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Climate, Youth, and Land Markets in Urban Areas: A Policy Workshop

Recognizing a need to strengthen the ties between urban policymaking and scholarly work on urban development, and to disseminate evidence-based programming, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Comparative Urban Studies Project, USAID’s Urban Programs Team, the International Housing Coalition, Cities Alliance, and the World Bank co-sponsored a third annual academic paper competition, "Reducing Urban Poverty." Join us in a discussion with four of the winning authors as they receive commentary on their work by expert practitioners from the field.

Date & Time

Nov. 2, 2012
9:00am – 11:30am ET


5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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The number of urban slum dwellers worldwide is staggering. According to UN-Habitat, 827.6 million people live in slums around the world. Despite meeting a Millennium Development Goal to significantly improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, the total number of people living in these areas still increased by 55 million between 2000 and 2010. By 2020, the world slum population is projected to reach 889 million. With the majority of people now living in cities, urban priorities are synonymous with human security and environmental sustainability and must be accounted for in the global development agenda.

Recognizing the challenges ahead, the Woodrow Wilson Center's Comparative Urban Studies Project, USAID's Urban Programs team, the International Housing Coalition, Cities Alliance, and the World Bank have teamed up to co-sponsor a third annual academic paper competition to strengthen ties between urban policymaking and scholarly work on urban development, and to disseminate evidence-based programming. Changing Cities: Climate, Youth, and Land Markets in Urban Areas highlights the work of the top eight submissions. 

Join us in a discussion on climate change, youth, and land markets with four of the winning authors. In her chapter on distributed energy innovations, author Allison Bridges focuses on informal settlements, arguing that "it is imperative that the security of energy service provision in low-income areas be incorporated into comprehensive urban planning in order to lessen the deleterious effects of a constrained energy supply." In her comparison of two market gardens in Cotonou, Benin, Lindsay Carter finds that beyond the actual level of land security, perception of land insecurity, "can have tangible implications for producer investment activity and interventions by nongovernmental organizations." In her chapter on participatory community involvement of at-risk youth in Argentina, Valerie Stahl argues that "it is not only important to provide young people with the resources they need to further advance their societal status, but it is imperative to foster a sense of participatory belonging..." Marika Tsolakis picks up on this theme in her research on informal English Clubs in Senegal. She argues that planning for youth education should incorporate existing "perceptions on school, work, and day-to-day realities" and illustrates the English club's role as more than just an opportunity to practice English, but "a forum for a type of debate that encouraged deliberation on key social issues."


Hosted By

Urban Sustainability Laboratory

Since 1991, the Urban Sustainability Laboratory has advanced solutions to urban challenges—such as poverty, exclusion, insecurity, and environmental degradation—by promoting evidence-based research to support sustainable, equitable and peaceful cities.  Read more

Global Risk and Resilience Program

The Global Risk and Resilience Program (GRRP) seeks to support the development of inclusive, resilient networks in local communities facing global change. By providing a platform for sharing lessons, mapping knowledge, and linking people and ideas, GRRP and its affiliated programs empower policymakers, practitioners, and community members to participate in the global dialogue on sustainability and resilience. Empowered communities are better able to develop flexible, diverse, and equitable networks of resilience that can improve their health, preserve their natural resources, and build peace between people in a changing world.  Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and US-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial US-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in US-Africa relations.    Read more

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

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