Green Building Interventions for Social Housing


Green Building Interventions for Social Housing _capture” 32% of global urban population lives in urban slums. If no meaningful action is taken, the United Nations reports that the number of slum dwellers worldwide may double over the next 30 years. Responses to this problem have to be holistic, multi-level and interdisciplinary, and must acknowledge local cultural, economic, legislative and environmental factors. Sustainable housing should be seen as a comprehensive process accounting for environmental, social, cultural, economic and institutional considerations.

 There is an urgent need to find housing solutions that do not impact adversely on housing affordability and enhance urban livelihoods. Moreover, there is an imperative to find sustainable housing solutions that address the growing carbon footprint of the built environment.

 This report defines the rationale for green building intervention on social housing, details international examples of legislative and regulatory frameworks for enabling green social housing and identifies global and regional forms and approaches to green social housing.”

PDF:Link   ( 135  pages, 5.64 MB)

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Local Government Financing in Developing Countries

 The Challenge of Local Government Financing in Developing Countries_capture“Local governments in developing countries often face the difficult task of funding the infrastructure and services required to meet the basic needs of growing urban population. Local governments suffer from lacking technological infrastructure and capacity, and opportunities for revenue generation are often restricted by inadequate regulatory frameworks or disadvantageous political structures. This affects urban efficiency and local economic activity, creating a vicious cycle of budgetary shortfalls, choking urban conditions, and economic stagnation.

Strategic governance and financing systems can provide hope for struggling local governments. Appropriate financial management can tap into strategies that improve efficiency of revenue collection, win public support, capitalize on urban and regional economies of scale, curb land speculation and sprawl, incentivise economic activity, and improve urban affordability for the poor.

This UN-Habitat report documents both the challenges and solutions related to mobilisation of revenue, governance mechanisms etc. in urban local bodies of developing countries.”

PDF: Link   ( 96 pages,  4.91 MB)

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Urban China

Urban China_Capture“China’s urbanisation over the last three decades has been unprecedented in scale: 260 million migrants have moved to cities from rural areas, supporting the country’s rapid economic growth and development progress. Despite the enormity of this transition, China has avoided some of the ills often associated with urbanisation, particularly large-scale urban poverty and unemployment. However, strains have begun to emerge in the form of rising inequality, environmental degradation, and the quickening depletion of natural resources.

The World Bank Group and China’s Development Research Centre  produced a study viz., China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative Society, which laid out the key, long term challenges facing the Chinese economy. The urbanisation study aimed to build on this successful collaboration and help China tackle another key development challenge: forging a new model of urbanisation.


To develop a new model of urbanisation, this report has been prepared. The report states that China’s urbanisation can be efficient, inclusive and sustainable, if necessary policy reforms are done in six main areas viz., amending land management institutions, changes to the hukou, reforming urban finances, improving urban planning, reducing environmental pressures and improving governance at the local level. The report also provides recommendations on the timing and sequencing of reforms.”

PDF Link:  Urban China ( 111 pages, 1.44 MB)

                    China:2030      (473 pages,6.66  MB)

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The State of China’s Cities 2014/2015

The State of China's Cities_Capture“China’s urban population exceeded that of rural areas in 2011. History has shown that urban development presents real opportunities for unleashing enormous economic potential, reducing inequity, and creating sustainable livelihoods for all. China has been making continuous progress in urbanization since the reform and opening up and China is stepping into the critical period of transformation and development.

 The central government of China has strategized urbanization as one of the four pillars for China’s new modernization drive viz., industrialization, information technology, urbanization and agricultural modernization. It has adopted a series of policies to address urban inequality by extending more social and public services to rural migrants; optimize urban spatial distribution by building new growth poles in central, western and north-eastern China; sustain urbanization by improving the efficient use of land and other natural resources; upgrade public services and infrastructure by empowering local governments with further financial and taxing decentralization; and improve the living standards by protecting and conserving environment and ecosystems.”

PDF: Link   (129 pages, 8.17 MB)


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Policing Urban Space

Policing_Urban_Space.capture.PNG“Crime is unevenly distributed throughout the world. Crime problems are driven by a series of factors, including poverty, inequality, the rate of urbanization, political transitions, urban density, population growth and poor urban planning, design and management.

 Successes in controlling crime in cities in high-income countries have depended on the use of innovative analytical techniques developed in response to needs identified at the local level. Crime control techniques involve cutting-edge strategies to gather and use knowledge, often in collaboration with actors such as municipal planners and civic 4 leaders. Cities in the richest countries have benefited most from the new strategies.

Urban governments in low- and middle-income countries have increasingly sought to apply the techniques in new contexts, with growing success. The Introductory Handbook on Policing Urban Space seeks to provide practitioners, including government officials, police, municipal planners and members of civic groups, especially in low- and middle-income countries, with a basic conceptual grounding in democratic policing, and guidelines on good practices.

 This Handbook was prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN-Habitat.”

 PDF:   Link    (198 pages, 1.25 MB)

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Cities and Climate Change

Cites and Climate Change_capture“This edition of UN-Habitat’s Global Report on Human Settlements (2011) explains the relationship between urban settlements and climate change, and suggests how cities and towns which have not adopted to the climate change policies can do so.

 Traditionally urban development has been seen as a national concern. This report shows its international relevance. Cities and towns contribute significantly to climate change – from the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation, transport and industrial production, to waste disposal and changes in land use. How cities and towns are planned affects not just the health and well-being of their inhabitants, but the global environment and our prospects for sustainable development.

 In the decades to come, climate change may make millions of urban residents especially the poor and marginalized, increasingly vulnerable to floods, landslides, extreme weather events and other natural disasters. Urban residents may also face water shortage, drought or the encroachment of saltwater on ground water – these scenarios can be prevented if we act now with determination and solidarity.

 The report details the possible impacts of climate change on cities and towns. It also reviews mitigation and adaptation steps being taken by national and local authorities, and assesses their potential to shape future climate change policy.”

 PDF:      Link      (300 pages, 2.68 MB)

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Urban Poverty: A Case Study on Pune, India

Poverty lines and lives of the poor_iied.captureInternational Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has brought out a working paper on the poverty reduction in urban areas. This study deals with the underestimation of urban poverty in Pune, India

This paper describes the development of poverty lines in India, from the 19th century to the present, and assesses their limitations as an indication of poverty. It demonstrates that use of the official poverty line results in considerable underestimation of the extent of urban poverty, and oversimplifies the nature of poverty by disregarding or disguising the reality of the lived experiences of poor people.

 Relevance and accuracy of the poverty line as applied in Pune, a city with around 3 million inhabitants has been highlighted. The paper also examines the wider nature of poverty and how this has changed over time, using data from a longitudinal study of slum settlements in Pune from 1976 to 2003.

 The paper ends with a discussion on how to achieve a better understanding and measurement of the numerous and interconnected aspects of urban poverty. 

 PDF: Link ( 56 pages, 0.2 MB)

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International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning

International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning_capture

The need for planning cannot be over-emphasized. Urbanization is progressing rapidly and by 2050, seven out of ten people will be living in cities. Inappropriate policies, plans and designs have led to inadequate spatial distribution of people and activities, resulting in proliferation of slums, congestion, poor access to basic services, environmental degradation, and social inequity and segregation.

The International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning serve both as a source of inspiration and a compass for decision makers and urban professionals when reviewing urban and territorial planning systems.

The Guidelines provide national governments, local authorities, civil society organizations and planning professionals with a global reference framework that promotes more compact, socially inclusive, better integrated and connected cities and territories that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change.

PDF:  Link  (40 Pages, 8.40 MB)

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Managing Urban Growth: Indian Cities


India is in a major phase of urbanisation. The urban population growth projections are incredible. In a 2006 report, India’s Registrar General suggested a rise of 248 million people living in cities between 2001 and 2026. That means about 10 million new people to be accommodated in Indian cities every year. This requires major planning and intense government focus at national, state and city level.

This publication lists the status of various urban infrastructure, status of reforms, strategies for urban development, response of government etc. apart from the status of environmental sustainability under the Million Development Goals (MDG).

This publication has been produced by National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and Metropolis and presents case studies from the cities of Agra, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lavasa, Magarpatta, New Delhi, Pune and Surat.

PDF: (148 Pages, 11.4 MB)

Posted in Sustainable Urban Development, Urban India, Urban Infrastructure, Urban Statistics, Urban Studies, Urbanisation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Unpacking Metropolitan Governance

Unpacking Metropolitan Governance_CaptureRapid urbanization and population growth are creating larger cities and local economic areas, especially in developing countries. Improved transportation and communication makes core urban area and its periphery into a single metropolitan region.

The jurisdictional boundaries of local governments tend to have a long history, but the urban growth often change an area’s character over time. Therefore, a metropolitan region usually includes a number of independent local government jurisdictions.

As metropolitan areas emerge and grow, the need for metropolitan-level management increases. Metropolitan regions usually need some form of institutional arrangements – either formal or informal ones – to coordinate their development or undertake some joint functions for more efficient, seamless and equitable service provision and cost sharing, in addition to efforts by each individual local government.

Many different Metropolitan management models exist across the globe. Different Metropolitan Regions across the world exhibit different characteristics. No one size fits all. This discussion paper by GIZ and UN-Habitat can help the policymakers/academia as a reference point for evolving/refining a suitable governance model for a metropolitan region.

PDF:   Link  (78 pages, 2.11 MB)

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