Habitat III side event reaction
ISULabaNtu held an interactive side event at the Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador on the 17th October 2016.
Maria Christina Georgiadou introduces the ISULabaNtu research programme and explains the format of the side event
We presented an overview of the research programme, including a short video showing the Durban context and our fieldwork so far, followed by a panel discussion with five high profile experts working on informal settlements upgrading in South Africa: Beryl Mphakathi (Head of Human Settlements in Ethekwini municipality, Durban), Prof Marie Huchzermeyer (University of the Witwatersrand), Emily Mohohlo (SDI), Dr Graham Alabaster (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Urban Basic Services Branch), and Dr Zoleka Sokopo (South African National Department of Human Settlements).
Some reaction to the event on social media from those present, and from the team. You can read more via our Twitter - @ISULabaNtu and using #Habitat3
The discussion focused on critical questions affecting upgrading in informal settlement. It is essential to build trust with the communities, who should take ownership of the upgrading process. This should be reflected in the skills and capabilities that communities and local authorities need to develop further for effective community-led upgrading, including: 1) the development of effective interim tenure forms to enhance the occupational rights of local communities, 2) local administration and central accounting that incorporate community self-regulation and microfinancing schemes.
The full panel and ISULabaNtu team (left to right): Teddy Gounden (eThekwini Municipality), Dr Claudia Loggia (UKZN), Dr Isis Nunez Ferrera (Westminster), Beryl Mphakathi (Head of Human Settlements in Ethekwini), Prof Marie Huchzermeyer (University of the Witwatersrand), Emily Mohohlo (SDI), Dr Maria Christina Georgiadou (Westminster), Dr Chris Buckley (UKZN), Dr Graham Alabaster (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Geneva Office), and Dr Zoleka Sokopo (South African National Department of Human Settlements).
We were delighted with the attendance and discussion at the event, an important element of our work as an applied research project focusing on accurate and on-the-ground research. We would like to thank wholeheartedly the panel and the audience who engaged in critical discussions, these will inform the subsequent project work.
Isis Nunez Ferrera chairs the panel discussion.
Beryl Mphakathi during the panel discussion
Claudia Loggia presents a video showcasing our work so far in Durban
Bags, USBs, and flyers were handed out at the side event.
Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development - these events take place each twenty years. Its objectives are to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, assess accomplishments from the last twenty years, address poverty and identify and address new and emerging challenges. The conference will result in a concise, focused, forward-looking and action-oriented outcome document. The team in Quito are looking forward to the rest of the week's events.