Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Development Planning Unit

Abstract

Urban equality refers to the possibility of attaining an even distribution of access to resources, services and opportunities, as well as recognition of social diversity and inclusion in decisions that affects urban citizens' lives. Increasing rates of urban inequality since the 1990s affect directly prosperity and resilience outcomes in urban areas. Increasing rates of urban inequality hold back economic, social and political progress and can contribute to conflicts and extreme poverty. In the age of urbanisation, with more than half of the World's population living in urban areas, achieving urban equality is a major global challenge. Three quarters of the World's urban areas are more unequal today than they were 20 years ago. Close to 1 billion people worldwide live in informal settlements, deprived of basic services and livelihood opportunities. The challenge of urban inequality has inspired a new global discourse on the future of cities and urban areas. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, the 'urban' goal, emphasise the need to deliver inclusive cities. The New Urban Agenda (NUA) adopted by national governments in Quito, October 2016, asks for urban policies for a city that leave 'no one behind'.
The project 'Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality' (henceforth KNOW) seeks to develop research capacities in developing countries and in UK institutions that deliver ODA research, to deliver on the SDG11 and the NUA. KNOW focuses on the major knowledge gap in global policy agendas: delivering urban equality for inclusive cities of opportunities for all. The work programme focuses on three key challenges: achieving prosperity; building resilience to disasters and a changing climate; and addressing the persistent problem of extreme poverty.
The work programme is divided in six work packages. Three work packages focus on learning-by-doing, that is, doing research as a means to build capacity. Work Package 1 will deliver city-relevant research in several countries including Perú, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leona, India, and Sri Lanka. In each case, KNOW will support the formation of a network of overseas and local academics, and stakeholders who will work together to identify the specific challenges associated with urban inequality that emerge in each city. Work Package 2 will use different case-based experiences to develop a comparative programme of research across cities, exploring the challenges of prosperity, resilience, and extreme poverty. Work Package 3 will focus on develop an 'Ethics of Practice' for urban research, within the framework of the Global Challenges Research Fund.
Three work packages will focus on delivering capacities to maximise the impact of research. Work Package 4 will focus on how to translate research into practice, working with key policy makers, intermediaries, and activists to explore the development of urban policy following the programme of research in each city. Work Package 5 will focus on how to maximise the impact of research in education, particularly focusing on the education of planners in the Global South. Finally, Work Package 6 will examine the UK-based capacities to deliver ODA-research for urban equality, seeking to strength current areas of work and develop a new transdisciplinary field of research practice.
KNOW will be coordinated by the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, a recognised institution with a track record of 60+ years of applied research to deliver socially and environmentally just cities in the global south. KNOW also build on a consolidated network of partners in urban areas, capable to deliver an ambitions, international, and interdisciplinary urban research. These partners constitute the locus for a worldwide network of Urban Hubs that, strengthen by the experience in KNOW, will deliver a long-term agenda of research for urban equality.

Planned Impact

The project focuses on delivering a multi-level programme of impact. The case studies will deliver impact at local and national levels. Within the city, the main benefits will be to local governments and communities. For local governments, the project will help to develop and assess policy and strategies to deliver urban equality. For communities, the project will support processes to improve recognition and participation in urban governance, and deliver context-specific projects whose outcomes will benefit directly. In the long term, the reduction of inequality in urban areas will have an overall impact on the prosperity and well-being of all citizens in each city. Beneficiaries in each city include:
Tanzania: Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI); Tanzanian Federation for the Urban Poor (TFUP)
Freetown: Freetown City Council; YMCA SL; Centre of Dialogue on Human Settlements and Poverty Alleviation
Kampala: Community Groups: KCCA, ACTogether, KALOCODE, TWESUNDA
Lima: CENCA, CIDAP and Foro Ciudades para la Vida
Havana: Neighbourhoods of Los Sitios; and the City Planning Office and the Municipality of Havana
Colombo: Women's Co-op; Sevanatha

The project will help to increase national government capacity to report on the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda, which will benefit in-country reporting offices. Partner organisations such as FLACSO, ACHR and the Indian Institute of Human Settlements have a track record of influencing national governments on urban-related matters.
At the international level the project will benefit international organisations with a focus on urban areas, and transnational civil society organisations which seek to deliver just transformations in urban areas.
UN-Habitat led the conference Habitat III and will play an important role in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Following previous engagement of this team with UN-Habitat, this project will contribute priorities for implementation of urban policies that leave no one behind. The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) represents local and regional leaders worldwide, and organised the influential World Summit of Local Leaders which shaped the World Mayors Assembly at Habitat III. UCLG has a strong interest in forms of local governance that improve urban prosperity, and have highlighted urban inequality as a priority. KNOW will similarly benefit organisations that led the campaign for the adoption of the 'urban SDG', including achieving urban equality goals. These include, for example, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the World Urban Campaign, the Cities Alliance, the World Association of the Major Metropolises, the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development, the Communitas Coalition, and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI).
Findings will benefit organisations that work directly with the urban poor, for which urban inequality is an obstacle both to win representation in local governments and to deliver outcomes that improve poor people's wellbeing and livelihood opportunities. Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI), for example, will benefit directly from initiatives putting into practice their principles. The Habitat International Coalition (HIC) will benefit from thinking on urban equality that contributes directly to their ongoing debate on the right to the city. The association WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing) will benefit from the delivery of gender-sensitive strategies to achieve urban resilience and prosperity.
Contributions to the three challenges of prosperity, resilience and extreme poverty will help delivering a research programme of direct relevance for ODA programmes in the UK. DFID, particularly, can play a key role through urban interventions. The project will also benefit ODA research and implementation agencies, such as the Overseas Development Institute, the International Institute for Environment and Development, and Practical Action.

Publications

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Title Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality Website 
Description www.urban-know.com is the dedicated online platform developed to facilitate online external outreach of the KNOW project over its four years. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Since its launch (11 July, 2018) the platform has provided a space to: • Promote and extend the outreach of the program via an online platform • Give the programme a global accessible presence • Provide key information about KNOW's structure, team, ongoing projects, and social media links • Promote KNOW events including the recent Dialogues in Urban Equality 1, 2, and 3 • Provide a place to upload and share Know Resources such as the KNOW Programme brochure and Dialogues in Urban Equality media recordings • Begin a data base of global partners through the urban-know mailing list 
URL http://www.urban-know.com
 
Description 'Urban Law Day: Human Right in Cities' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "The Urban Law Day is a specialised forum aiming to bring together a multidisciplinary circle of academics and practitioners interested in urban legislation, including planners, architects, policy makers, economists, urbanises, and lawyers.
The purpose of the Urban Law Day is to facilitate discussion, the exchange of views, networking, and the presentation of new research findings or emerging issues. The fifth Urban Law Day addressed specific legal issues linked to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/igh/igh-news/chwca-launch
 
Description 5th International Climate Adaption Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Adaptation Futures 2018, the fifth in the Adaptation Futures international conference series on global adaptation to climate change. The conference aimed to facilitate dialogues for solutions between key actors from diverse perspectives and regions and attracted over 1300 scientists, practitioners, business leaders and policymakers from around the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://adaptationfutures2018.capetown/
 
Description Brasilian National Civil Defense System conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A major national event organised by the Brailian National Civil Protection agency in collaboration with the regional organization covering numerous themes, including urban resilience. Opportunity to present ideas from KNOW and discuss with large section of Brasilian researchers and managers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Ethics Co-production 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A joint Seminar organised by The King's College London Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience (KCIRRR) and the African Monsoon Multi-disciplinary Approach 2050 (AMMA-2050) project. Bringing together researchers, policymakers and practitioners, the forum promotes sharing approaches and learning from ongoing research in West Africa and considers significant ethical issues arising within consortium resilience-building initiatives, particularly related to differing knowledge and value systems and the need to meet the expectations of all.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description La mobilité urbaine résout-elle les inégalités en ville? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Depuis plus d'une décennie, l'apparition de monumentales infrastructures de mobilité urbaine se multiplie dans le paysage de plusieurs quartiers défavorisés en Amérique latine. Au nom de << l'intégration >> et de la << reconnaissance >> des plus pauvres, des programmes urbains sont créés dans cette région, en ayant comme fonction la transformation de l'espace, des pratiques et des normes. La conception et la mise en place de ce type de politiques urbaines s'inscrivent dans un double contexte. Ce dernier est caractérisé, d'une part, à l'échelle locale, par certaines zones des villes qui échappaient au pouvoir de l'État, en raison du contrôle territorial des différents acteurs en place, mais aussi par la ségrégation socio-spatiale affirmée. Et d'autre part, à l'échelle globale, par le changement de << paradigme >> d'intervention publique, portant sur le discours de << la lutte contre la pauvreté >> en ville et le développement des villes compétitives à l'ère globale.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Performance Studies International Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The 'After Dwight Conquergood' working group exists to support a critical praxis of socially engaged performance scholars. This praxis, to borrow Conquergood's words, "struggles to open the space between analysis and action" (2002: 145). The work of such scholars may be socially motivated, or take as its focus socially engaged theatre practices. However, it may also combine action and analysis through modes of ethnography, storytelling or performance practice that reflect a socially engaged methodology of negotiating the opportunities and difficulties of working in these ways.
Participants were invited to share a description of an experience or question they would like to discuss with the group, including:
- Conflicts of interest (institutional or otherwise), and the difficulties of writing about our own work as practitioners
- Anonymising participants without de-humanising them
- Negotiating generic and science-based institutional ethics protocols as a performance researcher/practitioner
- Transnational, intercultural and/or migratory research ethics
- Addressing privilege and asymmetries of power (for example resulting from institutional affiliation, financial capital, mobility, migratory status and others)
- The problematics of 'theorising' beyond our 'case studies'
- Difficulties and successes of interdisciplinary work
- Ethical questions attached to receiving institutional funding
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.psi-web.org/past-events/psi-24-daegu/
 
Description Planning Research Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The Planning Research Conference offered a variety of opportunities to hear about current research, engage with leading thinkers in the field, and discuss key issues confronting planning practice and research. It will also provided the chance to find out about planning in Sheffield, and to socialise and network with other planning academics and practitioners
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://sites.google.com/sheffield.ac.uk/prc2018/programme
 
Description Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Platform Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Regional Platform meetings are held every two years and promoted by the International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. The meetings cover many topics including this time around the problem of cities and sustainability where it was possible to present elements of KNOW concerns to a wide audience in sessions on urban risk and management.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Roundtable with Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif (Executive Director, UN-Habitat) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentations by Oxford academic staff and UN-Habitat E.D. on the current and future work of UN-Habitat in the context of the SDGs. Organised by Oxford Urbanists, ThinkCity, and the Oxford Sustainable Urban Development Programme.
Approximately 20 participants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Spatial Engagement Sessions: Ideas for Civic Action Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This one-day symposium at Tate Exchange, hosted as part of the School of Civic Action by public works, explored ways to engage critically with the urban environment. Through three sessions participants discussed spaces and methods proposed to foster meaningful relations between people and the places where they live.
Ideas for Civic Action, brought together practitioners, researchers and community groups who have worked connecting people with their surroundings in order to share practices and discuss further action. The event showcased initiatives where architects have been aware of the social and political implications of their work, aiming to encourage a more conscious way of practice which serves community interests.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/spatial-engagement-sessions-ideas-for-civic-action-tickets-4791819059...
 
Description Sustainable African Cities conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The conference was organised to facilitate the development of a visionary outline for the future development of African cities, and serve as joint horizon scanning by African, German and other European experts for possible collaborations. We hope that it will also enable the Network of African Science Academies to prepare joint key recommendations on the issue of urbanisation in Africa.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Understanding Risk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact World Bank promoted meeting every two years to promote debate and analysis on how risk is constructed in society and how best to reduce and control it. The debates on urban contexts offer inputs to KNOW concerns. The scope and content of these meetings varies and different sessions are of relevance to parallel research themes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018