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  1. 1
    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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  2. 2
    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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