- Kounkuey Design Initiative, Inc.
A central thread of the New Urban Agenda is the importance of government, civil society and resident cooperation in low-income and informal areas to co-create appropriate interventions that build on local knowledge and priorities but with a cognizance of larger planning and infrastructural processes. However, real-world examples of successful co-creation initiatives are sometimes scarce, and where they do exist they have often not been systematically evaluated or compared across contexts and scales.
This session introduces and compares three such real-world examples from three different scales – namely the Kibera informal settlement, Dhaka city, and the urban centers of Argentina. While having very different geographies, climates, histories and demographics, these three contexts share some consistent challenges - urbanization, socio-spatial fragmentation, and a real need for improved citizen-city collaboration. They also showcase important new and innovative initiatives that will be introduced in this session 'that go beyond physical and environmental improvements to ensure that slums and informal settlements are integrated into the social, economic, cultural and political dimensions of cities':
1. Community Responsive Adaptation in Kibera, Nairobi.
In 2017-2019, researchers from Stockholm University and the Technical University of Kenya are partnering with an NGO, Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI), and with slum residents and local government, to co-design, build and evaluate three 'community-responsive adaptation' projects in Kibera. These projects integrate social and economic resilience opportunities alongside environmental remediation, flood compensation, and improved sanitation, within a larger spatial framework of an ecological buffer along the Ngong River. This balancing of spatial, ecological and socio-economic priorities talks directly to core challenges in the New Urban Agenda, clauses 13 and 69 in particular.
(Chelina Odbert, KDI)
2. Participatory mapping for evidence-based governance - Dhaka, Bangladesh.
UNDP's collaborative program of government-community co-creation from Bangladesh has developed poverty reduction strategies and targeted urban poor settlements using participatory mapping and city-level discussion forums to gather information and identify hotspots of poverty. In particular, this program has supported the role and capacity of government, civil society and residents in data collection and evidence-based governance, with particular relevance to many commitments of the New Urban Agenda, clauses 77 and 159 in particular.
(John Taylor, UNDP)
3. Overcoming socio-spatial fragmentation country-wide: Argentina.
Argentina is the third most urbanized country in the world; 37 of the 40 million population live in cities. A key challenge is socio-spatial fragmentation in urban areas. Since December 2015, the Government of Argentina, through the Under-Secretariat of Habitat and Human Development, has led the implementation of the National Habitat Plan (NHP). The main objective of NHP is to overcome socio-spatial fragmentation through participatory and integrative upgrading of informal settlements. The NHP was inspired by the successful and longstanding PROMEBA (Programa de Mejoramiento de Barrios), now established since 2016 as a state policy with strong public commitment and financial support. The renewed momentum from this program highlights pathways to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs at the national level.
(Mariana Barerra, Under-Secretary for Habitat and Human Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Argentina)