Weekly Urban News Update
In This Update
Two FAO presents NENA Water Scarcity Initiative

The Food and Agricultural Organization presented their Near East and North Africa Water Security Initiative at a technical briefing on the water-food nexus the UN Headquarters in New York earlier this week. Created after the FAO NENA conference designated the issue as a central priority to the member states, the initiative provides a framework to ensure the sustainable use and preservation of scarce water resources in the region. Water scarcity is at a severe and unprecedented high, and so the initiative aims to identify critical areas requiring action; assist in the formulation of a regional collaborative strategy; and build broad partnerships to support its implementation. IHC Global is supportive of this initiative, as water security has a significant impact on urban lives.

Read the full report  here.

Many of the potential foreign aid policies of the new U.S. presidential administration are striking a familiar tune for Australian International NGOs as reported by Devex and causing concern among international organizations. President Trump has shown his discontent with U.S. money going overseas while "American infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay." Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government expressed similar sentiment years earlier, stating "we can't continue to fund foreign aid at the expense of investment in the Australian economy." However, in the US, as well as globally, the case must be made for how targeted foreign assistance can support global strategic priorities, such as urbanization. The destabilizing potential of unmanaged urban growth is clear. IHC Global will continue to raise awareness as we advance policy and practice approaches to address this global challenge.

Read the full article about the effects of Australia's changed policy  here.

2030Watch project leader Claudia Schwegmann has written a piece for Citiscope on how the German initiative is working to involve the general public in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Involving citizens is a critical aspect of the agenda, and 2030Watch has paved a way for nations to localize the SDGs. Since last year, 2030Watch has been developing a national monitoring tool for Germany that measures progress in the key factors of the SDGs and is catered to the country's specific needs. The tool is advanced, and can be specialized to cater to other countries. However, the system does not transfer over to developing countries, as it is designed for the specific responsibilities of high-income countries. This tool can help advance partnerships with the private sector and civil society, and smooth out the road to achieving the SDGs by 2030.

Learn more about the tool and read the full article here.
OneNew from IHC Global

IHC has three things to share:
  • Release of 'No Time to Waste' authored by Eduardo Rojas synthesizing lessons from 50 years of Latin American housing policy.

  • IHC Global President and CEO Judith Hermanson presented on global urban development as a 'grand challenge' for the 21st century, inclusion and housing opportunity and on global trends in housing finance at the public policy meetings of the Illinois Realtors Association.
  • An interview with the winners of its 2016 Reducing Urban Poverty Paper Competition, which is designed to foster creative ideas and encourage young scholars in the field. Interviewed by IHC Global Communications Officer Rebekah Revello, the three winners- MIT Urban Planning graduate students Frances Goyes, Valeria Vidal Alvarado and Sera Tolgay- analyze an innovative program for inclusion of refugees through incentives for resident homeowners to provide housing for refugee families.  Funded by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the project provides an illuminating perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis and its impacts in Jordan. Read the exclusive interview here.
NewsIn the news and around the web
  • Lagos living: learn more about the challenge of solving Nigeria's megacity housing crisis here.
  • Read an update on sanctuary cities in the U.S. here.
  • Citylab reviews a new book on the segregation of New York City's housing and zoning policies here.
  • What should right to the city mean for refugees? Find out here.
  • Mumbai's slums are making way for luxury residential towers. Read more here.
The art of the urban: graphic designer Herwig Scherabon visualizes the data behind gentrification in a creative new way. Here, East London's battle with income inequality is represented by the height of each structure, the flattest parts representing the most deprived neighborhoods. Source: Guardian Cities
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