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Nithya V. Raman & Priti Narayan – India’s Invisible Population October, 19, 2013. Since 2005, the Central government has given significant amounts of money to the States to improve conditions for the country’s urban poor, first under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and more recently through the slow-moving Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). Unfortunately, very few studies have looked at how effective these programmes have been in achieving their objectives. Our research in Chennai suggests that money from the JNNURM did not effectively address the needs of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

How could this happen in a programme explicitly designed for this purpose, and in a State known for its generosity to the poor? This is because Chennai faces a problem common to many cities across India: it has two tiers of slums — those with official government recognition and those without, and the JNNURM did not push cities hard enough to directly intervene in slum areas without recognition.

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CNBCAfrica – Affordable Housing Possible In South Africa

The latest research into the provision of affordable housing in the so-called gap market in South Africa shows that it not only brings with it improved welfare and social cohesion.

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Architizer – A Philippines Slum Turns A Schoolhouse Into A Community Good October, 2013. This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award in the Architecture + Collaboration category.

Before children from the coastal slum of Seawall, in Tacloban, the Philippines, can go to school, they need a lot of other details to fall into place. Lunch. Uniforms. Books. A break from working for their families’ survival. A place to study and prepare to re-enter the classroom. When three architecture students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology looked at Seawall’s obstacles to education, they saw, yes, an architectural solution—but also a deeper community problem. Behind every absentee student loomed the influence of a parent. How could they change the culture?

Under the auspices of the nonprofit Streetlight, Ivar Tutturen, Trond Hegvold, and Alexander Furunes organized the parents of Seawall into a design committee. Between 2010 and 2012, the student-architects and the families workshopped plans for a new study center and enlisted the community’s help to construct it. The building, which opened last year, serves as a way station between the streets and government schools, offering preparatory study sessions and meals to children of all ages. It’s also the winner of the Popular Choice prize in the Architecture + Collaboration category of the A+ Awards!

“The aim was to use architecture as a tool to empower the parents to improve the learning conditions for their own children,” write the designers.

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Yandisa Sobuza – Social Housing In South Africa: Are Public Private Partners (PPP) A Solution?

South Africa faces a shortfall in its provision of housing for low income households. This study explores the potential to use public private partnerships (PPP) to address these supply problems.

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Gabriel Metcalf – The San Francisco Exodus October 14, 2013. My friends keep moving to Oakland. Gone from San Francisco for greener pastures and cheaper rents, because it’s just gotten too hard, by which I really mean too expensive. Their move signals that something has gone terribly wrong in this most progressive of American cities.

In some ways, we came by the problem innocently. San Francisco had the good fortune to be one of the very few 19th century industrial cities to successfully make the transition to a new, post-industrial economic base. It wasn’t just bohemians who set up shop here—all kinds of entrepreneurs and creative business people decided to call San Francisco home. As wave after wave of older industrial jobs moved out of town, new types of work were created to replace them.

At the same time, San Francisco was a great place to live. Partly from historical inheritance and partly from the work of activists who chose to make the city the focus of their activism, the city remained a walkable, urban paradise compared to most of America.

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