2010-11 Sawyer Seminars - Informal Urbanism: Slum Cities and Global Health
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Before we can envision the cities of the future, we must acknowledge the uniqueness of place and the importance of social divisions in the everyday life of cities. Today more than 1 billion people live in informal urban settlements, or squatter communities, oftentimes right alongside those living in the more-structured environment of "formal" cities. This panel will address questions such as:
The session will examine the potential and limits of both top down and bottom up urban design, planning and processes. It will explore avenues towards improving living conditions in urban squatter communities and promoting the social equity and environmental sustainability of cities as a whole.Panelists:
Dr. Reinhard Goethert, Principal Research Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Goethert is internationally recognized in planning, design and in participatory technique in urban development strategies. He teaches courses on housing and is director of SIGUS, a service oriented program targeting the informal sector in developing countries. Dr. Goethert’s publications include Urbanization Primer, Making MicroPlans: A community based process in programming and development and Action Planning for Cities. His designs include Bolivia (Rio Seco, Villa Ingenio), El Salvador (Popotlan) and Nicaragua (Villa San Jacinto). He has developed and led training programs, workshops, and seminars on upgrading, use of information technology, and settlement design for a wide range of government and international development agency clients.
Melanie Walker, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle
Melanie Walker is a Senior Program Officer for Special Initiatives on the Global Development team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Walker manages a team whose portfolios include Urban Poverty, Governance, Integrated Development, and One-Time Opportunities. The Urban Poverty Special Initiative supports two learning areas: building capacity for organizations working on-the-ground with the urban poor, and integrating the voice of the poor into the municipal planning process. Dr. Walker received her undergraduate and medical education at the University of Texas. She joined the foundation from her post at the World Health Organization as the lead author for the Commission for Macroeconomics & Health in China.
Celine D'Cruz, Cities Alliance: Cities Without Slums
Founding member and Associate Director of the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), Celine D'Cruz in the early 80’s began working for the rights of pavement dwellers, the poorest of the poor in her city of Mumbai. Today, SPARC along with the National Slum Dwellers Federation works in over 70 Indian cities and towns to build the capacity of organizations representing the poor to address issues of urban poverty. In 1998, D'Cruz became coordinator of Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI). Celine moved a year ago to Washington, D.C., with her husband and was seconded by SDI to work for Cities Alliance at the World Bank. She is now back as one of the coordinators of SDI where she continues to create a voice of the urban poor in the cities of South America, Africa and Asia to be able to engage their governments on issues of secure tenure, housing and sanitation for the urban poor.