Erasmus University Rotterdam – The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) is an international centre of excellence of the School of Economics (ESE) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, operating on a global scale by offering post-graduate education, training, advisory services and applied research.

Today more people live in cities than ever before. Our urban future confronts us with great innovations and challenges. Cities need urban professionals who can understand, face and manage these developments to create urban futures that improve the quality of life in cities. IHS trains and advises these professionals on a global scale through its integrated approach in education, advisory services and research that offers practise and theory on urban management and development.

List of IHS publications:

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University Of Amsterdam – Centre For Urban Studies – 13 Dissertations 2013

The Centre for Urban Studies houses one of 15 “Research Priority Areas” at the University of Amsterdam, combining longstanding expertise across departments in the social sciences and humanities.

The link to 13 dissertations completed in 2013:

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Sam Forbes ~ My life In London’s Houseboat Slums Febr.23, 2014. Where do you live if you cannot afford London’s soaring rents? I took the only home I could find: a tiny, mouldy room in a freezing barge on the Thames. And there are many desperate people in the same situation.
Most Londoners will know someone suffering from the extortionate expense of finding a place to live. For those trapped in the rental market, the outlook is particularly bleak. In 2011 the Resolution Foundation reported that the price of securing a tenancy can be over £2,000 in upfront costs, while other figures have shown that one in three tenants now spend half their takehome pay on rent. As more and more areas of London become unaffordable to anyone but wealthy professionals, where will essential workers go to live: the people who clean the streets, and cook the food and keep the city ticking over? They can stay at home with relatives, or sublet from people with existing tenancies, but some do not have these options. When I found myself in this position, I went to the only place I could: the slums of the Thames.

Read more:

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Unesco Database – Publications In Open Access

unescoYou are encouraged to download, copy, translate any publication below and use it free of charge, as long as the original author is given credit for the original creation. No prior permission is required to do so.

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Beacon Of The World’s Urban Poor Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize 2014 Febr. 2014.  Jockin Arputham and Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), the largest urban slum dweller movement in the world, have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. The nomination of the network of pavement dwellers, landless and homeless, in 33 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, is an unprecedented step in the life of a man who has risen from the streets of Mumbai to global prominence as the beacon of people-led approaches to urban development. The bid was put forth by Swedish Minister for Public Administration and Housing Stefan Attefall. The bid also has high level political support from Norway and South Africa, including Derek Hanekom, South African Minister of Science and Technology and former Minister of Land, who has also announced his support of this nomination. In his nomination letter Minister Attefall chose the warning of the Greek philosopher Plato to the Athenians as the basis of supporting Mr. Arphutham’s candidacy: “the income of the rich should not exceed the income of the poor by more than five times. Any more would create economic inefficiency and generate “the greatest social risk”: civil war”.

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A March On Brussels? Never Say Never!


European Parliament Brussels

Conservative and nationalist blocks have successfully politicized Euro-elections. The other parties must clearly profile what they want to pursue and what re-arrange within the EU, to stand any chance of providing a home for citizens who have ample reason to grumble. Euro-elections landscape, 2014.

The United States of Europe is heading for the election of a European Parliament in May 2014. Oops! Who said that? Never invoke the F-word, meaning federal. Expunge the thought. In the Netherlands, there prevails a strong conviction that the European Union can “never” become a federal state and “should not try to do so”.[i] That would be a super-state, and out of the question: European history says, never! We beg to differ: never say never.

Apart from the gigantesque vocabulary of the European Union’s labyrinthine institutional structure – “Presidents and councils, everywhere you look, with names so similar that few can tell them apart” – the question arises as to whether the European citizen understands how he is represented, let alone how the representation of his nation-state is managed.[ii] The present structure is the legacy of a past when Die Herre der Verträge decided the course of European integration, with the public more or less quietly in attendance. Now that at last the engagement of the public has become a condition sine qua non, the power of the people has become critical for European democracy. How are the people represented? Does European governance pass the test of being public? Just how can European citizens change Europe by casting their vote? These critical questions arise from article 10 (3) of the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht, 1992):

“Every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. Decisions shall be taken as openly and as closely as possible to the citizen.”

Obviously, this is not yet the case. In our country, the Netherlands, the turnout for the European Parliament has been very low in recent elections: 36.8% in 2009 (lower than the turnout in the whole of the Union, 43%), a little lower than in 2004, but higher than the ultimate downer of not even 30% in 1999. This sharply contrasts with the turnout for the Netherlands Parliament: 84.4 % in 2006, almost 75 % in 2010, and 73.8% in 2012. Political commentators are excited, framing this election as a head on collision of quixotic European Union masterminds and populist naysayers who represent ‘the people,’ and predicting that 2014 will become a European disaster year.[iii] Read more

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