• Building Urban Safety through Slum Upgrading

    Excluded from the city’s opportunities, physically, politically and economically marginalized, slum dwellers are particularly vulnerable to crime and violence. They face an acute risk of becoming victims or offenders and live in a state of constant insecurity. Only a few cities have incorporated a coherent component to prevent crime and mitigate violence in their urban development agendas. Impact on urban safety has occurred somewhat unexpectedly. That is the main lesson to be drawn from the pages of this book: urban policy integration. “Among the several forms of…

  • Africa’s Urban Land Markets: Piecing Together an Economic Puzzle

    This guide first outlines the pieces of the urban land market puzzle, explaining how they can be assembled in a variety of ways to form different pictures – and how they are moved and reshaped by a variety of forces. To help make sense of this complex market place, we also highlight some of the practical problems facing African cities in trying to make land markets work for poor people and the (sometimes conflicting) roles of different actors in this environment. We begin…

  • The Urban Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction

    This paper challenges several common myths that cloud discourse about urban development in Africa. It finds that urbanization in the region is not excessive or imbalanced relative to the experience of other regions. Internal migration, which is not the main source of urban growth, does not account for urban poverty. Migration appears favorable on balance for sending and receiving areas, and population mobility benefits rural and urban households as many retain a foothold in both…

  • Provision of ARVs in a resource-poor setting: Kibera Slum, Kenya

    Kenya is one of Africa’s largest informal settlements. Health indicators are extremely poor and HIV prevalence is estimated at 20%, almost twice the national average. Despite ARV drugs being made available in a pilot programme implemented by African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC), enrolment rates into the programme have been very low raising questions about strategies for providing ARV in resource-poor settings. Description: Since 1998 AMREF has been implementing a community-based health care project …

  • Understanding the emerging role of motorcycles in African cities: A political economy perspective

    This paper attempts to evaluate the commercial motorcycle mode used in the three cities of Douala, Lagos, and Kampala, based on their political economy context in order to draw general conclusions of value throughout Africa and the rest of the developing world. The evaluation underscores the linkages between governance failure and weak sector performance and highlights the need to adapt policy instruments to local political and economic context. Central to discussion is the necessity to develop a participation framework driven by open communications…

  • Cities and Biodiversity Outlook —Action and Policy

    CBO – Action and Policy provides the summary of a global assessment of the links between urbanization, biodi- versity, and ecosystem services. Drawing on contributions from more than 120 scientists and policy-makers from around the world, it summarizes how urbanization affects biodiversity and ecosystem services and pres- ents 10 key messages for strengthening conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in an urban context. It also showcases best practices and lessons learned…

  • Reshaping Cities, Rebuilding Nations: The Role of National Urban Policies

    The challenges of rapid urbanisation in large parts of Africa are beyond the capacity of local government to manage. The paper explores the arguments for a national urban policy to complement local strategies, reflecting the unique power of the central state and the special circumstances of cities. With appropriate support, urbanisation could become a more positive force for economic and human development. Recent experience in South Africa illustrates some of the difficulties and possibilities for agreeing a systematic approach to planning and managing…

  • Security in Niamey: an anthropological perspective on policing and an act of terrorism in Niger*

    The abduction of two Frenchmen in January 2011 in Niamey’s supposedly most secure neighbourhood has led many to question the functioning of the city’s security apparatus. This paper analyses Niamey’s security landscape, initially from an historical and then from a spatial perspective. It argues that for a comprehensive analysis of security, we must first decentre our perspective on security construction, and thus take informal non-organised modes of policing just as seriously as policing by state and vigilante organisations; and second, take into…

  • The case of Abidjan, Ivory Coast

    This report is part of a set of studies of slum conditions, policies and strategies, commissioned and compiled in preparation for the United Nations Global Report on Human Settlements 2003 – The Challenge of Slums. The case study cities were selected by an expert group assembled by UN-Habitat to design and prepare the first draft of the Global Report in January 2002. Care was taken to achieve a representative geographical distribution, a spread of city sizes and ‘levels of development’. The availability…

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