Urban Development

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An underreported aspect of Viktor Orbán’s rule is the harm Fidesz is doing to the environment. Due to urban development projects all over Budapest, thousands of healthy trees are in danger of being cut down.

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Cities change and evolve constantly, and they do not act as a coherent entity. They are “co-produced.” To think of co-production as a concept should help us to think of a sustainable urban policy and action - shaped and developed by constructive conflict.

 

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The conference “Habitat III: Co-producing sustainable cities?” addressed the conditions for sustainable urban development. This was the look specifically on the relationship between civil society and City Government. On the Conference report.

Video: Ecopolis - A City with a Future

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The Brazilian non-governmental organization Justiça Global, partner organization of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, released this publication, that intends to be a tool that allows journalists to know the other side of this mega event, which resulted in the aggravation of processes of segregation, control and privatization of public spaces, and extermination of the black, poor population in the city.

The football World Cup in Brazil cost the country at least €8.5 billion euros but did not stimulate economic growth. In 2016 the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games are coming to Rio de Janeiro once again. Dawid Danilo Bartelt illustrates how sporting mega-events have established themselves as a business model. The losers are often the host city’s most vulnerable people, democracy and human rights.

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The Skopje2014 urban reconstruction project is the biggest infrastructure investment in the entire Macedonian history. This video delineates the costs and presents the corruptive machinations behind the project.

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Close on the heels of the UN adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015 the HABITAT III conference offers the international community a timely opportunity to revisit and revision its commitments to putting human rights at the heart of sustainable urban development. The global context is adverse, marked by growing inequity, rising levels of homelessness and landlessness, forced migration, environmental degradation and climate change.

The global urbanisation presents great challenges for sustainable development. In view of the UN summit Habitat III in Ecuador in this dossier we broach the issue of the cooperation between local governments and the civil society.

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Why communities want to co-produce with the state? The experience of communities in the global south is that it is important not to pass over responsibility to the state, because if citizen’s involvement is reduced it is unlikely that the services will be maintained. Diana Mitlin explores a radical concept of participation.

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In the city of Barcelona, one can observe the joint power of civil movements and a progressive, accountable government to implement the social right to decent housing.

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Urban Development

Cities remain the central locus for innovation and integration. New, knowledge-based enterprises and the creative industries gravitate toward the cities. Also, cities offer the greatest range of experiences about how to deal with intercultural conflict and they are crucibles where models of social coexistence are being pioneered. Densely settled areas also provide conditions that make sustainable traffic solutions and land use feasible. Last but not least, cities form the basis for democratic self-government and active citizenship.

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