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  1. 1
    318271

    Growing up urban. UNFPA state of world population 2007. Youth supplement.

    United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA]

    New York, New York, UNFPA, 2007. [55] p.

    The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in its history. The 3 billion population of towns and cities in 2005 will increase by 1.8 billion by 2030. The urban population of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa will double in less than a generation. The fastest growth will be in the poorer urban areas. For example, the slum population of Dhaka has more than doubled in a decade, from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.4 million in 2006. Most urban growth comes from natural increase (more births than deaths). The urban poor have higher fertility rates than other urbanites: women have less education and less autonomy; they know little about sexual and reproductive health services, and have little access to them. Rural-urban migration also contributes to urban growth. Young people under 25 already make up half the urban population and young people from poor families will be a big part of the urban wave. The future of cities depends on what cities do now to help them, in particular to exercise their rights to education, health, employment, and civic participation. Investment in young people is the key to ending generations of poverty. In particular it is the key to reaching the Millennium Development Goals and halving poverty by 2015. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    296529

    Drinking water and sanitation decade: record progress in early 1980s.

    UN Chronicle. 1985 May; 22:[4] p..

    Safe drinking water was provided for an estimated 345 million people in developing countries from 1980 to 1983, surpassing the record set during the entire period of the 1970s, according to a United Nations report on "Progress in the attainment of the goals of International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade." The report, a mid-Decade evaluation of progress achieved since the Decade was launched in 1980, will be considered later this year by the General Assembly. It notes almost 140 million rural and urban dwellers benefited from newly installed sanitation facilities, a prerequisite to improved health in most developing countries. An estimated 530 million additional people will receive reasonable access to safe drinking water and some 86 million people will receive adequate sanitation services by the end of 1985. Despite these advances, some 1,200 million people remain without safe water and some 1,900 million without adequate sanitation in the developing world. National, international and grassroots action on many fronts is needed to plan, design, construct, operate and maintain the services they require. (excerpt)
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  3. 3
    292190

    Tolstoy, community cybernetics, and the MDGs.

    Moor J

    Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):19.

    Leo Tolstoy famously wrote that all happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. If the same can be said about dysfunctional cities, we must be prepared to deal with the unique micro-realities of each ailing community. This can only be done practically by encouraging residents to engage in a form of therapy that begins with local self-discovery. This must be a central aim in monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In an economically pressurized world where more than 95 percent of all development decisions are made by members of civil society, each acting more or less in their own self-interest, central coordinative systems of governance are failing. Squatters and slumlords everywhere make their choices outside the world of plans and regulations, as do an increasing number of small-scale entrepreneurs. This self-interest promotes unsustainable urban development, inhibiting a cooperative vision for the future that the complex urban ecology demands. The collective future is no-one’s baby and in effect has become an orphan. (excerpt)
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  4. 4
    292191

    A message from the Executive Director.

    Tibaijuka AK

    Habitat Debate. 2005 Sep; 11(3):2.

    Each year we celebrate World Habitat Day on the first Monday in October. The theme of the event being spearheaded from Jakarta, Indonesia this year and marked in cities around the world is The Millennium Development Goals and the City. It is my intention to use this theme and World Habitat Day as an occasion to launch a new integrated slum upgrading and disaster mitigation programme in Indonesia. We chose this theme because the year 2005 marks the fifth anniversary of the Millennium Declaration in which world leaders agreed on a set of eight ambitious goals. These goals are aimed at eradicating poverty, achieving universal primary education, empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, fighting AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and forging a new partnership for development. These goals are people-centred, timebound and measurable. They are simple but powerful objectives that every woman, man, and young person in the street from Washington to Monrovia, Jakarta to Nairobi and Oslo to Cape Town can understand. They have the political support because they mark the first time our leaders have held themselves accountable to such a covenant. (excerpt)
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  5. 5
    292177

    Even in the best of times, women are constantly in danger.

    Smaoun S

    Habitat Debate. 2005 Mar; 11(1):[2] p..

    In South Africa, one woman is raped every 26 seconds, and only one rape in 36 is reported to the police. In the United States, a woman is physically abused every 9 seconds, and in France, 7 per cent of all rapes occur in the family. In Papua New Guinea, national statistics show that on average, 67 per cent of married women have been the victims of violence inflicted on them by their husbands. In Latin America, one of the most alarming manifestations of violence against women is homicide. In Mexico, according to Amnesty International, around 370 homicides of women have been registered in 10 years. These are just a sampling of the statistics of horror, of the violence women have to contend with daily around the world. The list goes on. Compared to men, women are particularly prone to various forms of violence, whether in the privacy of their own homes, on a city street or anywhere else. In the city, the question of violence is multifaceted, and the issue of primary importance is that of the suitability of public areas for women. Cities need to be more women-friendly. Planners need to consider the comfort and well being of women in the city. (excerpt)
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  6. 6
    292180

    Gender and urban transport.

    Williams B

    Habitat Debate. 2005 Mar; 11(1):[2] p..

    In all societies, men have better access to superior transport, be it more regular use of the family car or disposable income to take public transport instead of walking. The lack of mobility generally, let alone poorer job and educational opportunities, plays an important and under-appreciated role in perpetuating the economic disadvantages of women. Gender inequality in transport is a consequence of social organization and the outcome of differential access to economic, time and other resources. The greater domestic responsibilities of women, coupled with weaker access to household resources, have significant consequences for their transport an travel status. In many parts of the world, women also face customary or legal restraints, their rights to travel or a particular mode of transport with violations often resulting in physical harassment. Personal safety and avoiding harassment are major preoccupations whether women drive, use public transport, cycle or walk. They are especially vulnerable to violent attacks or sexual abuse when transporting heavy goods or with accompanying children. (excerpt)
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  7. 7
    292267

    Changing the world: with children and for children.

    de la Barra X

    Habitat Debate. 2003 Jun; 9(2):[2] p..

    The developing world is experiencing the largest ever generation of children and youth. Around 1 billion people - one out of every six on the planet - are between 10 and 19 years of age, 85% of them in developing countries. Because of the considerable drop in fertility rates, the children of today will constitute the largest-ever generation of active people. This is perhaps the greatest development opportunity the world cannot afford to miss. The Convention of the Rights of the Child consolidates the position of children and adolescents as subjects of rights rather than objects of compassion. It also places families and states in a position of responsibility towards them, and gears adults to visualize children in relation to their potential, rather than to the demands they pose on society. They are the main source of inspiration, innovation, creative strength, new values, and of new dreams with which to build a prosperous and humane society. (excerpt)
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  8. 8
    292268

    Youth are an asset -- unemployment is the problem.

    Miller S

    Habitat Debate. 2003 Jun; 9(2):[3] p..

    There are more than 1 billion people in the world aged between 15 and 25. Nearly 40 per cent of the world's population is below the age of 20. Eighty-five per cent of them live in developing countries, where many are vulnerable to extreme poverty. And, the rate of urbanization is by far the greatest in developing countries. By 2015 it is expected that developing countries will account for over 75 per cent of the world's urban population. The International Labour Office estimates that globally around 74 million young women and men are unemployed. They account for 41 per cent of the 180 million people in the world without jobs. Many more young people are working long hours for low pay, struggling to eke out a living in the informal economy. There are an estimated 59 million young people between 15 and 17 years of age who are engaged in hazardous forms of work. Young people actively seeking to participate in the world of work are two to three times more likely than older generations to find themselves unemployed. (excerpt)
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  9. 9
    292224

    Editorial.

    Habitat Debate. 2002 Dec; 8(4):[2] p..

    Imagine a city where women and men, girls and boys, walk freely without fear of violence or intimidation, where child day-care centres and crèches are an integral part of the urban infrastructure, and where a woman’s voice is as loud as a man’s in all aspects of urban governance. In other words, imagine a woman-friendly city. In this issue of Habitat Debate, we take a critical look at the ways in which women have been denied power, services and resources in their cities and, also, at the various initiatives that have sprung up in recent decades to make cities more livable for women. For many women, the city is an ominous place, full of lurking dangers and potential threats. Violence – or the threat of it – has severely hindered women’s mobility in cities, especially at night. Impractical zoning laws, inflexible public transport routes and schedules, lack of childcare facilities and anonymous public spaces have made city life a nightmare for many women. At the municipal level, although more and more women are getting elected into municipal councils, their overall representation is still not equal to men’s, which means they have less power and authority to impact the way their cities are managed and governed. (excerpt)
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  10. 10
    292226

    Women's participation in the city consultation process.

    Habitat Debate. 2002 Dec; 8(4):[3] p..

    Over the past fifteen years, there has been increasing evidence of the advantages of involving “the beneficiaries” in the development process. From a relatively passive involvement as providers of information, this involvement has changed both quantitatively and qualitatively, so that it is now accepted that the stakeholders should be involved in all stages of the process from design to implementation and evaluation. Through such involvement, civil society, especially the poor, effectively become partners in the project and the development process. The Urban Management Programme (UMP), a joint programme of UN-HABITAT, UNDP and the World Bank, has extended this principle to other domains of governance, partly out of recognition that government alone is not able to decide on the priority issues and the future vision for the city. More significantly, bringing the civil society into the development process as partners provides more than just additional resources. The increase in commitment, knowledge and expertise plus the shared sense of ownership provide better chances for successful outcomes. (excerpt)
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  11. 11
    292225

    Towards woman-friendly cities.

    Seaforth W

    Habitat Debate. 2002 Dec; 8(4):[3] p..

    A woman from the Philippines, one of the early writers on community participation, tells the story about how she started working and writing on the subject. In the early 1980s, she was introducing projects to urban poor communities and telling the people what the government wanted to do for them. Eventually the same communities started asking her “if we tell you what we want, can you tell the government and will anything be done?” Later on in Latin America, one of the early homes of popular urban movements, civil society started questioning the role of community participation. The following grafitti was seen in a poor neighbourhood in a Latin American city in the late 1980s: “don’t ask me about my participation, I want to know what is my government’s participation”. In the new millennium, we have come full circle vis a vis involving city residents in running the affairs of their cities. While the situation is by no means perfect, it is now quite normal to talk about such concepts as participatory governance, participatory budgeting, planning with communities, and building the capacity of local authorities to enable them to relate better with civil society in the process of governance. (excerpt)
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  12. 12
    292229

    How gender-sensitive is your city?

    Michaud A

    Habitat Debate. 2002 Dec; 8(4):[3] p..

    Seven years down the road from the first international conference on “Women in the City, Housing, Services and the Urban Environment” (Paris, OECD 1994), much has been achieved, especially in the context of the follow-up to the City Summit (Istanbul , 1996) and the growth of international networking on issues related to Women in local governance. What we are witnessing is the concrete implementation of city policies, structures and mechanisms aimed at ensuring equal access to decision-making at the city and borough level, as well as equal access to services and resources delivered at these levels of urban governance. A number of “ingredients” are used in cities of the North, as well as cities of the South, both big and small. Although these ingredients differ in scope, themes and priorities, within different social, economic, cultural and political contexts, “gender equality in urban governance” seems to be a cross-cutting issue. This offers great opportunities for “City-to-City cooperation”, through development of case studies, knowledge and practice sharing amongst all partners involved: elected officials, city managers and staff, women’s, grass roots and community based organizations, unions, researchers, national associations of local governments and global organizations and networks. (excerpt)
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  13. 13
    292215

    Editorial.

    Habitat Debate. 2001 Jun; 7(2):[2] p..

    At the special session of the General Assembly Istanbul +5, UN Member States adopted by consensus the "Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium", which commits governments to strengthening their efforts to improving the living environment, especially for the urban poor. The governments had met in New York for three days to review progress made in implementing the Habitat Agenda. Five years after the Agenda was adopted, the Istanbul + 5 special session of the General Assembly recognized the gaps and obstacles in the way of developing sustainable human settlements, but also showed the way forward in achieving the Agenda's objectives. By adopting the Declaration, the governments recognized that the world is becoming increasingly urban and that specific policies are needed to address growing urban poverty. Urbanization is clearly a dominant factor in global demographics, raising challenges and opportunities, which in turn have further impact on the numbers. Urbanization has been found to have an impact on fertility, mortality and other demographic trends, on personal and household incomes, and on the general economic development of both rural and urban areas. As UNCHS (Habitat)'s State of the World's Cities Report 2001 clearly indicates, there is a strong correlation between city development and human development at the national level. (excerpt)
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  14. 14
    292203

    Water crisis linked to poor governance, says Toepfer.

    Habitat Debate. 2000; 6(3):[4] p..

    Cities concentrate people in high-density settlements creating severe demand for services like water supply and sanitation. It is really a matter of concern that some 95 per cent of the urban population increase over the next 30 years will be in less developed countries. Out of 19 megacities of the world, 15 are in developing countries. Cities are increasingly forced to transport water from longer distances, often beyond natural watersheds and even across national boundaries, as in the case of Johannesburg. In other cases, over-exploitation of groundwater has resulted in major environmental problems. Mexico City, for example, has sunk more than 10 metres in the last 70 years. Thailand is facing irreversible damage to freshwater aquifers from saltwater intrusion, caused by over-abstraction of groundwater. (excerpt)
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  15. 15
    184946

    Problems of indigenous peoples living in cities should be addressed, Permanent Forum told.

    New York, New York, United Nations, 2002 May 21. 5 p. (HR/4600)

    The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues should discuss the situation of indigenous peoples living in urban areas, an indigenous representative told the Forum today, as it continued its review of United Nations activities relating to indigenous peoples. (excerpt)
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