World Urban Forum 2008

"It is projected that in the next 50 years, two-thirds of humanity will be living in towns and cities. A major challenge is to minimise burgeoning poverty in cities, improve the urban poor's access to basic facilities such as shelter, clean water and sanitation and achieve environment-friendly, sustainable urban growth and development."

ACHR Networking Event: Communities as Key Actions in Disaster Rehabilitation
3 November

Presentations from a range of ACHR members included: Pakistan, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Srilanka, Indonesia and Burma. These members of ACHR were actively engaged in identifying ways in which communities can determine their own development following a disaster.

David Dodman (IIED) contributed to the debate with information about climate change, and climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

IIED Networking meeting: Achieving Equity: Tenure and Services for All
4 November

Half the world's population live in urban areas and one third, almost 1 billion, are desperately poor and live in settlements without access to adequate water and sanitation.

This event drew on a three action-research projects to highlight examples of effective interventions that have achieved greater equity in cities, particularly in terms of secure tenure, and access to water and sanitation. The presentations focused on experiences in Central America, India and Kenya.

Dialogue 1: Territorial Balance In Urban Development
November 4

First of six UN-Habitat Plenary Discussions, with this one focusing on the role and re-conceptualisation of planning in the context of today’s urban challenge. IIED was invited to speak about the contribution of civil society and pro-poor forms of governance.

SDI: Shack/ Slum Dwellers International Urban Poor Fund
5 November

This global network of landless and homeless Federation has developed new systems of finance to respond to local needs and opportunities presented by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to IIED and SDI. This session enabled federation members to talk about their experiences with savings and loans for community driven development.

“We came to town for a better life. But it is a troubled life. We are alone. We rent this broken house, without it we are homeless. We are prisoners of our poverty. There is no-one to talk to, non-one to share my troubles with, no-one to discuss solutions with. I joined the Federation and learnt to save and loan. The savings group women all know each other. We all help each other in our troubles. We sing and dance! In our group, we share ideas, so many ideas. We are rich with ideas.” Mary (member from Chilindi, Malawi)