Urban challenges

Focus: Urbanisation

“Improve people’s lives” Experts at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) want special economic zones (SEZs) to serve the purpose of smart urbanisation. ADB economist Jong Woo Kang explained matters an interview. Page 12

Special opportunities The current rate of urbanisation is unprecedented in human history and presents major challenges. However, there also are unprecedented opportunities, argue Franz-B. Marré of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Maria-Theres Haase of the German Development Institute. Page 14

Improving governance Lagos is the commercial capital of Nigeria. Once known mostly for crime and dysfunction, the agglomeration’s international reputation has recently improved considerably, reports urban activist Olamide Udo-Udoma. Page 16

Most affordable The introduction of bus rapid transit systems is a healthy response to the growth of private vehicle traffic. This affordable alternative to underground rail systems is gaining ground internationally, writes Nicholas Hollmann, an urban planning expert. Page 18

Neglected people Norbert Herrmann spent two years in Johannesburg working for a non-profit organisation. He shares some of his insights concerning life in disadvantaged townships. Diana Mitlin of the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development praises the empowering impact of community-based data collection. The approach is promoted by Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), a network of grassroots organisations. In Nairobi, Elizabeth Wamuni Njoroge is running a symphonic orchestra with slum youths; she discusses her experience in an interview. Rüdiger Korff of Passau University insists that urban planning is likely to fail – unless those in charge take all social interests into account. Pages 21, 24, 25, 28

“Normative compass” Urbanisation has a growing impact on all people, including those in rural areas. Dirk Messner of the German Federal Government’s advisory council on global change (WBGU – Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderung) warns that the impacts are being underestimated and points out issues that matter in particular. Page 29

Source: Development and Cooperation

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Development and Cooperation

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