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City Governance and Citizen Action

Journal, 613 pages
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Most papers in this issue are on the means by which low-income urban dwellers can get their needs addressed. But the focus is not on the role of governments or aid agencies and development banks or international NGOs but on the role of the urban poor groups themselves. This includes a paper by the well-known Indian slum leader Jockin Arputham on the approaches used by slum-dweller organizations. Many papers consider the possibilities for grassroots organizations to get their needs addressed – including through coproduction arrangements with government agencies.

Two papers consider the ways in which residents’ groups to get their needs addressed – one, for Mumbai, focusing on middle-income groups, the other, on Dhaka, on low income groups.

One paper on Kenya and Tanzania considers the support provided to housing, schools, health centres and other urban facilities in East Africa that have been financed by endowments known as wakfs, created by citizens.

Two papers consider the role for international agencies, one discussing whether international assistance is needed, the other looking at city-to-city cooperation.

Some papers consider the constraints on effective community participation – for instance in a housing project in Cape Town, in a waste management scheme in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and among tenants in getting their needs addressed within urban redevelopment in Seoul. ~There are also three papers on climate change and cities: Durban’s adaptation plan; the vulnerabilities of children and youth to climate change in urban areas; and details of how cities concentrate a smaller proportion of greenhouse gas emissions than the official estimates suggest.

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