IN­NO­VA­TION: In­no­va­tion in Grow­ing Cities to Pre­vent So­cial Ex­clu­sion

Southern Innovator - - CITIES & URBANIZATION -

A new book launched dur­ing the 2010 World Ur­ban Fo­rum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, high­lights ways in which peo­ple across the South are shap­ing how their cities evolve, in­sist­ing that they will not ac­cept so­cial ex­clu­sion and de­mand­ing a “right to the city”.

“A lot of so­cial ini­tia­tives based on the right to the city are com­ing from these ‘new cities of the South’,” said one of the book’s ed­i­tors, Char­lotte Mathivet, of Habi­tat In­ter­na­tional Coali­tion in San­ti­ago, Chile. “The book high­lights orig­i­nal so­cial ini­tia­tives: protests and or­ga­niz­ing of the ur­ban poor, such as the pave­ment dwellers’ move­ments in Mum­bai, In­dia, where peo­ple with noth­ing, liv­ing on the pave­ments of a very big city, or­ga­nize them­selves to strug­gle for their col­lec­tive rights, just as the park dwellers did in Osaka, Ja­pan.”

We must think of the right to the city as a lively al­ter­na­tive pro­posal

This first edi­tion of Cities for All: Pro­pos­als and Ex­pe­ri­ences to­wards the Right to the City, comes in three lan­guage­san­dis­in­tend­ed­toin­spirepeo­ple­to­tack­le­pos­i­tively this fast-chang­ing ur­ban world.

The book’s chap­ters span an eclec­tic mix of top­ics, from democ­racy in the world’s fu­ture cities to ex­pe­ri­ences in Africa’s cities, how the 2008 Bei­jing Olympics af­fected the me­trop­o­lis and ways of in­volv­ing chil­dren in ur­ban plan­ning. One in­no­va­tive case study in­cluded in the book is on the chil­dren’s work­shops in San­ti­ago, Chile, which aim to make a more child-friendly city by in­clud­ing chil­dren in the plan­ning process.

Cities for All’s pub­lisher, Habi­tat In­ter­na­tional Coali­tion (HIC), says that it fo­cuses on the link be­tween “hu­man habi­tat, hu­man rights, and dig­nity, to­gether with peo­ple’s de­mands, ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and as­pi­ra­tions for free­dom and sol­i­dar­ity.”

The group works to­wards the cre­ation of a the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal frame­work for what it calls a “right to the city”. – (July 2010)

An in­no­va­tive so­lu­tion to con­nect a hill­side slum in the Colom­bian city

of Medel­lín to the cen­tre of the city uses a gi­ant out­door es­ca­la­tor so its 12,000 res­i­dents do not need to walk up steps again. It turns a 35-minute hike on foot up the hill­side into a six

minute ride on the es­ca­la­tor.

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