Jim Russell – The Poor Should Move To Cities With High Housing Prices

sustainablecitiescollective.com. We don’t flee troubled places so much as we seek opportunity. The story of migration is one of pull, not push. The story of brain drain is one of push, not pull. Policies designed to retain talent misunderstand why people move:
At first glance, it might be imagined that the people most likely to migrate would be the poorest. However, the poorest people cannot afford it. Africa’s Sahel, the world’s poorest region, has not had emigration rates commensurate with its extreme poverty. Finance constraints give rise to an apparent paradox: An increase in income in the country of origin can actually increase emigration from it.

If a migrant’s family is financing the costs, and benefiting through subsequent remittances, it is possible that the decision to migrate is not truly a decision of the migrant but of the migrant’s family. Many studies support this depiction. In effect, rather than people choosing to change their country, families are choosing to become transnational. Families in poor countries are the mirror image of companies in rich ones. While the multinational companies are predominantly anchored in high-income countries, the multinational families are predominantly anchored in low-income ones.

Read more: http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/jim-russell/

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Léopold Lambert – # ARCHITECTURES WITHOUT ARCHITECTS /// Architects & Slums: A Few Ideas And A Debate

The Funambulist, August 2013. Last week, an interesting architectural debate occurred on Ethel Baraona Pohl‘s facebook about an award-winning project that proposed a hypothetical architectural project to relocate the population of the largest slum in Asia, Dharavi in Mumbai. The online comments, including the one on facebook, are not known to be the most appropriate place for deep discussions; however, this time, an interesting debate occurred between a dozen of people (some of them like Ethel, Fosco Lucarelli, Cesar Reyes, Nick Axel are well-known from this blog’s readers), who could be said to all agree about the symptoms that can be detected in this project yet, who do not necessarily agree on what should be an architectural role in the defense of the victims of globalized capitalism. Since then, Ethel and Cesar wrote a synthesis on dpr-barcelona‘s blog, and I decided to add to it a few thoughts in addition than the entire transcript of the debate, in order to give it a form of archival (see at the end of this note).

Read more: http://thefunambulist.net/2013/08/26/architectures-without-architects-architects-slums-a-few-ideas-and-a-debate/

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Clover Moore – Avoiding The Slums Of The Future

clovermoore.com.au. Building apartments that are small and badly designed might be what some property developers want, but it is no good for the people who actually buy and live in them.
In the 1990s, apartment design in Sydney had become so bad the NSW Government had to step in to fix the problem and stop developers building the slums of the future.

So it’s hard to sympathise with the confected outrage from Chris Johnson and his developer lobby group Urban Taskforce. Complaints about councils creating ‘red tape’ on their developments is a classic case of putting dollars before sense.

Read more: http://www.clovermoore.com.au/avoiding-the-slums-of-the-future/

(An edited version of the article was published in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 27 August)

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Mohamed Adel – Slums? No Sir, These Are Self-Built Communities

“The Right to Housing” is a documentary series and a part of the “Right to Housing, a Socially Just and Sustainable Built Environment” initiative. This project aims to link urban issues and challenges with the right to housing: it proposes that this right should be respected in the constitution and in laws and that adequate urban policies be put in place to reflect the needs of the people.

This initiative was launched by Shadow Ministry of Housing, a blog owned by the Egyptian blogger and urbanism researcher Yahia Shawkat, in association with Mosireen, a citizen-journalism collective, and the Arab Digital Expression Foundation, ADEF.

The first short documentary, titled “Slums? No sir, these are self-built communities,” is an introduction to the series, highlighting informal communities’ experiences in building their own communities and adapting to the absent right to housing, carrying out the role the government should do.

Read more: http://urb.im/c130826#qt-qt130826-ui-tabs6

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Gijs van Wulfen – How A Big Idea Lights The Slums For Free

A big idea is a new simple solution for a relevant problem or dream. That’s my definition. It doesn’t have to be commercial per se. In my new book The Innovation Expedition I promote also big ‘social’ ideas, like for example ‘Liter of Light’. Take a look at the movie first.

Liter of Light (or Isang Litrong Liwanag) is a global movement that aims to provide an ecologically and economically sustainable source of light to underprivileged households that do not have access to electricity or have difficulties affording electricity. The solution is a relatively simple invention. It involves filling up a 1.5L PET bottle with purified water and bleach and installing it onto the roof of a dwelling. The water inside the bottle refracts the sunlight during the daytime and creates the same luminosity as a 55-watt light bulb. With the proper installation and materials a solar bottle can last up to 5 years.

Read more: http://www.linkedin.com/how-a-big-idea-lights-the-slums-for-free?

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Lisa De Bode – Micro-Flats Appealing For World’s Urban Poor

aljazeera.com. As urban areas expand and housing prices soar, “living small” becomes more popular in global cities.

Can two people live together in a space of about 28 square metres? Two women from Brooklyn got a taste of small-space living by camping in a micro-home at the Museum of the City of New York last week, drawing attention to the consequences of urbanisation around the world.
At a time when more people than ever before are living alone – one out of seven adults in the United States – and housing prices are soaring, policymakers are experimenting with tiny solutions to a big problem.
The museum’s micro-flat, which measures some 30 sqm, is part of an exhibition called “Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers”, and features space-saving furniture and under-counter appliances. The flat’s bed converts into a couch, the chair can become a stepladder, and the television moves sideways to reveal a bar.
Challie Stillman, design director of Resource Furniture, the distributor of the appliances, and her partner Lina Franco, a former estate agent, arrived Friday evening for a 24-hour stay in the unit.
“A lot of people in NYC already live like this,” Franco told Al Jazeera. “It was very much like being at home,” she said, recounting the experience of having six friends over for a Mexican dinner in the mini-flat Friday. “But I think it can be a bit too small for two people.”

Read more: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/08/201382210555954288.html

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