AHI at UN-Habitat’s World Urban Forum (WUF) – A photo tour

By: Molly McGowan

Last week, my colleague, AHI Global Associate Anya Brickman Raredon, and I traveled to Medellin, Colombia, to participate in UN Habitat’s World Urban Forum (WUF). It was a spectacular conference in a spectacular city.

UN Habitat's World Urban Forum

UN Habitat’s World Urban Forum

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Sign in Santo Domingo (a neighborhood of Medellin now served by the recently-constructed metro cable) – “Please take care of the garden and the trees. Put garbage in the trash bins. Thank you. The environment of the park and this lookout depends on you. This is our air. Thank you for taking care of it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AHI’s primary reason for being in Medellin was to participate in two events with partners we are working with in Haiti: Cordaid and USAID.

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In the first, Anya spoke about our housing ecosystem approach and a model for housing delivery in Haiti as a part of a panel organized and moderated by Cordaid’s Inge Bouwmans and Marloe Dresens. Anya spoke alongside Margriet Nieuwenhuis (Director, Cordaid Urban Matters), Gerald Jean-Francois (Program Manager, Cordaid Urban Matters Haiti), and Raoul Pierre-Louis (CASEC of Turgeau, Haiti).

1)Preparing for the Cordaid panel. From left to right: Gerald Jean-Francois, Raoul Pierre-Louis, Anya Brickman Raredon, Margriet Nieuwenhuis, Marloe Dresens, Inge Bouwmans

Preparing for the Cordaid panel. From left to right: Gerald Jean-Francois, Raoul Pierre-Louis, Anya Brickman Raredon, Margriet Nieuwenhuis, Marloe Dresens, Inge Bouwmans

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See the full presentation here.

 

 

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AHI Global Associate Anya Brickman Raredon speaking on AHI’s ecosystem approach

In the second, we presented a poster (see it here) during USAID’s event on Haiti, where our friends Chris Ward (USAID), Anna Konotchick (UC-Berkeley), Rose-May Guignard (CIAT), Odnell David (UCLBP), and Kate Crawford (University College London’s Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience) were speaking.

Chris Ward (USAID) introduces the USAID panel on Haiti. From left to right: Odnell David, Anna Konotchick, Rose-May Guignard, Chris Ward, Kate Crawford

Chris Ward (USAID) introduces the USAID panel on Haiti. From left to right: Odnell David, Anna Konotchick, Rose-May Guignard, Chris Ward, Kate Crawford

Building Permanence: Self-Recovery after Disaster

Building Permanence: Self-Recovery after Disaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With our presentations finished on Tuesday, we were able to spend the rest of the conference taking it all in, meeting interesting people, and learning about the fantastic work taking place on housing all over the world.

Adriana Navarro-Sertich (UNOPS) speaking on how to build more than a roof

Adriana Navarro-Sertich (UNOPS) speaking on how to build more than a roof

Claudio Acioly moderating a panel on slum upgrading programs in Brazil, South Africa, and Kenya

Claudio Acioly moderating a panel on slum upgrading programs in Brazil, South Africa, and Kenya

AHI Senior Advisor Deidre Schmidt and MIT Professor Reinhard Goethert speaking on land tenure at a panel organized by Loeb Fellow Matt Nohn

AHI Senior Advisor Deidre Schmidt and MIT Professor Reinhard Goethert speaking on land tenure at a panel organized by Loeb Fellow Matt Nohn

PCI’s project manager presenting on Barrio Mio – a 24-month collaboration between PCI and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance designed to transform a high-risk urban neighborhood in Guatemala into a resilient, safe, and productive community

PCI’s Ernesto Paiz presenting on Barrio Mio – a 24-month collaboration between PCI and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance designed to transform a high-risk urban neighborhood in Guatemala into a resilient, safe, and productive community

The Barrio Mio team. From left to right: Local team leader, Kathy Vilnrotter (Enclude), Jim DiFrancesca (PCI)

The Barrio Mio team. From left to right: Jose Murguia (PCI), Kathy Vilnrotter (Enclude), Jim DiFrancesca (PCI)

JP/HRO’s Lora Vicariot and Benjamin Krause talking about the learning, growth, and adaptation necessary to design and implement an effective emergency relief and reconstruction program

JP/HRO’s Lora Vicariot and Benjamin Krause talking about the learning, growth, and adaptation necessary to design and implement an effective emergency relief and reconstruction program

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How do you solve a problem like Korea’s dysfunctional housing market?

By: Derek Long, Senior Housing Adviser 

(Re-posted from The Guardian, one of the UK’s top national newspapers and the world’s third most-read newspaper website)

Imagine a world where a £100,000 deposit for a small flat is cheap; where having 60% of the value of your next home means you haven’t saved enough and you’re running short of time because your tenancy (yes, that the huge deposit was only key money) will be over in two years. Welcome to jeonse and the Korean housing market.

And it is a strange market to British eyes. Homeownership is not popular. Unlike booming Hong Kong or Singapore, home prices fell about 8% last year. Rather than buy a depreciating asset, the middle classes look to rent. The only problem is that the sums no longer add up for the majority of landlords either….

Read the rest of the article on The Guardian’s website or in PDF version.

South Korea

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Living as a Syrian Refugee in Zaatari

Take a minute to read this powerful account (as told to Paula Cocozza at The Guardian) of how Um Fouad, a mother of four, is living as a Syrian refugee in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.  This story hits close to home to us at AHI because much of our work on informal housing is involved with resettlement or rebuilding after disasters (natural, as in Haiti, or man-made, as in Syria), and we believe that today’s resettlement camp is either tomorrow’s city or tomorrow’s slum – depending on the choices we and others make.

Zaatari

Um Fouad has grasped a truth that many wish to deny: Zaatari is becoming more and more permanent, and it already is her children’s home. Indeed, the resettlements that occur post-disaster or post-conflict are often more of an urban form than they are a temporary camp. We’ve seen this happen all over the world and throughout history, and we believe that we can and should learn from that reality. Ultimately, if relief-oriented agencies and people see themselves as urban-planners-on-fast-forward, we can constructively reshape the agenda of relief delivery to one of unexpected urban renewal, where the new city that arises from the rubble is better than the old one the disaster destroyed.

We’ll write more on our projects and work related to resettlements in the upcoming months, and hope you’ll come back to join us. In the meantime, I hope you’ll take the time over the holidays to read about Um Fouad. We feel strongly about these issues and think you will, too.

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