DSA Urbanisation and Development Study group
It is well known that over 50% of world’s population lives in urban areas. This involves not only ongoing rapid urbanisation in certain regions of the global south but also well-know and new challenges and opportunities in the processes of urban change experienced across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East. In this context, a focus on human development suggests engaging with pressing issues including the processes of urbanisation, demographic change and population growth; economic growth or stagnation, and implications for livelihoods; environmental challenges including climate change, hazards and disasters; basic services; shelter and housing; conflict and security; and governance and planning processes and responses.
The DSA Urbanisation and Development group aims to engage with these issues, with a particular focus on how they affect low-income urban residents, and their gender dimensions, from both scholarly and practitioner perspectives. The group’s formation also reflects the interest among participants to engage with current and emerging policy priorities, including the presence of an ‘urban’ goal in the SDGs and the upcoming Habitat III summit in 2016. A core aim for the group is therefore to facilitate a network in support of influencing current and emerging policy agendas, drawing on existing links to academic, NGO, government and private sector communities in these fields in the global south, in support of an inclusive and collaborative approach.
The group meets twice a year (including one meeting at the DSA annual conference), offering an opportunity for members to discuss their research and potential collaboration.
Adriana Allen (DPU, UCL), Tom Goodfellow (University of Sheffield), Melanie Lombard (University of Manchester), Anna Walnycki (IIED)
E: a.allen(at)ucl.ac.uk; t.goodfellow(at)sheffield.ac.uk; m.b.Lombard(at)sheffield.ac.uk; anna.walnycki(at)iied.org
DSA Urbanisation and Development Study Group Workshop, IDS, July 2016
Interrogating the New Urban Agenda Hosted by IIED, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit at UCL and IDS
The DSA Urbanisation and Development Group invited researchers and practitioners to a one-day workshop to discuss and interrogate the recently released Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda, which is set to shape discussions at Habitat III in Quito in October. This event will provide an opportunity to identify gaps in the Zero Draft and also to re-frame certain issues.
With provocations from David Dodman (IIED), Amina Khan (ODI), Alvaro Puertas Robina (HIC) Sue Parnell (African Centre for Cities), responses from Sheila Patel (SD) Alex Frediani and Barbara Liepetz (DPU) and Dolf de Lintelo and Jaideep Gupte (IDS), and discussion by all present, the outcome was a briefing paper in advance of the Third Preparatory Committee Meeting for Habitat III at Surabaya.
While the group collectively welcomed the ambitious ‘transformative commitments’ of the draft, there were concerns that the Zero Draft lacks both an overarching vision that recognises the vital links between the three commitments and a consistent approach to implementation. The current contradictions threaten to make the commitments ineffective individual work streams. To reach its transformative ambition, we argue that the final New Urban Agenda must make these connections, and suggest four specific ways in which it could achieve greater coherence and inclusivity.
The briefing paper can be downloaded here.
Inaugural meeting, London, March 2015
This determined the core themes of the group, identified potential partners for inclusion in the wider group, and confirmed the group’s agenda over the next three years.
Special session, DSA Annual Conference, November 2014
With brief presentations from Caren Levey (DPU), Diana Mitlin (University of Manchester) and Anna Walnycki (IIED), it was agreed by those present that the application to the DSA to set up an Urbanisation and Development group should go ahead. The application was accepted in December 2014.