INNOVATION: Innovation in Growing Cities to Prevent Social Exclusion
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.