News: Policy Dialogue on Rights to Adequate Housing
- Posted September 1, 2014
URBAN THINKERS CAMPUS: The City We Need Caserta, Italy. 15-18 October 2014
The Urban Thinkers Campus is an initiative of UN-Habitat in...
Training Facilitator,(Home based (subject to travel if required)),Deadline:5 September 2014
Download PDF Version CONSULTANT VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT Issued on: 29...
PROGRAM AND CONFERENCE SUPPORT PSUP, CONSULTANT, (Nairobi),Deadline: 02 September 2014
Download PDF Version CONSULTANT VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT Issued on:...
Addressing Mexico’s Senate, Dr. Clos roots for urban legislation
Mexico City 28 August 2014—On the last leg of his...
Investigating Grey Areas: Access to Basic Urban Services in the Adjacent Areas of Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon
In July 2009, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in...
Lebanon Urban Profile: A Desk Review Report, October 2011
Lebanon is a small country with a total population of...
Addressing Mexico’s Senate, Dr. Clos roots for urban legislation
UN-Habitat convenes planning workshop in Kabul in response to rapid urban growth...
Philippines celebrates World Humanitarian Day
UN-Habitat supports the Kenya Municipal Programme
Mexico’s telecoms giant TELMEX joins the United Nations Global Compact
In April 2014 UN-Habitat launched the Global Urban Lectures - lecture packages focused on subjects related to cities and urbanization.
Each package consists of a 15 min video, a synopsis of the topic, a biography of the speaker and links to in depth study.
The speakers are associated with UN-Habitat’s work, recruited from universities, think-tanks, governments, NGO’s, and private sector institutions. The series wishes to demonstrate a sound evidence-based analysis of a given problem and issues at stake, identify propositions to address them and provide examples that demonstrate how such propositions actually work, are being tested or have been implemented.
All lecture packages are available free of charge, please find them in the tab ‘Our lectures’ below.
You will also find a summary pdf containing all of our current lectures here: Global Urban Lectures – all packages
The Global Urban Lectures continuously launches new materials. To receive notifications of our newly released lectures, do either of the following:
The lectures in the series can be used either separately as stand-alone sessions, or as a group of thematic sessions to meet the needs of different users and purposes.
Examples of how to use the series:
1. For self-learning and as a refresher course.
2. As addition to existing curricula and regular courses offered by universities and training institutions (eg. using the videos as ‘guest lecturers’ or teasers in the syllabus of regular courses)
3. As resource materials for new curricula and course development.
4. To screen in public events as introduction to debates on subjects relevant to cities and urban development
The Global Urban Lectures target a wide and global audience comprised of universities, urban practitioners, researchers and policy makers, as well as the general public interested in cities and sustainable urbanization. We welcome you to use this series in your work.
For feedback, questions and suggestions, contact UNI@unhabitat.org
Dr.Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-Habitat
In his opening session of the Global Urban Lecture Series, Dr. Joan Clos introduces the lecture series and its goals. UN-Habitat aims not only to raise the level and quality of the discussion around sustainable urbanization but also to increase awareness and narrow the gap between urban knowledge production and its direct implementation in cities. In order to achieve this, UN-Habitat has developed new tools for information dissemination and active knowledge sharing amongst its partners. The Global Urban Lecture Series is one of these tools. It allows easy access to the urban knowledge and experiences developed by UN-Habitat and its associated prominent experts and world class thinkers, doers and city builders.
Claudio Acioly, UN-Habitat
The strategy brought forward by Claudio Acioly (UN-Habitat) uses streets as the natural conduits that connect slums spatially and physically with the city and treats streets not only as a physical entity for mobility and accessibility — through which water and sewerage pipes, power lines, and drainage systems are laid – but also as the common good and the public domain where social, cultural and economic activities are articulated, reinforced and facilitated.
Shlomo (Solly) Angel, Stern School of Business, New York University
The lecture is based on the realization that the current urban planning paradigm championed in the United States and Europe—the Containment Paradigm, also known as urban growth management, smart growth, or compact city—is inappropriate in the rapidly-urbanizing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Instead, it calls for a new paradigm for coming to terms with rapid urbanization: The Making Room Paradigm.
“Addressing global land challenges” - Coming soon
Clarissa Augustinus, UN-Habitat
UN-Habitat’s Clarissa Augustinus in this lecture focuses on the global challenges relating particularly to land issues. An analysis of the land systems of over 25 developing countries in all regions has shown that current systems are not coping and that this is a world wide problem. Serviced land cannot be delivered at scale. Planning is either not implemented, or not implemented as planned, at scale. Slum upgrading is piecemeal and not city wide, including fixing underlying delivery systems. To deliver at scale, a gap of 18 missing tools was identified. Global Land Tool Network partners have been developing these land tools to find solutions. Each tool is developed with a reference group of partners including the profession involved, civil society, research and training institutions, also to build its robustness, legitimacy and use.
Eugenie Birch, University of Pennsylvania
In this lecture, Eugenie Birch draws heavily on history to illustrate the location, pace, trajectory, documentation and varied solutions of historic slum conditions in Western Europe and North America; tracking contemporary slum development in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and outlines the commonalities and differences with past experience. Birch places slum development in stages that correspond to the urbanization rates and peak growth of slums of the places in question, and discusses adaptations, their benefits and costs.
“Urbanization & demographics: The coordination problem” - Coming soon
Robert Buckley, The New School
Robert Buckley from the New School bases his lecture on the realization that little attention is being paid to the inexorable increase in urban populations, particularly in very low income countries. Almost all of the world’s next 2 billion people will live in these already slum-invested cities, with likely adverse effects on economic development as well as increased social exclusion. Instead of focusing on the issues involved with coordinating a coherent policy response to this demographic trend, the development agenda has focused on how coordination problems in supporting industry can be overcome. Michael Cohen argues that these industrial coordination problems are no doubt important, but so too is the avoidance of increasingly dysfunctional cities.
Robert Cervero, University of California, Berkeley
Drawing from the recent publication “Transforming Cities with Transit”, the director of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development and professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, Robert Cervero, calls for elevating the role of public transit in creating sustainable urban futures. Concentrating pedestrian friendly, mixed-use development near transit stops, supplemented by congestion pricing, is one promising strategy. Given that a large share of future urban growth will be in small to medium size cities, opportunities for integrating Bus Rapid Transit investments and urban development, Professor Cervero argues, should be exploited to the maximum degree possible.
“Urban economy in the new millenium” - Coming soon
Michael Cohen, The New School
Michael Cohen in this lecture illustrates that data about economic growth demonstrates that cities act as engines of national economic development. In 2008, for the first time in human history, half the world’s population lived in urban areas. Due to agglomeration economies, approximately 80 percent from global GDP is coming out of urban-based economic activities; 600 urban centers generate about 60 percent of global GDP. Yet, without the right focus, agglomeration economies can have deleterious negative externalities, such as harmful environmental effects, urban poverty, and intra-urban inequalities. In addition, the lecture addresses the issue of climate change, which represents a major threat to cities.
Ron Dembo, Zerofootprint
This lecture focuses on the role of citizens in developing cities, and shows that without the right behaviour and an engaged population even with the best infrastructure, cities will not be resilient. Ron Dembo explains how software, targeted incentive schemes and a sharp focus on the demographics of the city can be used to facilitate engagement and highlights examples where a top down drive and a zero tolerance on unsocial behaviour can help cities achieve resilience.
Reinhard Goethert, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Informal builders provide the bulk of affordable housing and define large areas of our cities. Originally created for those long considered as poor and unable to house themselves, over time the resultant informal housing generally matches higher income standards. This incremental process has been adopted by governments into programmes called ‘site and services’, focusing on housing and land development, and embracing process as the key. A methodology to capture this process has been developed which offers a base for developing effective policies in supporting the incremental builders.
Nabeel Hamdi, Oxford Brookes University
This lecture outlines the impact of participation on practice, in particular how it can expand the scope and nature of practice in order to add strategic value to practical work. Nabeel Hamdi introduces the issues of equity and efficiency and their convergence in participatory work, and articulates the value of participation in building community and in human development.
Mohamed Halfani, UN-Habitat
Mohamed Halfani (UN-Habitat) outlines the notion of prosperity as it relates to the work of UN-Habitat. This introduction to the theme of urban prosperity highlights the disjuncture between current developmental dynamism of cities as exhibited in high levels of material generation and exponential growth in innovation coterminous with abysmal poverty, inequality and environmental degradation. A paradigm shift is suggested which calls for encompassing development dimensions which transcend a narrow economistic focus.
Anna Heringer, UNESCO Chair for Earthen Architecture
In this lecture, Anna Heringer presents a series of projects where the choice of building materials and techniques has had a major influence on distribution of resources, participation and equality. Emphasizing that ‘we cannot build houses of only steel and concrete for seven billion people’ she proposes a strategy of bringing global creativity to the local materials, local skills and local potentials.
“Mass housing requires mass housing finance” - Coming soon
Marja Hoek Smit, Wharton Scool, University of Pennsylvania
In this lecture Marja Hoek Smit argues that housing finance is critical to solve the housing problem, increasing, as it does, the number of households that can afford to acquire a house in the formal market, which in turn will make large scale development of middle and lower middle income housing possible. Access to housing finance is described as equally important for investors in rental housing of all types. The lecture discusses the positive characteristics of mortgage lending compared to alternative housing finance options, as well as the reasons for mortgage systems to remain small in many urbanizing emerging market countries. It calls for changes in policy to address these constraints.
“Pro-poor solid waste management” - Coming soon
Marijk Huysman, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies
Marijk Huysman bases her lecture on the importance of accessible and effective urban waste collection services for public health, environmental conditions, productivity and aesthetics of cities. Yet evidence shows that waste services are often failing poor people. She argues that long before the concept of green growth was embraced as an urban development trend, informal waste workers have made a significant economic and environmental contribution to urban centers and also provides a source of income for millions of people worldwide. Despite this fact, local governments insufficiently recognize, ignore or even oppose the work and livelihood of waste workers. Informal waste workers are increasingly being pushed aside by privatisation of solid waste systems and by waste treatment methods such as incineration and waste-to-energy technologies.
“Urban Drainage & Green Infrastructure” - Coming soon
Chris Jefferies, Urban Drainage specialist
Urban drainage expert Chris Jefferies in this lecture addresses the need to reduce the impact of city development on flooding of residents in other places and the worsening of the water quality in streams, rivers and lakes caused by the city expansion. The most appropriate current solutions involve Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) but SUDS can only be implemented with good policies, supportive stakeholder groups and partnership working so that these new ideas, which cut across existing methods and practices, can be accepted.
Urban Jonsson, the Owls
Urban Jonsson – Executive Director at The Owls and former regional director of UNICEF, in this lecture outlines a human rights based approach to sustainable urban development. Starting from the basic premise that ‘all humans are born good’, he discusses how this applies to the ongoing global efforts to achieve a sustainable urban future.
“Cities Prosperity Index” - Coming soon
Eduardo Moreno, UN-Habitat
UN-Habitat’s Eduardo Moreno in this lecture introduces the “City Prosperity Initiative”, a new global initiative that aims to reinforce local capacities for cities to improve wellbeing and prosperity through a new monitoring tool (city prosperity index) a policy dialogue based on a conceptual framework (the wheel of prosperity) and the creation of action plans with sustainable urban solutions. The lecture presents both the origin of the city prosperity index and its evolution into a global initiative.
Janice Perlman, The Megacities Project
In this lecture, Janice Perlman discusses urban informality against the background of 40 years of research in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The lecture lays particular emphasis on how the changes over this timespan have affected the lives of the people in the favelas. She concludes by introducing the Mega-Cities project strategy to ‘shorten the lag time between ideas and implementation’ in urban problem solving.
Edgar Pieterse, University of Cape Town
In this lecture, Edgar Pieterse, professor at the University of Cape Town and the founding director of the African Centre for Cities, puts forward the concept of the underlying logic of slum urbanism. This logic in turn manifests in an overall urban form that can be characterised as ‘extreme splintered urbanism’—a pattern of urban development that manifests in sharp urban divides, the privatisation of key urban services and infrastructure linked to large-scale slum neglect over long periods of time.
Hugo Priemus, Delft University of Technology
In his lecture on “Post-industrial dynamics and urban housing”, Hugo Priemus advocates a mixed urban housing strategy to provide high-quality urban housing for knowledge workers and affordable housing for middle- and low-income households.
Mary Rowe, Municipal Art Society of New York
Based on her work experience in post-Katrina New Orleans and post-Sandy New York City, the Municipal Art Society of New York’s Director of Urban Resilience and Livability, Mary Rowe, discusses the role of self-organization and granular innovation in urban resilience-building. Highlighting examples from New Orleans, New York City, and cities around the globe, Ms. Rowe focuses on the need for a collaborative process to build resilience that takes advantage of the systems and features already in place in the urban ecosystem.
Martim Smolka, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Based on the recent publication ‘Implementing Value Capture in Latin America’ the Director of the Latin American Program at Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Martim Smolka, explains the mechanism of value capture and its sustainability prospects. Smolka focuses on a sample of emblematic cases in the Latin American region, with an analysis that considers the equity and efficiency content, and evaluates actual and potential revenues these instruments generate under different local institutional socio-political circumstances.
Stefan Schurig, World Future Council
In this lecture, Stefan Schurig (World Future Council) talks about the vision of regenerative cities as the greening of the urban environment and the protection of nature from urban expansion, and above all else, about the greening of urban systems of production, consumption and construction. Schurig proposes necessities to transform cities into ‘regenerative’ systems. The case studies presented on urban production, consumption and management of energy, waste, food and water are extracted from World Future Council research and the analysis stems from the most recent WFC report on regenerative cities.
Raf Tuts, UN-Habitat
The Urban Planning and Design focus area of UN-Habitat aims to support cities, regional and national authorities in adopting improved policies, plans and designs for more compact, socially inclusive, better integrated and connected cities that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change. This lecture provides an introduction on why this is relevant and how it can be achieved. The lecture first briefly describes UN-Habitat’s twin mandate of adequate shelter for all and sustainable urban development, and then goes on to explain how urban densities have significantly declined over the years in all parts of the world, exacerbating urban challenges like sprawl, segregation and congestion. From this Raf Tuts reviews various planning approaches for rapidly growing urban areas and goes on to explain how national urban policies, city-region planning and planned city extensions can help creating more compact, integrated and connected cities.
“Densification in consolidated informal settlements” - Coming soon
Peter Ward, University of Texas
Peter Ward from University of Texas in this lecture presents data drawn from a multi-country/city collaborative study to examine self-built housing in old established low-income neighborhoods. The location of many of these consolidated settlements makes them increasingly desirable locations sand a likely target for back-to-the-city densification and urban regeneration governmental policies. This threatens to generate pressures for displacement and to enhance gentrification. The challenge will be to ensure mixed-use and mixed income residential development associated with densification and infilling.
Christian Werthmann, Leibniz University Hannover
Christian Werthmann from Leibniz University, Hannover, summarizes his international experience of non-formal urbanism into ten points aimed to act as a guideline for designers intending to work in these contexts. Based on real life experiences and research he describes what is essential to keep in mind when designing towards sustainable urbanization in dense urban environments. This lecture was filmed in association to the Metropolis Nonformal – Anticipation symposium in Munich 2013 including the launch of the Laufen Manifesto for a Humane Design Culture.