Reducing Urban Poverty: A New Generation of IdeasNovember 15, 2011 By Lauren HerzerDownload Reducing Urban Poverty: A New Generation of Ideas from the Wilson Center.
In 2008 the global population reached a remarkable turning point; for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s people were living in cities. Moving forward into the 21st century, the world faces an unprecedented urban expansion with projections for the global urban population to reach nearly five billion by the year 2030. Virtually all of this growth will occur in the developing world where cities gain an average of five million residents every month, overwhelming ecosystems and placing tremendous pressure on the capacity of local governments to provide necessary infrastructure and services. Failure to incorporate urban priorities into the global development agenda carries serious implications for human security, global security, and environmental sustainability.
Recognizing a need to develop and strengthen urban-focused practitioner and policymaking ties with academia, and disseminate evidence-based development programming, the Wilson Center’s Comparative Urban Studies Project, USAID’s Urban Programs Team, the International Housing Coalition, the World Bank, and Cities Alliance teamed up to co-sponsor an academic paper competition for graduate students studying urban issues. The first competition took place in the months leading up to the 5th World Urban Forum, held in Rio de Janeiro in March 2010.
This publication, Reducing Urban Poverty: A New Generation of Ideas, marks the second annual academic paper competition. “Reducing urban poverty” was chosen as the theme with each author focusing on one of three topics: land markets and security of tenure; health; and, livelihoods. A panel of urban experts representing the sponsoring institutions reviewed 70 submitted abstracts, from which 16 were invited to write full length papers. Of these, six were selected for this publication. We congratulate the graduate students who participated in this competition for their contribution to our understanding of the complex relationship between urbanization and poverty.
These papers highlight the new research and innovative thinking of the next generation of urban planners, practitioners, and policymakers. It is our hope that by infusing the dialogue on these issues between the academic and policy worlds with fresh perspectives, we will foster new and innovative strategies to reduce global urban poverty.
Sources: UNFPA, UN-HABITAT.
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