to. We need to also understand that Violence is not just physical aggression, but that Violence contains a range of diferente spectrums, all of which somehow contribute to people being unsafe, and as a consequence, contribute to insecurities.

The current debate in many states, in many societies, in many cities is ‘Oh! this threat of terrorism!’ Let me just put that in a perspective – If people feel that they don’t have a stake in society, if they feel their voices are not going to be understood and included, they have nothing to gain in that society. They are no longer stakeholders. That means they can blow things up, they can damage things, they can throw things at it. If on the other hand you are a stakeholder, and you feel that you can somehow address the societal problems that either you as an individual face or your community faces, well then you might decide that somehow blowing things up isn’t the best option and that maybe you need to negotiate, and maybe you need to engage in conversation. This challenge is acute in cities. It’s particularly acute, because you have conglomerations of people from diferente ethnicities, different religious backgrounds, who come there to the great place on the hill to try and make their money, to try and ensure that they have a sustainable lifestyle. What happens when they fail? What happens when particular groups somehow don’t make it? Why do they not make it? In India for instance, in British colonial India when the British were looking at Adivasis (Tribals), what we know as Adivasis now – they had a piece of legislation in 1871 called the Criminal Tribes Act. Just think about this – Criminal Tribes Act – that meant that entire swathes of populations, were deemed as criminals before they had committed a crime. They were criminal tribes – Why?

Well, because was one of the individuals may have been caught committing a crime, does that make the entire tribe, a criminal tribe? Now this isn’t some kind of anti-colonial rhetoric – the Indian government in 1952 has something called the Habitual Offenders Act – very similar, so you have this idea that somehow there are criminal classes, and then there’s the rest of society. when you interrogate that idea a little bit further, you realise that these tags don’t fit. These tags are ways in which you exclude particular population, keep them far removed from sites of power and then insist that the scraps that they are thrown should be enough for them too – to play the game, as we want them to play it.

That is a fundamental problem. It’s a fundamental problem, because it does not build security for them, it builds security for us. And the consequence of building security for us – we need to understand, in a shared crowded space like a city, is security for me necessarily involves security for my neighbour. I can’t be walking around in a security-bubble if my neighbour’s feeling insecure. Because my neighbour’s insecurity is going to impact me in dramatic terms, because of the proximity they feel to me, and because of the physical way in which we co-live in cities; that person’s insecurity is going to impact me, if their way of dealing with their insecurity is to use violence, that violence is going to impact me. We don’t live in bubbles in cities. I know there are many attempts to do that. There are many gated communities, all over all the cities in the world; those gates are only effective as long as you police them effectively. The problem with policing them effectively is there are always more creative ways to avoid that particular policing. So we have a choice here. We either understand how we can create inclusive societies that benefit all, or we decide for whatever tag you want to use. You decide these people are somehow ‘x’, these people are terrorists, these people are habitual offenders, these people are criminals, these people are thieves; we can build that narrative for ourselves, we can try and build walls to keep those people out, they will find a way of getting in. There is no way you can physically win that particular security battle.

You’ve got to try something else. If you’re trying to put a nail into a wall, and you keep hammering it harder and harder and you decide – ‘Oh, well you know that’s not going in, I need a bigger hammer and you bring the biggest hammer you want to, and you keep hammering it and it’s still not going in, we need to pause and ask ourselves whether that in fact is a nail or perhaps its a screw!

Perhaps it needs a screwdriver! We need to think about some different tools than the simple tools that we have, where we collectively tag people as ‘X’ and then we collectively put in place mechanisms that would try to deal with them, that sweep everybody up in that particular mechanism, that collectively punish everyone and then resort to excluding them from any potential solutions of the future. This is at the heart of the city’s agenda, and getting it right is the only way in which we can move towards safe and sustainable cities. If you look at our criminal justice institutions, and again I would like you to examine the Minority Rights Forum[1] that took place, the Eighth Minority Rights Forum that you will see a webcast of, if you decide to look at in this link – if you look at that particular forum you will see stories from across the world. The basic fact is Minorities, Ethnic communities Linguistic groups, Women are under-represented in the institutions, but very often especially for Minorities over-represented as inmates. So you have here a problem by which Minorities are being tagged as criminals, sometimes because they may have committed criminal acts, often because of the bias of the institution who has nobody from that community there. So you then have swathes of people who appear to be criminals and other swathes of people, who appear to be policemen or policewomen.

Policeman usually. And that’s a problem, because there is no empathy between the criminal justice institution and the so-called criminals. Very often, many of those so-called criminals, we later find are under-trials with no case to answer, very often we find that even if they had a case to answer, the punishment often of waiting for their trial for long periods of time, criminalises them. So this is to say that the mechanisms we have within cities and the criminal justice mechanism is just one of those. The criminal justice mechanism does not make our societies safer – it actually makes them more violent. If that is a problem, we need to assess that problema with an objective, calm mind put our prejudices aside and start trying to solve the problem, and move towards ways in which we can engender and find fine mechanisms to address this. If it’s Safety and Freedom from Violence we are after that is an aspiration we can achieve, but to be able to achieve that aspiration, we have to get out-of-the-box that we often put other people in. And that is, in the cities is particularly acute, because you see that whichever city you look at prison conditions are often vile because society feels these are individuals who should not have any more stake, so they lock them up somewhere. Inevitably those criminal justice institutions, especially prisons are over-represented by people from one particular caste, one particular ethnic group, one particular religion – inevitably in that particular religion or in that particular setting in which they are left, they come together in common cause and the one cause they have, is they feel excluded. And they are left with plenty of time, with nothing to do and the impact is immediate. Instead of moving towards a society that creates gainful employment, that uses all the resources at it’s behest, that ensures that every single element that inhabits the small space in which we live, can actually benefit every individual, we don’t! We create wealth that benefits the few.

Inevitably that wealth that benefits the few, is then used as almost an instrument to avoid everybody else gaining from it. So inclusive is a word I would suggest is fundamental, to understanding how cities of the future should operate. That inclusivity has to engage with all communities. There’s a very famous criminologist who started his career at the institution I work in now in Middlesex University in London.

His name was Jock Young, and he looked quite a lot at riots that took place in cities like London, that were Afro- Caribbean – they were labelled as ‘Afro-Caribbean Riots’. And he said – ‘Oh! These black people are destroying the city there somehow undermining it’, and again not that dissimilar to my example on the Criminal Tribes Act, Habitual Offenders Act – if you tag people with a brush and tell them, that they are actually criminals and as a consequence of that exclude them – how do they participate in your inclusive society? How do they? How do they then sit with you at a boardroom? How do then sit with you within your institutions? How do they make decisions around budgets with you? How is it that you can do that? If we we have to understand that crime, a fundamental aspect of dealing with crime is to assume the presumption of innocence; everybody is innocent until proven guilty, beyond a shadow of doubt. We don’t have that principle very firmly rooted in our imaginations, we have it in our laws. But it’s not in our imaginations. In our imaginations we label people, and in cities we seem to do it very much more.

There was an aspiration at the start of globalisation – Thomas Frank, a very famous international lawyer talked about this phenomenon of Postmodern Tribalism the argument is – look, ‘Globalisation is going to bring all these communities together, we can benefit from the richness in the diversity, it will no longer matter what your gender is, what your religion is, what you eat at home, how you dress – we will just engage with each other as human beings; hopefully we will learn from each other, we might also dislike each other but we will keep those dislikes to ourselves, we will engage in a manner that’s fair.’ That dream lies shattered because in fact what happened in cities, is as these communities came together there was a greater insecurity that was framed, and people realise that – Oh well if I’m going to succeed, that means I need to succeed in competition with the other group that’s also trying to succeed, and that particular competition didn’t bring the best out of each, it was a race to the bottom. And in that particular race to the bottom, our criminal justice institutions played a big role because they used this kind of ethos, this lens, that suggested that some groups had a higher propensity to crime than others. As a consequence, you still see a bias, for instance across the world. Financial crimes do not get the same kind of punishment that other types of crimes get. Why is that? When we know that the current economic crisis starting from 2008, that has spanned now will span a decade and perhaps more?

How is it that the people who are responsible for the financial crimes that have given us this, don’t face the same kind of angst and same kind of – I guess- bias that somebody who steals a purse might feel? What is the logic behind that? Why is it that we feel justified in being able to treat the petty criminal who might be trying to feed her or his family? Why is it that we feel disdain towards them, and don’t feel disdain to the the crimes of the powerful – the financial times of the powerful, which have created systems that have prevented the extent to which societies can generate the kind of wealth that we all collectively rely on, to be able to have a sustainable future and a sustainable world.

I think that’s the challenge we face if we understand that particular challenge, and if we interpret that particular challenge in creating fairer institutions, we will then create the bulwark to be able to allow cities to be those well-generating, ideas- generating, progressive elements we need them to be, if we are going to understand a sustainable world for 2030 and beyond.

[1] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Minority/Pages/Session8.aspx

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo XV

Inclusive development Inclusive urban development

Discussion prompts:

  1. What are the challenges faced in making cities inclusive?
  2. What are the current constraints to universal “right to the city”?

Hello my name is Eugenie Birch and I’ve been asked by SDSN to offer a few thoughts on Inclusive Urban Development.

Let’s approach this very complicated subject by asking a few key questions.

First, what is inclusive Urban Development? Can a single definition cover the topic? Does context matter?

Second, what cities have implemented inclusive Urban Development comprehensively and what cities have not?

And if so, what have been the ingredients of success in the cities that have implemented? If not, what have been the primary barriers? And the key question is how can success be replicated and barriers be overcome?

And finally what conceptual frameworks can guide successful inclusive Urban Development? What value systems? What visions can inform this approach?

Let’s go to the dictionary, to answer our first question. We’re going to take this phrase apart. Inclusive, usually means comprehensive or all-encompassing. Urban, obviously refers to cities and Development can have many meanings: growth, expansion, progress, improvement.

Now let’s put them together: Inclusive + Urban + Development. One definition might be – ‘Growth that allows all human beings to reach their highest potential in cities’ or another definition might be – ‘Improvements that encompass planning and building a better urban future for the next generation.’ You can see just from these two pieces that I’ve put together that this concept is a very broad concept and can mean many things to many people. That makes it a little bit difficult on one hand, to try to create substantive policies that will meet the ends, meet these definitions. On the other hand, we can take what definitions we want, keep them broad and go forward and that’s what we’re going to do today.

How many cities do we have? Well, some experts tell us we have more than 150,000 population or more, located throughout the world. However, of these cities 600 and only 600 produce 60% of the world’s GDP.

We hear the world, much talk about mega cities but actually they represent a very small proportion of the total population and the total number of cities. In actuality where we’re going to face the real problems is going to be in the small and medium-sized cities as they grow and expand in the future. But all cities are going to be facing three big problems:

The first one, is how they’re going to deal with climate change in a sustainable way. The second is, how they’re going to address issues of the environment, particularly of natural disasters and human-made disasters in the future? And lastly, how are they going to deal with inclusive development that will promote the reduction of inequality, the reduction of poverty for all citizens and that will meet the definition that we talked about earlier of Inclusive Urban Development.

When we talk about cities of the world we must remember not only do we have to distinguish among different sized cities and the different kinds of problems they have, but we also must distinguish among the cities of different levels of development. I’m going to lump together now a sort of the cities of the what we’ll call the Global North, the cities that are well-developed, have been developed for a century or so.

The kinds of issues that they are facing particularly around the common issues that we’re talking about of climate change, resilience and inequality are far different in terms of the details of how to address them than the cities of the Global South.

1) Many cities of the Global North have excess housing, excess areas, excess neighbourhoods that are not well populated, in fact, highly abandoned and this has occurred as those cities and their surrounds have grown outward and experienced dramatic urban sprawl, with growth rates that are higher than the growth rates of the population. We’re talking about issues of financing housing and other public services for those middle and lower-income groups, we’re talking about energy, we’re talking about ageing infrastructure, we’re talking about how we’re going to repair and build the infrastructure that’s needed in the next few years as these places exist. Remember, they’re not going to grow dramatically but they still have large populations that need to be accommodated and are still facing the three common issues.

Let’s now turn to the Global South. We’re talking about in some instances, yes, sprawl but we’re also talking about some very basic and minimal issues: We’re talking about populations moving into cities, into their cores, into their peripheral areas and living at the most minimum levels of existence, living without basic services. We’re talking about basic services, we’re talking about water, we’re talking about sewers, we’re talking about social services like schools, healthcare and so forth. In terms of the systems in these cities, we’re talking about the failure to provide adequate transportation, the failure to be able to control pollution and the failure to educate the young or to provide jobs for everyone.

So when we’re talking about Inclusive Urban Development, we need to take into consideration the context in which we are going to be operating. Let’s go to the second question:

2) What cities have implemented Inclusive Urban Development, comprehensively? I can’t think of any city that is a complete model for Inclusive Urban Development but I can think of cities that have begun to take this road and then have wonderful examples of projects or efforts that will contribute to this goal that we talked about when we define Inclusive Urban Development of providing a good life for all the residents in the city and for the future generations and we can also point the cities that are doing a very poor job at this as well.

So let’s take a little look at that: New York city, this is a city that’s growing, it’s economically prosperous but it’s suffering from huge issues of affordability for many of the basic services, particularly in providing housing for those who are in the middle and lower-income groups. So that’s one issue that is needed to be addressed and is beginning to be addressed and it’s current Mayor who has pledged to create over 200,000 units of affordable housing in the time of his administration. In the past the city has been successful in taking housing that was very abandoned in the 90s, in the 80s.

The city created a very important and innovative financing scheme and was able to take those units and bring them up to standard, just at the time when new populations were coming into the city and thus were accommodated by that new housing.

So, let’s turn to the Global South now and see what cities have been successful. Medellin,Colombia, well renowned for the success it had in instituting systems of Transportation, Social services, Housing and so forth to integrate peripheral informal settlements with the city itself. It was a comprehensive system and continues to be a comprehensive system of systems that is of delivery of public goods into the neighbourhoods that are so needy to make sure that this integration – economic and social integration of the people who are living informally were living at the periphery of the society.

If we move to the next picture we see an image of Ridwan Kamil, the Mayor of Bandung, Indonesia. I’ve chosen to put him here because I want to underline the fact that none of these things happen in terms of sustainable Urban Development unless there is vision and leadership at the top that’s informed by the local knowledge at the bottom, and other parties who can help contribute to the creation of Inclusive Sustainable Urban Development. And in this case Mayor Kamil has decided that the way to deal with the burgeoning growth of that city is to institute a master plan and implement that master plan in the next few years that will deal with some of the failing systems.

We can see two examples of non-inclusive Urban Development: you see pavement dwellers. This is certainly not the kind of shelter that we would expect to have. You see an example of disease that occurred and is continuing to occur in various places when we don’t have the proper sanitation and this instance is Ebola, in other instances it could be SARS, it could be any number of diseases that will come to places that do not practice sustainable Urban Development.

Now, there are few takeaways from this particular section: 1) There are major differences among different kinds and sizes of cities with regard to how they Development, yet, what they have in common is and approaches that are systemic, that involve planning, that are multi-sectoral and that are conceived of as projects that will take a long time but can be attacked incrementally as they go forward.

This brings us to our third question: What conceptual frameworks can guide

Inclusive Urban Development?

Again, when we’re talking about 4416 cities around the world, we can’t say that there is one form or one shape of leadership or one shape of governance that will be effective and so we need to find ways to provide leadership that is shared, that’ll build on consensus, that can break through the resistance to change, that might incorporate disruptive technologies but that will in the end result in commitment on part of all sectors of society to new paradigms of development. So, what is this going to take?

It’s going to take money, it’s going to take law, legislation, it’s going to take evidence-based research to show what might work and what might not work, it will take global pressure to push some societies in these directions and regrettably it may take conflict and violence.

Obviously we don’t want to move to this last piece. Obviously, we need to think about multi-scale solutions when we think about Inclusive Urban Development. We need to think of the kinds of activities that are appropriate at the national level, at the regional level, at the city level and the neighbourhood level, we need to think of new roles for urban researchers and professionals, for public and private decision makers and for community groups and citizens to work at each one of these levels. I want to take a little time out to think about what would happen with cities were planned as if women mattered?

We know that basically we would be talking about policies that would work on where women lived. Do they live in safe places? Do they have secure tenure?

Do they have housing that is near the jobs that they may have or their families may have? Is the shelter that they have durable? Is the shelter that they have supplied with the appropriate infrastructure? Does it have water, sanitation, open space? What social services are there? Are there health services? Are there education services? How safe is it for a woman to walk the streets to get to where she needs to be? And one could substitute any other vulnerable group in this list of things and this is not a comprehensive list.

It’s just a list to suggest the kinds of things we need to take into consideration when we’re thinking about special groups. We’ll now turn to the idea of what global opinion can do to promote Inclusive Urban Development. Global opinion can get behind policy frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals as was done in 2014 with the creation of the post-2015 framework.

Included in that list was the critical statement “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” and associated with that statement, were the elements that will do so: the physical elements that will do so. I focus and take time to underline this idea that we’re talking about spatial arrangements here. You can’t have prosperity, you can’t have solid environment, you can’t have equity if you don’t have people living in good housing that has basic services, if they don’t have efficient and accessible transportation, if the environment is not supportive of a healthy life, if they’re living in places that are not resistant to resilience, if the cultural, natural heritage is not protected, if public space is not created and if it’s not done with the vision and for that urban planning brings to this process of promoting Inclusive Urban Development. So we cannot underline the importance of global action, global opinion in supporting those nations in whatever decisions they make as to how they will implement Inclusive Urban Development.

So, we have looked at three key questions: What is Inclusive Urban Development? We decided that a single definition cannot cover the topic, that different places will define it as they need to because of the environment which they have, so context does matter. We have looked at whether cities have implemented Inclusive Urban Development comprehensively. Regrettably we can’t point to one but we can point to many cities that have begun to do so and when we looked at the ingredients of success, we saw that there was vision, there was leadership, there was participation at all levels, there was money, there was law, there was global opinion of what they were doing was right and hopefully, there was not violence.

And, finally, when we think about the conceptual frameworks that can guide successful Inclusive Urban Development, we know that each entity, each nation needs to have a value system and vision that will incorporate the ingredients that we have talked about the system’s housing, transportation, planning, environment, resilience to resistance and public space that will inform Inclusive Urban Development.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo

Lecturer: Gautam Bhan, Lead, Academics and Research, Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Discussion prompts:

  1. What are the components of affordable, adequate and viable housing?
  2. Who can provide this housing for all?

My name is Gautam Bhan. I teach here in Bangalore at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and i’ll be talking with you today on the connection between housing and poverty, and we’re going to look at it particularly through three kinds of connections: One is the idea of Affordability, a key determinant on who accesses housing and of what kind.

The second is the idea of Adequacy which is what kind of house do we consider enough and the third is the question of Viability. And I think it’s very important that we keep these three together, because if we do affordability or adequacy without viability or vice versa, we lose the key way in which housing connects to both the experience of urban poverty and the ways to be able to move out of poverty and overcome them. So we look three things in the lecture today.

First, we’ll talk a little bit about what housing is. So in light and homage to Raymond Carver, thinking about what we talk about when we talk about love or if you prefer a Murakami reference and what we talk about when we talk about running, we’re going to think a little bit about what actually it means to talk about housing and we’ll come back then to our three key terms of Affordability, Adequacy and Viability to talk about them.

Then we’ll talk a little bit about who has built this house. So who has provided the current mode of accessing affordable, adequate and viable housing. Then, when we have this framework in mind we’ll move to the third part of the lecture which is to think a little bit about how is it that these actors are doing today and what does that mean for what we need to do to help them get where we need to get for cities that are truly inclusive and use housing as a key part to get to that inclusion.

So, what is housing? One of the ways that you can think about housing is its most intuitive; a housing unit, a dwelling unit, actually just a house. There, two of the first of our concerns are very clear. Is the unit affordable? Can you rent it? Can you buy it within a reasonable ratio of your income?

The second is, are they adequate? Now the debates on adequacy are the debates of norms and standards. So, how many square feet?

How many square meters? What materials? What constructions? We’ll come back to this question as we go through.

But no house can become housing until it’s connected to services. Now here the question of what makes housing viable comes back in its first form which is that housing without water, sanitation, sewage and drainage exist and lived in every city in the world but cannot be part of our understanding of what minimal housing should be. So when we think about the dwelling unit and we think about services, we begin to further move from the house to housing. To this we add a key debate for both UN-Habitat, as well as any question of inclusive development which is questions of Tenure.

Now this term is specific. When we speak of secure tenure, what are we talking about? What we’re talking about is the ability to remain in the house that you currently inhabit and not be fearful or anticipate forced eviction.

Now this is a phenomenon that impacts millions of households and cities across the world. Precisely, because of the way in which their housing has been built in a tension, with these formal regimes of law and planning. When we think a little bit about the question of secure tenure, the question we’re asking is – are households able to grow with and within formal logics of law and planning?

The next part about what makes housing very critical is that where housing is, is just as important as what kind of housing it is. Location shapes housing’s viability in a very key way. Most people determine their housing choices especially income poor urban residents not by the quality of the dwelling unit, but by its viability and proximity to employment. Many urban poor households will compromise on the adequacy of their dwelling unit, the materiality of their house, on the amount of services they have, in order to make it viable and proximate to employment.

Many urban migrants make decisions to migrate not for better shelter but for better life opportunities. Therefore housing cannot be created without a connection both in land use and planning to employment but also very critically to transportation. We then get another life. we’ve already complicated it lot so far. Right!

We started with dwelling units. We thought of services, we added tenure, we’ve looked at location. Two more to complete our distinction between house and housing.

The first is that housing is an economic asset. Now this determines very much why people want housing, what they see housing playing a part in their lives.

You can think of two ways: the first is that housing especially at the lower income level is never just a space for shelter, never just a space for use, housing as a space for work.

The image of seeing on your screen right now is an image that comes from has been Ezbet El-Nakhl in Cairo. It reminds you that the layer that you’re seeing doesn’t look like housing but it is deeply part of the settlement. It’s a waste recycling site. It’s a site for animals, it’s a site for storage, it’s a site for in-place livelihood construction where part of the settlement that is also housing people, must also make space for the way they make their livelihoods.

Now these are very important in particular connections. This kind of work which you can also think of is flexible informal, vulnerable is also deeply resilient and it takes place in these kinds of informal housing conditions for a reason. This is not a spatial coincidence. It is a determination because of the flexibility of an informal settlement, new kinds of work are possible that can shift with the lives of the residence. So particular forms of housing, allow and enable particular forms of work that are not possible in other formal or other planned areas of the city.

When we think about what housing is you must also think about housing as a spatial built-form that enables and hosts certain economic circuits, but when you scale this exact relationship up – housing is then also an economic sector. It is not just that for the household but also for the city which means that for many cities, the economy of the city, the region, the state and as we scale up into global economic flows is determined by the economic vibrancy of the housing sector.

Now this (a) means that we have many actors deeply invested in shaping this economic sector at multiple scales from big real estate capital to small municipal governments. It also means that we cannot look at housing just as the micro practices of one particular place but also as a multi-scalar, multi-geographic economic sector that is being shaped at multiple scales. Housing can never be just a public good or just a real estate condominium, it is always both and those markets shape each other.

So once we understand that we have to think about affordable, adequate and viable housing as something we must protect as a public good in a basic need, but something we cannot isolate also from its role as a commodity in a deeply global and multi-scalar market.

This is the context in which the actors who produce this housing negotiate, act and intervene and what will turn to next then is to think about who these actors are, who have been building affordable housing in cities across the world. Very briefly, there’re three types of actors that produce and supply affordable, adequate and viable housing.

The first is the State. Now within this there’s an enormous variety of institutions both at scale and of type. There is local governments, there’s national governments, technical authorities, housing authorities. So, there’s no one identifiable state but within it all of these institutions represent a certain commitment to building housing and affordable housing in particular as part of public action through public purpose understood as part of the state-citizen compact. Now this may be through direct construction.

It may also be through different kinds of regulation of the state intervening into structure in the private market, the housing market through land use, through planning through various kinds of laws and different controls. The market that they are addressing can be referred to then as the private, unaided, formal market for delivering housing. This is the space that we recognise. Housing developers, private companies again astonishingly diverse from international, transnational real estate companies working in multiple geographies to very local city-based developers building a small amount of units. But these are actors that are responding and working primarily within the logics of demand and supply. The third and final actor, however, is one that we talk about the least especially in housing policy which is that most existing affordable and viable housing stock. It is in fact been built by people themselves.

This is a process that we call Auto- construction following from the Latin American tradition. An auto-construction represents a very different logic and way of building housing through slow incremental occupation often in tension with law and planning, housing that grows with and takes along the households that are within it.

So these are the three actors: the state, the market and the people : that are able to supply this housing. What we must ask now today is what are they able to do in 2016 and what are the challenges that stopped from answering the call for meeting the unmet need for affordable housing across the world. Let’s turn to that next.

Let’s take five cities across the world and think of what they tell us about the possibilities of state action in the contemporary urban political economy. First is London, a city in the (global) North with an established capacity of the state to build such housing but a debate on what the role of the state should be and whether the state should engage in such construction in the first place, a history of public built-housing that has been deregulated, privatised many would say and a shift from public ownership of those assets and that responsibility to private terms. Here the question is not the capacity of the state but on whether a social and political agreement exists on what the role the state should play vis-à-vis housing. If you shift to a different place like Singapore, here you see an example of an agreement on the state role performed and delivered at scale.

Singapore and Hong Kong represent the iconic examples of city-states that have been able to construct large-scale housing supply at multiple affordability scales that is both adequate and viable because it’s linked also to city infrastructure over time but is directed very much by public agency. The counter example of this story is a city like New Delhi in India where the intention of the state to invest and build large-scale housing supply met the challenge of capacity.

And therefore from the 1950s, a city that tried to build public housing and deliver it and structure the market, instead created massive distortions and artificial scarcities because it was unable to deliver on the promises it itself made, unable to build enough housing and thereby creating distortions that saw unauthorised elite construction as much as it saw the rise of slums and therefore one sees the distinction of intention without capacity.

Another city that gives us a different perspective on this is Johannesburg, a city on the African continent where the capacity of the state again is not in question and indeed South Africa’s public housing program has managed to build over a million housing units but still not impact its housing shortage, and there the question of whether the state is able to build the right kind of housing even if it has the capacity, whether we know what to deliver in order to transform our challenges, whether that knowledge can be applied and used.

And my last case comes from Sao Paulo taking us to a state that is choosing  not to act in terms of direct building construction, but actually act through other ways of improvement and regulation. Brazil’s ‘Right to the City’ statute to the Federal City statute passed in 2002, represents a landmark state commitment to furthering the occupational rights especially of income poor residents in the city and one of the many ways in which that statute moved, was to work with existing already built housing and improve it.

This range of example shows us that the challenges faced are of very different kinds. From ideological agreements on the role of the state, to capacity to deliver on those outcomes but also to know even with ideological will what outcomes to deliver that will match the existing demand and not create the white elephant of housing that is built-in adequate, but unoccupied and unviable versus a state that steps back and takes a much more regulatory indirect approach to improvement and incremental transformation that respects the affordable housing landscape, as it currently exists in these cities. What is it then that the market can do?

Similarly to how we thought about the State. The questions vary and they vary about how we ask them where we ask them. So, let’s take two important differentiations. The first is, in emerging and transitioning economies in the global South, several questions come up with questions of market access. The first is “What is the nature of demand?” ‘Who is able to demand, what kind of affordable house?’ A very important study by Monitor Inclusive Markets, part of an international firm looking at the demand for affordable housing in India and what private, unaided developers could do to fill that demand in Indian cities found that the private developer cannot intervene unaided below 600,000 INR equivalent of about $10,000.

The question is that the income landscape of urban Indian residents mean that 60% of urban poor households cannot afford a house of about $10,000.

Therefore even though the affordable housing unaided market exist, it exist for the upper 40% of the market and not the bay 60%. This doesn’t mean that the market agents don’t have a role but that role must be particular and the particularity has to be recognised. The second question is ‘When the market is building what its building?’ The image you’re seeing on your screen right now is an image of Cairo, a city in which vacancy rates for already built housing are estimated between 18 and 23% which means that one in every five houses in Cairo is empty, even though the shortages are documented to be in much larger quantities. This represents a certain disjunct in the market between the nature of supply and it’s connection with the demand that we were describing earlier. But this is a very different kind of demand-supply disjunct because it represents an over building at the upper income scale responding to market logic in some sense, but not creating the supply that is required in the city to meet its challenges for affordable housings.

Market actors are therefore pivotal parts of this housing puzzle and they have a role to play in it but that role has to be nuanced and located in the realities of the structure that housing market instead of only our imaginations how the upper half of those markets work. So now let’s take our third actor. We’ve said earlier that one of the largest builders of existing affordable, adequate and viable housing is actually people themselves through auto-construction. Can we rely on auto-construction to answer the challenge of affordable housing posed to us in the Sustainable Development Goals?

There are several challenges that people face: the first and the most prominent is the one we know and recognise the most. That insecure tenure often related precisely to the processes of auto-construction leaves households vulnerable to forced evictions. Now the scale of these forced evictions isn’t something that we cannot ever underestimate in what it does to life slowly and incrementally built. The mode of forced eviction and resettlement is not just an occurrence that happens in a site or two, but actually is a way in which our cities are constantly restructured. How eviction erases a life of incrementally build development? It takes away, critically, what is represented by informal settlements : the idea of development time, the idea of time for a household’s income to grow, a child to go through education, new set of skills to come, possibly new kinds of economic opportunities. As services come into settlements the potential in speed of this development time increases and eviction turns the clock back. It starts households precisely back from where they started and remember these are precisely the households that are the most vulnerable and often unable to restart. But even without an eviction the question of how long it takes for incrementally improving household to reach adequate levels- levels the Sustainable Development Goals would consider acceptable in its metrics.

Is that time too long? The question of how long incremental improvement takes is one that we cannot evade. If we are looking at 20 years for a settlement to come to adequate standards, that’s one generation that has lived a life that is too vulnerable, too inadequate and too prone to other kinds of exclusions and shocks. So therefore even if people are to lead the process of housing by auto- construction, the State in the market must step in to reduce the time it takes to reach viability. The last is a more contemporary challenge. Now the image of screen on the screen right now is from Caracas, but it’s an image that could be from many places in the world that shows a very particular correlation. The geographies of environmental risk and hazard in our cities match almost precisely the geography of low income habitation. Precisely, those lands that are marked by risk are those that are open to occupation and building.

So therefore when we think about questions of auto – construction, much of what we are discussing is not just that people have through resilience built and survived in certain ways, it is that they should not need to be so resilient and the cost of that resilience should not fall upon the most vulnerable of our city residents so strongly as it does. So, to end this lecture where we must think about as we move forward is to recognise, first, that there are many ways to improve housing. Building new dwelling units is only one of them. If a housing is not just a house, then service improvement, planning improvements, universal access to provision of infrastructure, improved transportation and indeed, an inclusive and balanced overall economic development are necessary for housing to improve.

Housing cannot improve in isolation with other aspects and sectors of urban development. The second is to realise that debates that pit the State against the actor, against communities and seize the opportunity of policy intervention as one or the other are mistaken.

No single actor- the State, the Market or People can address the scale of this challenge alone. The question we must ask is ‘What are the synergies that bind them?” “What are the ways in which they can add upon each other?” Especially given that a new set of risks, a new set of condition is going to inevitably come upon them. As is recognised by both the evaluation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, their integration with each other, their indivisibility and the fact that we are in a new time when new answers and new practices must come to us but they must take root precisely in the foundations of existing practices, existing cities and the reality of how people live in most of the world today. That is the way in which we’ll be able to move forward and with this we end this lecture for today.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo XIII

  1. Cities as sites for poverty and poverty alleviation

Lecturer: William Cobbett, Director, Cities Alliance, Brussels.

Discussion prompts:

  1. How can cities be made the beacons for global poverty reduction?

I’m William Cobbett, better known as Billy to my friends and colleagues and I’m the Director of the Cities Alliance which is a global organisation based in Brussels, Belgium. I do not like the concept of urban poverty because you can’t divide the human challenge and the global challenge. So for me the real challenge is what’s the best way of reducing poverty and do not reduce it to a spatial form. No one talks about urban human rights and rural human rights and so I would make the same analogy. [1]

And so if we frame that the global challenge in the following way, “Can we achieve sustainable economic growth to lift the whole world’s population out of poverty?” and “Can we do this in an environmentally sustainable fashion?” Given that the majority of the world’s population will be living in cities, however you define the cities, however small, however large they are. Focusing on the efficiency of cities and what contribution, positive and negative, they make to economic growth, to resilience and climate change becomes not an urban issue but the central developmental challenge of our time because we’re talking about fixing the problem where the population of the world lives. The threat that arises from urban poverty is from the wrong policy response, for if you start off by trying to constrain cities, prevent urbanisation and not recognise the impetus that drives poor people to come to cities and you see that as a problem rather than an energy that needs to be harnessed and captured, that’s our first and our biggest problem.

Look at the budget, watch the practices, see where the poor are, see how administrations treat the poor and then you’ll come to certain conclusions and this is not ‘a developing world’ phenomenon so-called. I would say this is true in Europe, I would say it’s true in North America and I would say clearly true in Africa and Asia, elsewhere. So the first narrative that we need to change, is not about urban and rural but it’s the policy response to the economic, social and other opportunities that urbanisation and that the transformation which is revolutionary. The vast majority of city growth in the world today is informal. It also, and this is the point that city Mayors and Managers don’t think about, but again the consequences are as certain as as anything is that we create parallel markets in the same city. So we end up with parallel land markets, we end up with parallel water markets, sanitation. Per litre or per square meter the poor will pay more for the same service in the same city than the rich do.

It’s a global phenomenon. It’s a necessary consequence and it’s one of the first tangible costs that is paid by the urban poor or the urbanising poor which would be more accurate as describing them. The cost is borne by them as a direct consequence of the failure of either the public authority to have the capacity to provide the services which they should, or in fact the desire to provide their services. So many governments choose to ignore the populations and provide no services thinking that it will discourage settlement. It does nothing of the sort, it just guarantees the slump and it guarantees that already poor people who live in worse conditions, it also guarantees the inefficiency of that city.

So if I convince the Mayor that he or she should change their policies – What would be the starting point? And the starting point that I would almost always propose would be to look at the land markets: the availability, the location and the accessibility of land, land for settlement, land for recreation and land for economic opportunity is in our experience the single biggest bottleneck in most cities in the world. Land markets, if they’ve been not looked at for often a century, out-of-date planning legislation, captured by elites; The consequence of those and a range of other features is that the existing poor and the urbanising poor end up in the worst land. You look at all the transport arteries: canals, rivers, railways, roads; on the edge of all of those arteries you will find the poor. In the absence of the provision of land, the poor must go where they can.

Why do they move to cities in the first place? It’s not because you’re sitting at home in a field and thinking I really want to go and move to a slum. It’s- people move because they make rational decisions and they look at where they are, wherever it may be, it might be they might move for reasons of conflict and drought and poverty (rural type) but whatever the cause is, they must take a rational decision which says I think my chances are better there than here.

That’s what drives the urbanisation – is the human desire to improve your life and if not my life at least let me give my children a better chance and they will know full well the risks that come with that: the risks of exclusion, of no access to land, no access to services.

The very typical way in which this kind of urbanisation takes places is, one member of the family sent ahead to go and create a base and to scout it out and then over a period of time and maybe even over a decade or two, other members of the family. That’s how people change countries and it’s how they move from one part of the region, the province or the country to another and this is the migration phenomenon.

It was best articulated in the World Bank’s World Development Report in 2009 and this is, I’m summarising my interpretation of the conclusions that if, as I’ve said the challenges to reduce poverty wherever it’s found, ignore the space then History teaches us that only urban areas have got the carrying capacity to lift both rural and urban poverty, at a national level.[2]

The poster quote from that World Bank report is that ‘No country in history has ever reached middle-income status without urbanising and industrialising.’ There are a number of obstacles to getting that forward. Let me highlight two: cities aren’t empowered, they’re not given either the authority, or the resources to do what is necessarily what city administrations should be doing and they are very often treated as little more than an administrative arms of a higher tier of government. And so Challenge No. 1 very often is getting that framework which is got fiscal, it’s got legal it’s got the whole administrative features but getting local governments appropriately empowered is often obstacle number one. If I was to summarise what’s the solution to this, amongst of the particular problem I am talking about, it would be in answering the question what do we need to do to make local government the first career choice of professionals that are being trained right now. And if we start from that assumption that we actually want to get our country’s brightest and best to go into city administration and run cities, then we’ll be asking the right question.

The 2nd and in fact in many ways the more pressing Challenge as to why we don’t make progress in many of our cities is an absolute lack of data; which is that most Mayors don’t have the necessary information that they need to properly understand the needs of their citizens, to understand the potential and the desires of their citizens and to plan accordingly.

You don’t need to get a consultant in to come into a city vision. The best people to create what kind of city we want is the residents themselves, but they will need the hard information about who’s got services, what’s the strength of our economy, what’s the weakness of our economy, what’s the role of the informal sector in our economy, and within that and on the land markets what is the role played and allocated to women. [3]I think the period since 1996 which was Habitat II – Istanbul and Quito for Habitat III, so I don’t want to measure progress by United Nations General Assembly meetings but it’s very useful frame because I think those of us who have been involved with urban and city issues see huge changes now, beginning to take place and let me give you at least one example from each continent. So starting on the east in Latin America and the Caribbean the standout player is of course Brazil.

Latin America has democratised in the last three decades and most urbanisation happened under very repressive governments often military dictatorships. So there was no recognition of the rights of the poor to those cities, nothing was provided therefore they self-provided and it was social movements in the 1980s fighting for the ‘Right to the City’ that led and made a huge contribution to the political transformation of Brazil; changes to the Constitution recognising the Right to the City and legislation empowering the Right to the City. So we’ve also seen the biggest investment program in the history of Latin America called ‘Pak’ but in English that translates as the Accelerated Growth Program, a set of public investments designed to transform the Brazilian economy and a huge part of that has been funds allocated to retrofitting Brazilian cities and putting in the services and doing the slum upgrading. Sao Paulo, the city Sao Paulo made very significant changes, it stopped in the early 2000s. It stopped it’s all – star process of solving “slum problems” with court orders and evictions and rather understood the slums, put them into different categories and negotiated case-by-case resolutions to the slum problems.

I don’t advertise it as the solution to all problems but in terms of concerted behaviour over the last 15 years, the Brazilian government has made extraordinary progress.

My African example, there’s many, many more good new stories in Africa than people imagine. I think the country that is making quicker progress than almost any other is Ethiopia. It’s now Africa’s, I think, fastest growing economy and we now have a very significant focus on not only Addis (Ababa) which is the capital but the next generation, the next tier of local governments or cities (the secondary cities) and so on a number of fronts for example, we’ve seen a program of building roads in the most labour-intensive manner possible of taking granite rocks, breaking them down, putting them into pebble stones and building roads. I’m not talking about 1 or 2 kilometres, I’m talking about thousands of kilometres but they are encouraged to save while they are employed and then they are helped out of the system, so it’s a cycle of economic opportunity and employment generation – employing tens of thousands of Ethiopians. So the framework that has been in Ethiopia at the moment is to calculate what the population of a given city will be in the year 2040, how much space will you require to house such a population, move the boundary now to accommodate and reserve that land and bring it under a single jurisdiction, and most critically is take certain decisions now about reserving land for the provision of bulk services later.

So even though you don’t dig any trenches and you don’t put any pipes in the land is reserved and you’re planning for future economic growth, economic and population growth. Very few countries if any, have done this.

And then if we go to Asia, I really wanted to point to the government of Vietnam. If we go back only 12 or 14 years ago, it was not in favour of urban upgrading, of what we would call in-situ urban upgrading, and with some judicious investment and the trying of upgrading policies in different cities that moved to, in the last 15 years that has gone from being pilot projects, it’s now national policy that you have a national urban upgrading program across all cities in Vietnam. And in fact they may actually miss the worst of the slum step in the economic transformation of their country. There’s a Vietnam Urban Forum (national) which is normally chaired by the Minister of Construction, but at the city level you have urban fora with local authorities, residents’ organisations and in this the role played by for example ACVN which is the Association of the Vietnamese Cities, the local authorities – it’s been instrumental. They’ve played a hugely constructive role in the transformation and Vietnam is now one of the fastest urbanising and the fastest transforming economies in Asia.

So, for all of the negative examples that they are to be found, there are also very positive and encouraging examples in all regions. What gives me most hope of all is that we finally, after announcing it year after year, or praying for it year after year, we finally see the International Development Community beginning to put cities onto their agenda.

Yes, they are late but no one, we don’t need to be clever about that. I think if we can combine the resources and the experience from all over the world, with new policies at the local and national level we’ve got half a chance of avoiding the worst mistakes that we’ve seen in some of the cities in the world.

[1] http://urbandata.unhabitat.org/

[2] RIght of de city http://purochioe.rrojasdatabank.info/harvey2008.pdf

http://www.iied.org/how-serious-are-sdgs-about-tackling-inequality

guardian.com/cities/2016/apr/29/story-cities-33-santiago-chile-housing-crisis-operacion-sitio-operation-chalk

[3] Habitat I Vancover – 1976 , Habitat II – Instambul – 1996,  Habitat III Quito – 2016 

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia social e urbanismo XII

 What is urban poverty?

Discussion prompts:

  1. How is urban poverty measured and what are the gaps in the current understanding of poverty? How do these affect the action strategies aimed at reducing poverty reduction?
  2. What are the other ways to define urban poverty, and who could do it best?

Well, here is a picture of an informal settlement in the Philippines. Now this could be a picture that you would see in so many different cities.

About a billion people live in informal settlements such as these. Imagine the needs that are unmet in an informal settlements such as this.

But unfortunately poverty in urban áreas isn’t measured by living standards, it’s measured by income and the income is set, it’s meant to be set at the level that allows an individual or household to afford basic needs, but it isn’t. It’s only based usually on food needs, with a very small adjustment for non-food needs. Perhaps the most dramatic undercount of urban poverty comes from the $1 a day poverty line. The World Bank started using the $1 a day poverty line in the late 1990s and now it’s $1.9 per person per day, but this assumes that the cost of non-food needs is the same all over a country. You know, as if a small village in Uttar Pradesh has the same cost of housing, of water, of sanitation as being an informal settlement in Mumbai.

This graph shows the dramatic difference in who is said to be poor comparing the $1 a day poverty lines with national poverty lines. If you set the poverty line to the $1 a day, it shows a dramatic fall in poverty and you see in this graph what might be regarded as evidence of huge success of development, but the $1 a day poverty line is so unrealistic for anywhere where the non-food needs of low-income groups are expensive.

Now there was a dramatic fall in the number of people living in slums, in India, in Bangladesh and in many other countries between 2000 and 2010. What seems to have happened is that they changed the criteria for what is adequate sanitation, making the standard lower and that moved 60 million people out of slums in India. So it was a change in the statistical base, nothing to do with a number of people moving out of poverty. Of course, how you measure poverty influences the response. If it’s only on the basis of income, then you look for additional income but if it’s some nutritional status then you’re looking for how to increase food supply. But what it ought to be looking at is the much broader living environment and the livelihoods.

A lot of people are said to be living in poverty, but poverty definitions don’t mention living conditions. If you’re going to rely on income-based poverty lines, then you’ve got to find out how much non-food needs cost.

You’ve got to look at the cost of housing – many low-income groups are renting accommodation and rent can often take 25-30% of their total income. We’ve got to see the amount spent on water, if the only access to water is water vendors or water kiosks they’re probably playing quite a high cost for water. You’ve got to look at the cost of sanitation – in many informal settlements there’s no room for toilets within each person’s home, and what grows up are small commercial enterprises that give you access to toilets and washing facilities. Very often this hidden cost of keeping children at school is the informal payments that teachers demand, as school uniforms and school books.

Cost on transport – if you are looking for cheap land and you go to a peripheral site in a city, you build-in high transport costs both in time and in money. In terms of the special aspects of poverty, obviously low-income groups concentrate in areas where housing is cheap or there is no cost of housing, for instance on pavements or some of the peripheral areas of cities where the commercialised land market hasn’t yet caught up. But in general low-income groups – their priorities to live within easy reach of employment opportunities.

Now the only land that’s available, that’s within easy reach of employment opportunities is usually river banks or watersheds or places that are dangerous, so you get an enormous concentration of low-income groups in informal settlements in dangerous sites.

The low income groups that want to build their own homes often look for land on the periphery – but the most affordable land is the land that’s least well-suited to accessing labour markets, so you have lengthy and expensive commutes even if your housing is cheap.

And of course, we’ve also got to look at those who are particularly susceptible, particularly at risk so we’ve got to look – by Age, infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to a range of diseases and injuries, obviously by Sex, obviously by Gender, perhaps also by particular groups that face discrimination within the urban poor, particular Ethnic groups or Migrants. So Urban Poverty is complex – so many dimensions, so important to incorporate diferente groups, so how do we actually measure it.

One of the most important innovations in urban poverty was a recognition that it has many dimensions – so it wasn’t just based on income or on consumption but it was based on a safe site, a reasonable house, access to water piped to your home, a proper toilet, drainage, the collection of household waste, access to healthcare, access to schools and childcare, a registered address; in many countries you need a registered address to get on the voters register, policing as so many informal settlements have no policing, the police simply ignore them, the rule of law are implemented – all of these are critical aspects. A deficiency in these can be judged to be part of poverty.

The difficulty is, of course that these are more difficult to measure than income or consumption. The other worry is that you need to treat each of these deficiencies separately. There’s an index that has been developed, the Multidimensional Poverty Index that aggregates most of these aspects and as you aggregate so you lose any understanding of what’s happening. Unfortunately most of the data on poverty is done from National Sample Surveys – and national sample surveys have sample sizes too small to inform each locality on the deficiencies in provision for basic services or the poor quality housing.

Censuses should provide this – but it’s unclear that censuses necessarily cover all informal settlements, and it’s also difficult for local governments to get the data out of census authorities in a form that allows them to look at provisions for water, sanitation, drainage, healthcare, schools down to each street. What we need is not national statistical offices but statistical offices that serve local governments, as well as national governments, with relevant data.

We asked grassroots leaders from six Asian nations, to talk about how they would define and measure urban poverty and they took this very seriously. They went back to their communities and like good researchers, did large household surveys but (these were) household surveys done by community leaders that really knew, what the cost of food and non-food needs was. And what they did is they came back with a definition of urban poverty that was much tighter, an understanding of urban poverty that was much more specific – and we are encouraging them to go to their national statistical office and say, look we’re the experts in poverty, this is how we measure and monitor them; please learn from us.

If we look at the solutions highlighted by the grassroots leaders, community savings was obviously important. Urban poor groups taking initiatives themselves, trying out things. When things work well, then go to government and say let’s multiply this hundredfold. Urban poor groups also gathering the data on urban poverty, more accurate, more detailed, more useful than official definitions. Linking their work in networks and federations, so that they have more power to influence what the state does. Obviously getting land or tenure of the land they’re already occupy, but being able to address their own housing issues and then upscale their work in partnership with local governments.

Over the last 30 to 40 years, we’ve seen city after city overwhelmed with the speed of its population growth. Both natural increase and in migration. What is a bit depressing is, you see successful cities, prosperous cities that have fallen further and further behind in provision for water or sanitation or drainage or health care or schools. You see an increase in the proportion living informal settlements. Many African cities have 50, 60, 70 even 80% of their population in informal settlements.

This is a graph that shows perfectly – how inadequate definitions give a very distorted picture. This is the proportion of the urban population with improved water, in 2010.

It looks very impressive – most countries have 70, 80 and 90% of the population with improved water, but improved water includes water from standpipes. It makes no assessment of how long it takes to get the water, it  makes no assessment as to how far the water source is, it makes no assessment of whether the water is safe or regular. This is a graph showing the proportion of the population in lower middle-income nations that lack drinking water pipe to their home. It’s astonishing that you know a third of the least-developed nations of thepopulation and a third of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, urban population doesn’t have water-piped premises. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were meant to encourage city governments to improve provision for water and sanitation. In many nations they’re gone backwards. In many nations there’s actually a lower proportion of this urban population with water-piped premises than was present in 1990. Well, the Sustainable Development Goals surprised us all. They deal clearly with urban areas in Goal 11, but to me what’s more impressive is that they understand the multi-dimensional nature of poverty. So there’s a commitment to eliminating extreme poverty, there’s a commitment to leave no one behind and that means no individual, no household, no community. And they cover all the needs – they are a very good drafting on water, on sanitation, on drainage, on the healthcare, on schools, on the rule of law, on voice, on empowerment even on policing. The new urban agenda and the SDGs depend heavily on local government and local civil society. These are the actors that will drive the changes.

Strong democratic processes and strong social movements are a critical part of urban poverty reduction.

In Latin America, you’ve had a local government response to the social movement, so much of the poverty reduction has been done by local government. You also have this new and very exciting model coming out of the urban poor, becoming more organised. You see this most clearly in the federations formed by slum dwellers or shack dwellers in 30 nations, including some in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The foundation of these Women’s Savings Groups and the Women Savings Groups function as a poverty reducer, because every member has access to cash if needed – if needed for an emergency, or as a loan to develop their livelihoods.

But these Women Savings Groups federate, and as they federate so they become more ambitious. They take on slum upgrading, if they can access land, they can build their own homes. They very often address sanitation solutions for themselves, sometimes as community toilets, sometimes as shared toilets. The federations also offer local government a partnership, and of course so what can be done by local government and in partnership with these federations is much greater than they can do individually, and so we’ve seen some strong poverty reduction processes very much driven by the federations in which local governments cooperate.

One of the most interesting examples of urban poverty reduction is the Community Organisations Development Institute in Thailand. This can be seen as a combination of top-down and bottom-up. It’s top down in that it’s a national government agency that makes available loans – loans for upgrading, loans for purchasing land, loans for commercial enterprises, loans for a whole range of things. In the secure tenure program they run, called the Baan Mankong you’ve had na amazing number of 80,000 – 90,000 households; all of whom have transformed the settlements where they live into good quality housing connected to basic infrastructure and services, with the help of loans from this organisation. Governments in high-income nations have enormously reduced poverty, or the most serious forms of poverty. These were pretty much pushed for or negotiated by organised groups within urban populations, sometimes they were implemented in fear of epidemics. A cholera epidemic was a wonderful stimulus for municipal innovation and although welfare entitlements have been cut in most countries in Europe, a lot of the basic needs are guaranteed as citizen rights.

In Latin America, you’ve got movement towards this – if I was to take a city that I know well – Rosario in Argentina. Over the last five Mayor terms, you’ve had a strengthening economy, increasing public space, one of the best healthcare systems that is open to anyone, informal settlements being upgraded, livelihoods for low-income groups being supported. Now all of this was in response to democratic pressures; you had two outstanding Mayors – each with two terms of office that came to an office making a commitment to address these, and they addressed these. So competent local governments driven by strong democratic pressures are probably the best recipe for urban poverty reduction. If we go to other models of poverty reduction then there’s the standard market-driven approach, where you hope that your economy grows fast enough to generate enough jobs for low-income groups to mean rising incomes, at least for most of the population. But it needs a long and sustained economic growth, to actually to generate enough for that, and there’s almost always got to be accompanied by measures to reach those that do not benefit from rapid economic growth. There are other measures that are very useful for reducing urban poverty. Cash transfers have demonstrated – a very modest monthly sums to low-income households, just to help them meet their expenditures. It’s been good for children too, in that this is less than the pressure to withdraw kids from school to help generate an income. Of course it is particularly valuable for those that can’t earn an income – pensioners for instance, or those with disabilities that make it difficult for them to find work. And the cost of of running these cash transfer schemes is really quite low.

In conclusion, what questions should I leave with you – What existing data sources could be useful to inform urban planning? And that is urban planning of each street, each neighbourhood, each small area unit. What indicators would you use to track urban poverty and who would you ask to collect them? And is it possible to reconcile global goals like the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals with local needs and priorities?

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia Social e Urbanismo XI

  1. Law, order and conflicts
  2. What are the greatest factors that make a city fragile? Choose a specific case example to support your argument.

Cities are exceptional places. They concentrate opportunity, are productive, create employment, spur creativity, learning and culture through institutions like universities and museums. But they also concentrate inequality, poverty and risk; and below the surface is often violence, crime and conflict. How does one reconcile these very different facets of cities?

What happens in cities when governance and law and order break down, regimes become oppressive and lose credibility, when institutions become weak or are subject to massive economic shock or even a disaster?

Can cities and regions fail, be destroyed and abandoned? And if that happens, can they ever recover or even build back better? Peace, justice, the rule of law and strong and effective institutions as seen in SDG 16 are as important for cities as countries. In the absence of good governance, strong local institutions, citizen participation and empowerment, it’s relatively easy for urban areas to descend rapidly into social, economic and political conflict and then chaos.

When that happens the economy contracts, property is destroyed, society becomes fractured and conflict ridden, people die or are killed, the environment is often devastated and institutions and people vote with their feet. They leave the city, for a time or sometimes for ever. What worse time to look at this than during regime change?

On 30th April 1975, the world woke to shocking news. Saigon had fallen. After a bloody 20-year war in which over 3 million people were killed and the country devastated, North Vietnamese troops in a swift operation took over the city and hoisted their flag on Independence Palace. The South Vietnamese regime surrendered. With an influx of over 300,000 refugees from other locations and fighting happening all across the city, civic services broke down and anarchy reigned in the city. The prices of properties had dropped by 75% in just two weeks, that of safe passage out of the city by ship tripled and underhand payments to get an exit visa went up by six times. After the main airport of Saigon was shelled and rendered useless, the United States initiated the largest helicopter evacuation in history to bring its military personnel, diplomats and citizens to safety along with tens of thousands of South Vietnamese. Many tens of thousands were left behind.

Post-reunification, Saigon became Ho Chi Minh city, martial law was declared and order slowly restored. But it’s population declined by close to a million people. Eventually, 40 years later the city has recovered its lost population and is now Vietnam’s second largest city and a vibrant commercial centre.

The long history of urbanisation till the industrial revolution, could be seen as a series of long contractions with occasional periods of expansions of cities, their populations and economies. The fascinating thing, is that in spite of the ups and downs of individual cities, most settlement systems i.e. the mix of large cities, small towns and multitudes of villages have across the world been largely stable over time. This is except when entire cultures like the Mayans of Central America imploded.

Within a settlement system, individual cities have expanded and contracted, some were abandoned and others destroyed. But in most locations, people and cultures repopulated these places even after a long downturn. They rebuilt and expanded them in long waves of development and sometimes, decline. Yet, unlike Saigon, very few cities like Xian, Alexandria or Varanasi have been lived in or developed over many centuries or better, a millennium or more.

A critical question when we talk of sustainable cities is how long we can expect them to sustain themselves, or put in another way, what is a decent life expectancy for a city? A 100 years, 500 years , a 1000 or more? As human lives become longer, our cities too need to reflect a long-term orientation. One that goes beyond the short-term perspectives of electoral cycles or the quarter by quarter frenzy of firms. Some experts feel that the minimum time-span that we should plan for with sustainable cities is 50- 100 years. But how many contemporary cities have a 100-year plan or governance foresight that examines risk and shocks over a multi-decadal period.

The SDGs, especially SDG 11 encourages us to do just this. Rome is a classic example, of the value of the long view. It grew rather rapidly over a few hundred years from a small Italian city-state to become the heart of a large and powerful Mediterranean empire; then as the Roman Empire imploded into a vandalised city that was slowly abandoned over the next few hundred years, to become an agricultural landscape in the Middle ages. It then grew back as a centre of Papal power, finally as the capital of unified Italy, becoming a large modern metropolis. Today, it is very difficult to build underground infrastructure in Rome, because most houses and streets are built over 2,500 years of history.

Constantinople, the alter ego of Rome survived and thrived for close to 1,000 years, before it was taken by the Turks in 1453, who then renamed it Istanbul, but they maintained an economic and cultural continuity that makes this a great world city. More recently, Istanbul has seen a resurgence as the largest metropolitan city in the Islamic world. An important question that is asked is whether Istanbul was more resilient or sustainable than Rome?

We must ask a deeper question: What causes cities and regions to be fragile and sometimes to fail, to be abandoned, to be destroyed and often to be forgotten in the sands of time?

There are five classical reasons for this: One, Governance collapses linked to war and social conflict. War has for millennia been one of the most deadly enemies of urban continuity. From the Roman sack and destruction of Carthage; the 13-day siege of Baghdad by Genghis Khan’s army that led to a massacre of over a quarter of a million residents, the destruction of the great libraries of the Abbasids and the end of the golden age of Islam; the destruction and sack of the million city of Vijaynagara in south India: one of the largest and most powerful cities of the 16th century; the torching of Benin by British troops; the utter destruction of Stalingrad; the firebombing of Dresden in Germany and of Tokyo during the Second World War where in one bombing raid 40 sq. kms of the city was destroyed, with a quarter of million houses and over 100,000 people died. And finally, the devastating atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Two, drought and famine, often linked to environmental crisis, overpopulation and collapse. Fatehpur Sikri, was the capital of Mughal emperor Akbar for a short 15 years, before it was abandoned largely because of a shortage of water. More dramatic were the collapse of the Teotihuacan culture in Mexico that built the remarkable Temples of the Sun and the Moon, only to collapse due to a deforestation and drought induced by environmental crisis. The collapse of Mayan urban culture is also linked by some scholars to severe overexploitation of resources.

Three, epidemics and outbreaks of disease. The Black death or Plague reduced the population of mediaeval Florence by about three-quarters. Multiple episodes of the plague over the 13th to 15th century led the rich and aristocracy to flee London. Old Goa, the great Portuguese world-city of the 16th century on India’s western coast that boasted two universities, suffered multiple outbreaks of typhoid and cholera, as pathogens from its cesspools, contaminated the shallows wells that were used from drinking water. The city went through am ethnic cleansing due to the Inquisition and the Plague, was abandoned and then demolished block-by-block.

Four,disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and cyclonic storms. Pompeii, the flourishing Roman town was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, a nearby volcano. The ancient world city of Alexandria on the Egyptian coast, was first devastated by a tsunami and then a massive earthquake. The city of Kobe, one of the largest container ports in the world, was struck by a massive earthquake in 1995, devastating the heart of the city. It never recovered its status.

Five, economic collapses often linked to changing geopolitical and geo-economic boundaries. After the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, Venice – the great maritime Republic lost its monopoly of trade to Asia; Calcutta, the first colonial capital of British India and centre of industry and commerce, declined after the capital was moved to Delhi, it slowly descended into genteel poverty and depressed industry, after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. It was overtaken by over a million refugees from Bangladesh in 1971 in the context of extreme violence there.

Cities with their productivity, wealth and growing populations now concentrate more risk and opportunity of contest, conflict and breakdown than ever before. The early 21st century will be marked by the massive growth of dense urban populations within about a 100-odd kilometres of the shorelines of Asia and Africa, adding to existing coastal concentrations in the Americas and in Europe.

What will make this very different from the past, is large concentrations of poor people, living in inadequate conditions (poor housing, little water, no sanitation), many unemployed young men with some form of education and a high degree of digital connectivity. This in part is the fuel that helped a conflagration spread across North Africa and Middle East during Arab Spring. More and more violence is being concentrated in cities than in inter-state conflict. Parallels exist between drug-mafia linked violence in Rio, gang wars in many Mexican cities and mass mobilisations that we have seen in in Cairo and Hong Kong.

This is a perfect recipe for contest and urban conflict, in a world in which easy access to cheap and powerful technology and means of asymmetric warfare is now widespread.

This makes a case for the implementation of the urban SDGs, along with new forms of networked governance, community engagement and peace-keeping. The remarkable thing about many cities, is their long-term resistance or ability to bounce back from war, civil strife, disasters, economic and sometimes even environmental collapse.

Berlin and Leningrad-St.Petersburg are two cities that were devastated in the Second World War with over 300,000 causalities in the First and over 1.1 million in the siege of the Second. Berlin survived that, survived a near forty-year partition by the Berlin wall, but within 15 years after the wall came down was transformed into the capital of one of the most powerful and successful countries in Europe. Leningrad, survived a 29-month siege, was rebuilt and after the Soviet transition in 1990 went back to being St.Petersburg, which at 5 million is Russia’s second largest city. Hiroshima, lost 1,20,000 people in one of the most horrific acts of mass destruction when an atomic bomb was dropped on it, on 6 August 1945. It was rebuilt over the next decade and now has a population of over a million people. Some cities have a remarkable ability to bounce back like London. The medieval city of London was devastated by the Great Fire in 1666, which destroyed much of its houses and built fabric. It was then reconstructed on even a grander scale. Over three-fourths of San Francisco was devastated by 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires, but recovered by the 1930s to become one of the most important metropolises on the western coast of the United States. Some cities have weathered immense economic and geopolitical crises. Vienna started the 20th century as the powerful capital of the 400-year-old Habsburg Empire, following the collapse of that Empire and the loss of Hungary, it became the capital of the rump state of Austria, which was then forcibly merged with Nazi Germany in 1938. Following a long period of stasis during the Cold War, Vienna emerged after the fall of the Berlin Wall as one of the more attractive and highest per capita income cities in Europe. Shanghai, the booming commercial capital of early 20th century China, became a ghost of itself in 1949 after the Communist revolution with the flight of capital, citizens and foreigners from the city. The city saw remarkable resurgence in the late 1980s as a symbol of enterprise and the new China. It now has more skyscrapers than Manhattan and is an iconic reminder of the power of urban transformation.

In summary: Peace, justice, the rule of law and strong and effective institutions are as important for cities as countries. They are the bedrock of urban sustainability. There are five classical macro-threats to urban sustainability: governance collapses linked to war and social conflict; drought and famine linked to environmental crises, overpopulation and collapse; outbreaks of disease; natural disasters and economic collapses. Modern cities are exposed to additional forms of fragility: the ability to destroy entire cities with weapons of mass destruction; the rapid expansion of pandemics; Climate Change and global and regional economic crises. Cities can survive and thrive for over a 1,000 years if the conditions are right. We need to prepare,plan and develop institutions for 50-100 years to enable this long-term urban sustainability.

Rapid urbanisation combined with concentrations of poverty, poor living and economic conditions and large numbers of young people, combined with increases in connectivity and aspiration creates a set of 21st-century challenges that amplifies urban fragility and violence. Meeting the urban SDGs is an effective step in both addressing these challenges and those of long-term urban sustainability.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia social e Urbanismo X

Public Finance and Taxation

What are the various reasons for which cities need to raise funds?

What are the various sources of funds for the cities, and what are the new ways to think about raising additional resources?

In this session, we will examine: the role of city, regional and national governments in a city’s economy, through public expenditure and taxation, incentives and regulation; how much of the urban economy is dependent on public investment and finance and how these finances can be mobilised and deployed. We will also examine how urban sustainability and implementing the SDGs can be financed, and the challenges that will be faced in doing this. Cities like London and Mumbai are drivers of their regional and national economies.

Greater London produces about a third of U.K.’s GDP of about 2.7 trillion dollars ; and Mumbai, 22 % of Maharashtra’s economic output and about 5% of India’s 2 trillion GDP. The concentration of high earning jobs and financial services in London makes it one of the world’s most economically productive cities, it receives 14% of UK’s public expenditure, but produces over a fifth of its revenue.

As most of India’s banks and a large number of large corporations are headquartered in Mumbai, it also produces more than 30% of India’s income taxes. Public expenditure per head in London of course is much higher that of Mumbai showing the wide disparity in per capita expenditure levels across these cities.

Yet, the bulk of urban economic activity in both these metros is in household and in the enterprise sector. So, the question for us is: Why do we need urban public finance?

The most obvious reason is to support the salaries of the public servants at the local/municipal level; at the provincial level where urban management, planning and investment decisions are taken and finally at the apex national level where national urban policies and development programs are defined and financed via the budget.

There are a range of public functions and services in urban areas, that need to be financed and delivered, with wide variation of sources of revenue and objects of expenditure which change from country to country. Some urban services are best-delivered and facilitated by governments and state agencies, for example: Law, order and justice like the Police and the Courts or Regulation of economic activity (like trade and commerce), The regulation of public property and the Commons (like land, roads, green and open spaces, which are very critical for cities), the regulation and delivery of social services (like health care and education for people who live in urban areas), the delivery of basic public services (typically water and sanitation and drainage), and finally, Social protection and welfare entitlements which are so important to the poor and vulnerable in our cities. There are others like power, transport and telecommunications that can be delivered by multiple providers like informal enterprises; public-private partnerships; public sector enterprises or municipal and public service utilities. This is why cities are so interesting and difficult to finance.

Whatever the form of ownership, delivery and regulation of these services; money is needed to manage operations and maintenance and capital to expand infrastructure. This can be done either directly through various forms of taxation or indirectly by a range of concessions, licenses and financing arrangements which work between public, cooperative and private institutions. In most cities, a mix of public finance; PPP financing and innovative bottom-up finance arrangements are in use. This depends on national and local public policy and historical precedents.

In spite of these arrangements, state agencies and local governments, typically raise the bulk of these financial resources that are required to run and manage the city and oversee the deployment of public expenditure. Their capacity to deliver and manage these processes is therefore, crucial. What are the most important sources of public finance? Let’s go through a list, rather quickly: Local, regional and national taxes, both, direct and indirect. There are many fiscal arrangements to enable taxation across countries which need to be devolved to local governments to help implement the SDGs.

National Governments raise most of the taxes in countries and transfer them to regional and local governments. These inter-governmental fiscal transfers and grants decide who is responsible for and who is responsive to local sustainable development challenges. This is one of the most important technical and political challenges we have. Income from rents, from public properties, user fees and charges whether it is from roads or sanitation or solid waste management services. Innovative financial mechanism such as London’s traffic congestion charge is an emerging form of such income.

Return and dividends from investment on Public utilities like water and from other public enterprises. And in some cities where there is considerable amount of financial distress, income from the sale and privatisation of public assets like land and public sector enterprises. And last, debt and deficit financing either through the national budget or via municipal and other forms of bonds. These bonds borrow from the market and hence from individuals, like you and me and of course from enterprises.

Many of these bonds are tax-exempt for a fixed period to attract both domestic and international investment. It might be interesting for us to look at different types of bonds: The general obligation municipal bonds are usually raised to raise capital to cover local government expenses. This is backed by the state’s power to tax. Revenue bonds, which are more common are often issued to fund long-term infrastructure projects, like a toll road or a metro system. Their repayments are made from the projected income from these projects and they are often placed in an escrow account to give comfort to risk-averse investors and donors. In recent times, Green and Climate bonds are used to fund projects with positive environmental and climate benefits, such as renewable energy projects, energy efficiency projects,emission reduction and waste management investments. And to address disaster risks, catastrophe bonds which transfer the risks to insurance, institutions and to investors. Now let’s come back to comparing London and Mumbai where we started from.

The UK, has a unitary government, with a central role for the national government and a weak role for local bodies, except for London because of its political and economic importance. This as we can see, is reflected in London’s revenue that comes from a mix of sources: In 2013-14, 54% of London’s revenue came from income taxes and national insurance. 14% came from value-added taxes, 13% from corporation and business taxes and only about 6% from land taxes, stamp duties and council taxes which were all locally driven. So the bulk of London’s resources come from non-local sources. India, unlike the UK has a strong and well established fiscal federal structure, divided between central and states government, and urban local bodies.

The Central Government in India has had primacy in raising revenue and then sharing it with the states increasingly through rule-based transfers. Urban development and management, is largely controlled by state governments, but cities have a weak political say in this and an even weaker revenue base. India spends only 1% of its GDP on municipal government and services which leads to a whole range of challenges that we see on the ground.

Mumbai for example, in spite of it being such an important metropolitan city has limited powers to raise local taxes, with octroi being its largest source of revenue. Like other institutions, the sustainability of cities depends on the financial health of municipal and public finances.

Many cities, even in high-income countries are often in trouble. Poor public financial management and debt has constrained expenditure in critical infrastructure and urban renewal; and sometimes even rich cities are unable to pay the salaries of public servants.

Urban sustainability, is therefore closely linked to establishing principles of sustainable finance, asset and human resource management in public systems. A core principle of sustainable financing that we have to understand is that the operations and maintenance of municipal services should be paid for. They need to be paid for, either through user charges or through a mix of charges and subsidies. These subsidies,of course, should be limited to those who cannot afford commercial services and hence use these services at a basic lifeline tariff. In many locations of course, as we know, the better off have been known to benefit from the subsidies through an elite capture of services.

This is a complex and contested question and is subject to considerable populist pressure across the world. Another strategic question, is how do we finance infrastructure, basic services and housing that is necessary to deliver the SDGs.

Some cities especially in China, use land markets to finance the long term capital requirements. Others, look to development assistance, banks and long-term capital (like pension funds or insurance) to part-finance these requirements. Market economies like the United States often have well-developed municipal bond and housing markets from which cities are able to raise resources to finance urban development. But even there, the 2008 economic crisis was born out of the malregulation of this sector.

What would it take to finance the urban SDGs across the world?

Current estimates places it between $2-3 trillion of additional investments on an annualised basis, till 2030. While additional work is done on this by national and international financial institutions, it is clear that the urban sector will require a significant proportion of the financing needs of the SDGs to address infrastructure, housing and building needs.

Therefore, effective and sustainable financing, new and innovative institutional arrangements and policies to enable greater access and ensure that no one is left behind will be necessary. So, What have we learned from this session?

Public expenditure is necessary to expand the provision of universal public services, physical and social infrastructure and regulation as well as their long-term operations and maintenance. Many of these services must be delivered by the state whereas some others can be delivered in partnership with other stakeholders like the private sector.

This requires taxation and revenue-generation, though many sources, that we have discussed before. The sustainability of cities is linked to the financial health of municipal and public finances. Estimates for the financing the urban SDGs worldwide range from $2-3 trillion of additional investments annually, of which infrastructure, building and housing take the largest share.

Finally while these are only estimates they tell us that creating sustainable cities will not come cheap.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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Museologia social e urbanismo IX

  1. Urban Infrastructure and Services
  2. How can urban utilities be provided sufficiently, efficiently, economically and equitably to all in a city?

Urban infrastructure and services are an important differentiator between cities and rural areas. A range of universal services that we now take for granted in large and wealthy cities like piped water, sewage, underground drainage, electric power supply, public transportation, telecommunications and more recently the Internet; were only available to the elites, merely a century ago. In many cities of the global South, the daily struggle for a large proportion of citizens, is about access to basic services.

Universal basic urban services, are critical drivers of increased productivity, quality of life and access to education and healthcare that permit people to live in cities at much higher densities, than in most villages. All of these factors, enable cities to become vibrant and productive places with high volumes of economic output, social interaction, innovation and learning.

The counterfactual is that many cities that do not have universal access to these basic services experience, not only lower productivity, incomes and job opportunities; but poor health and sometimes lower life expectancy; poorer education levels and hence weaker economic and social opportunities. In fact, dense concentrations of people, in slums and informal settlements who are poorly served by water, sanitation, drainage and solid waste services are often at higher risk of infectious diseases and natural hazards because of the locations and conditions in which they live.

In effect, urban infrastructure like many of the key systems in the human body, enables the metabolism of cities to function effectively, efficiently and sometimes sustainably.

What do we mean by urban infrastructure?

Today we will look at water supply, sanitation, drainage and solid waste management or what we call urban environmental services; also the energy infrastructure, mobility and transport systems, and information and communications systems.

Let us start with our first cluster of critical environmental services (water supply, sanitation,drainage and solid waste management) that manage flows of potable water, waste water and storm run-off.

They also manage the flow of different types of solid waste that all of our cities create (for example, organic compostables through bone, paper, glass, metals and plastics, toxic chemicals and bio hazards). Environmental services are primarily provided by natural ecosystems (for example rivers and groundwater aquifers, forests and wetlands) and by constructed systems like water filtration and treatment plants and sewage and septage treatment facilities.

Water supply systems are a good example of the full cycle of these services, as shown in this diagram: they begin with withdrawal from surface and groundwater sources, moving to treatment to appropriate standards in filtration plants, transmission and distribution through large pressurised water networks, use, recycling, reuse and finally waste water treatment before returning that water to the environment from which it came from.

In the past, such environmental services, like water supply were conceived as linear source to sink systems where unlimited withdrawal of the natural resource was common, as was untreated discharge back into the environment. As cities have grown, pollution loads exceed the Carrying capacity of the surrounding ecosystems to absorb them. This is what we saw happen to the Thames in London in the 19th century and what is currently happening to rivers in China and India like the Yangtze and the Ganga.Learning from this experience, planners are now visualising urban systems as closed-loop systems where we try to conserve the use of a precious resource like freshwater, recycling and reusing it is many times as possible, as Singapore and Beijing do, so effectively, and then treat it to return it into the environment at the same level of quality at which it was withdrawn.

Only 1% of global water resources are available as freshwater for human use. Irrigated agriculture consumes the bulk of this freshwater while urban and industrial use is less than 10 to 15% of the total demand in a typical region. Urban water can come from different sources depending on the location of the city: from glacial melt, lakes, tanks, rivers, and groundwater.

Its quality varies considerably depending on the quality of the source, and the amount of pollution (such as faeces, solid waste, chemicals and even antibiotics) that cities and citizens unthinkingly release into the water. In most locations, source water needs to be filtered, treated for pathogens and then distributed through pipes and sometimes tankers and informal water vendors.

Only the more affluent cities and households in much of the world have the luxury of access to 24×7 piped water. Increasingly, groundwater is being used in many parts of the world, either because surface water is becoming less available or is polluted or because citywide piped water infrastructure is not in place, especially as cities grow in unplanned ways. In its absence, it’s easier to drill a bore well within one’s property than wait endlessly for water to come from a partially-functioning water system.

As water scarcity rises, some cities like Singapore have taken the lead in recycling and reuse. Others, like New York, have set aside large catchment areas in the Catskill mountains to protect natural aquifers and provide water security to the city. In others, such as Perth which faces severe drought due to Climate Change, wind turbines power desalination plants that augment the city’s water systems.

On top of the challenge of water supply, comes the global crisis of sanitation as human populations in poorly-served cities and neighbourhoods now crosses into the billions. Dealing with human faeces has been a perennial public health challenge ever since cities were first created.

Indus Valley civilisation towns were planned over 5,000 years ago, with toilets and cesspools just outside houses, separated from underground storm water drainage and water harvesting and storage structures, creating barriers to the spread of waterborne diseases. Many cities and towns, even today do not have the levels of services that we see in these ancient settlements.

One of the great public health innovations of the 19th century, was the Victorian popularisation of the water closet and the water carriage flush systems. This was a significant public health innovation that over the course of a few decades, reduced the incidence of waterborne epidemics like cholera and typhoid in cities like London, Calcutta and Bombay.Such systems have become the aspirational norm for cities across the world, but require over 100 litres per capita per day, and because of the significant cost are becoming increasingly impractical in a world of water scarcity. In reality, large numbers of slum dwellers are forced to practice open defecation, that puts them and their communities at considerable risk, especially in countries like India. In India, over 50 million people defecate in the open in urban areas each day.

Contrary to popular perception, the most common form of urban sanitation in the world is not sewerage but on-site sanitation, such as pit latrines and septic tanks that require an elaborate human and service infrastructure to safely remove human waste from them. Improving these systems, especially in areas that still exploit people who handle human waste are a critical frontier of urban innovation.

Drainage is an often-neglected infrastructure with dire consequences, including flooding and the widespread incidence of vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue, in areas and cities that are poorly drained. Underground drainage is often expensive to provide and difficult to retrofit into unplanned areas. Hence, in many parts of the world, storm water (often mixed with household waste and sewage) drains off to roads and channels. Drainage systems are often clogged with silt and solid waste if they are not managed adequately and regularly.

Adequate planning, design and the maintenance of drainage infrastructure, is critical, especially in low-lying, coastal and riverine areas and this makes a difference between healthy and liveable neighbourhoods and those at risk. Mumbai went through a horrific flood in 2005 , that shut down the metropolis for more than a week because of poor drainage planning and management.

Solid waste management has become the bane of many cities, because of growing populations, rising consumerism and the associated increase in industrial packaging materials which are difficult to recycle and segregate. The long-term solution is to consume less, recycle more, shift to biodegradable packaging materials and segregate it at source so that downstream recycling is more efficient and less damaging to the environment.

For a long period, landfills were seen to be the modern solution to the problem of the mountains of waste that were produced by large metropolitan cities. Landfills don’t work as well, in low and middle-income countries as they do in high income countries because land is scarce, and municipalities are unable to invest in safe, sanitary facilities. As a consequence, landfills tend to leach into groundwater and soil, give out methane; incineration at landfills releases noxious gases and communities protest and reject plans to locate landfills near where they live.

The collection, transport, treatment and storage of solid waste, has become a serious challenge in most countries. Some types of waste contain toxic chemicals and bio-hazards that need to be treated specially by using incineration to be able to render them safe which are often too expensive in low and middle-income countries. The solid waste disposal chain employs a large numbers of waste pickers and recyclers in cities of the global south, where they provide a critical service to the city’s residents, but are often excluded and discriminated against.

All aspects of sustainability, economic, social and environmental need to be addressed in dealing with the waste economy, as urban’s forward looking waste management systems seek to demonstrate.

The metabolism of the modern city is effectively driven by its energy infrastructure. Most preindustrial towns and many contemporary cities are still driven by the biomass economy, using materials like wood and agricultural residues, to enable cooking and artisanal production. During the Industrial Revolution, the primary energy source for cities and industrial production shifted first from wood to coal and later to oil and gas and nuclear energy. Urban energy services, especially in advanced economies are slowly shifting from the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and even gas to renewable sources such as wind energy, solar photovoltaics and in some locations, biofuels.

Highly energy efficient devices like LED lighting are dramatically reducing energy demand. Smart grids and dynamic tariff systems are encouraging energy efficiency in cities. Yet, large population of households in cities of the global South do not have access to reliable, affordable and uninterrupted power that will permit their children to study at night or even refrigerate food.

This is clearly a priority for the SDGs. But exciting innovations are afoot, for example, to reduce energy uses in building and house construction, technologies to decarbonise the production and transportation systems of our cities. Taking these innovations to scale in our cities are essential, if we are to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Accord and restrain global mean temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

While the energy infrastructure can help move the wheels of industry, commerce and household energy use, it is the mobility and transport systems that enable the city and its citizens to move people and their things from one location to the other, whether it’s from home to work, school to market or to gardens and recreational spaces.

Dramatic technological changes have taken place in transportation systems over the last century, but the apparent contradiction is that the faster and more sophisticated that our vehicles become, the slower transportation speeds become, because of congestion and poor planning. In many cities, the mean velocity of vehicular traffic is often not faster than a bicycle, accompanied by an epidemic of traffic accidents and severe air pollution.

A distinguishing feature of the modern city is urban sprawl, driven by the expansion of transport networks, starting with trams and rail and now taken over by the motor car, in most parts of the world to create massive suburbs and growth corridors. This is a serious challenge not only to sustainability, but to the livelihoods and economic security of the working poor, who either choose to live in poor conditions close to work in the decaying heart of many cities or are pushed to the periphery.

The most appropriate mix of mobility modes (walking, cycling, driving motorcycles, cars, buses and trains) and the role of active and public transport have been a deeply contested set of questions over the last few decades. It is now largely agreed that denser, more walkable cities are not only more secure but also more efficient, productive and make for more liveable spaces.

Cities like Vancouver, Perth and Copenhagen have demonstrated to the world that moving to more active and public transport linked to sustainable land use and mixed land use can improve the liveability and attractiveness of a city. Commuter rail, mass transit and metro systems have become an important symbol of million plus city life even though they are considerably more expensive than other options, and their environmental and climate impacts are relatively low.

Finally, the movement of goods and materials in cities, is probably as important as that of citizens. The effective functioning of cities depends on the flux of materials, fuels, finished goods and products through it and its linkage with regional and long distance transportation networks like shipping, air-freight and rail.

The most recent but almost ubiquitous urban service, is the telecommunications and information infrastructure that we built over the last century or so, that started with the telegraph and fixed wire telephone lines, but now is rapidly graduating to wireless voice, data and Internet connectivity.

Even in some of the poorest parts of the world, the expansion of optical and wireless communication systems across cities and urban areas has marked a most remarkable innovation over the last two decades dramatically increasing the importance and value of community and economic interaction and networks. The conception of basic services has now been extended in some cities to include universal free Wi-Fi , such as Helsinki which provides free municipal wifi zones throughout the city.

Irrespective of of the mix of the service providers that challenges of integrated planning of universal urban services; their effective development, operations and maintenance; and their apparition and replacement at the right point of time are all processes that need to be regulated appropriately and governed effectively, if we want our cities to be safe, productive, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

What have we learnt today?

Infrastructure and services are a key differentiator between urban and rural areas and help create the economies of scale that draw people and enterprises to urban areas.

There are large differences in access to basic services like water supply, sanitation and solid waste management in and between cities, leading to risks of disease, disasters and inefficiencies. Environmental services like water supply, sanitation, drainage and solid waste management are critical to the effective functioning of the city but are linked to the ecosystem services of the region.

Most cities struggle with water scarcity and pollution, sanitation access and affordability, leading to health risks and lower quality of life for their residents. Urban energy infrastructure, based largely on fossil power is critical to maintain the metabolism of industry, commerce and household activities in the city. Universal access to quality modern energy sources, a renewables and energy efficiency transition across buildings, transportation, production and household energy needs to be effected very rapidly.

The city’s mobility and transport infrastructure helps determine its spatial form, expansion and the economic and livelihood opportunities that it offers to its citizens.

Active and public transport systems in cities that are compact and walkable are possible, effective, cheap and dramatically improve liveability and city attractiveness.

ICT infrastructure has revolutionised the interaction between people, enterprises and public institutions in the city. Nevertheless, a digital divide does exist that needs to be closed, through universal access to these services.

This will help in the integration and improvement in service delivery, cost effectiveness and the resilience of other urban services.

Pedro Pereira Leite

Researcher and professor. He had his PhD. on museology in 2011, with the title “Muss-amb-ike Homeland: The commitment on musicological process”, that was published in 2011. In 2012 he finishes a Post-PhD Research on "Biographical Glances: The intersubjectivity poetry on museology, at Lusófona University (Lisbon). Presently he is working in his Post PhD. Research about: “Global Heritages" with the aims to build a network on local cognizance and memory manager has a tool to build the will of action in 3 different communities, linked by past communed heritages.” He works at CES. He participates on different Research network, presented papers in national and international conferences, and had published books on research subjects.

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The inclusion of community knowdlege on territorial development