Cities for People and by People : Somsook Boonyabancha and Tom Kerr
This century will see a substantial majority of the world's population living in urban centers. The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), to be held in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 to 20 October 2016, therefore has as its mission the adoption of the New Urban Agenda, an action-oriented outcome document that will set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development. The Agenda will enable us to rethink the way we build, manage and live in cities by strengthening cooperation among stakeholders, urban actors at all levels of government and the private sector.
We recently visited Myanmar and met with a women's savings group in Htantabin Township. These women, who are among the very poorest squatters in Yangon, had for many years been uprooted and impoverished by evictions and faced all types of socioeconomic problems until they were able to work together to buy a small piece of unregistered land, lay out a tight community of 70 house-plots and build simple bamboo and wood houses for themselves for just $991 per family.