Habitat III - Regional Meeting Europe, Prague 16-18 March 2016
Two Cities Alliance - N-aerus Side Events took place at the Habitat 3 Regional Meeting in Prague, 16 – 18 March 2016. Both side events were based upon the ongoing work of the 3 N-aerus Working Groups on Informality, Governance and Housing centered on the challenges of governing urbanisation. The 3 working groups are set up in cooperation with the Cities Alliance in the run-up to Habitat 3.
The N-aerus / Cities Alliance side event 'Debating urban knowledge: Learnings for Europe' on Wednesday, 16th of March 2016, centered around the question if cities in Europe can learn from the Global South. The Network Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South (N-AERUS) brought scholars and practitioners together to critically reflect on the provision of one global agenda for all urban areas.
Side Event 2 on Friday, 18th of March 2016, addressed current challenges and perspectives on city governance, housing and planning policies and informality in the cities of the Global South. A researchers’ viewpoint.
Please see for a more detailed information on the content of the side events here.
A key objective of the Cities Alliance / N-Aerus collaboration is to open up spaces for discussions among researchers and decision makers. This is intended to demonstrate the need for and utility of research in understanding situations and setting more appropriate recommendations for action, and therefore strengthen relationships between these two categories of actors as well. The overall objectives of the partnership are to produce firstly, work-in process dissemination events in the preparatory phase related to the Habitat III conference; Secondly to convene a side-event in the Conference in Quito itself.
Informality: This working group is concerned with the term informality and its dimensions and impacts on urban development and its processes, putting emphasis on the aspects of formal and informal mechanisms of city production. With the basic assumption that in urban development there is an ambiguity between formal and informal development patterns, which co-exist, the working group will present evidence and interim recommendations on (1) the rationale for informality, (2) informal practices and their links to formal processes, and (3) policy responses and their consequences.
Governance/Policy: This working group is critically reflecting on the term of governance and its interpretations for urban development and its processes in a changing social, environmental, and economic context. The group aims to further the debate on a more cohesive and interconnected approach when addressing urban governance by; (1) promoting more realistic and locally adapted aims; (2) recognising diversity and difference within and of urban governance; (3) understanding urban transformations as a result of negotiations between different actors that balance public and private interests.
Housing and Planning: This working group focuses on housing, planning and design transcending the perceived formal/informal divide. It recognizes the frequent divide between housing and planning discourses, as well as the centrality of housing and land to the development of resilient and equitable urban environments. The working group is exploring (1) housing perspectives – marking the role of housing for the reduction of socio-spatial segregation; (2) planning perspectives – urban design and planning vis-à-vis current urbanisation patterns and planning frameworks; and (3) policy perspectives – projects and initiatives for building a more equitable urban development.
Regular updates on the findings of the three working groups might be found here.