What Do the Urban Poor Have to Say?
Given that 40-70% of cities have people working and living in informality the inability of existing instruments to address their needs aspirations and impact of their invisibility of their lives and that of the city they live in are barely touched in the SDG and Climate change discourse.
Emerging networks and social movements of the urban poor have begun to create simple powerful and unique ways to equip themselves with knowledge, with proposition and emerging voice and actions at local national and global forums.
While Slum Dwellers International ( SDI) and other such movements are being observed studies invited to events, the inability of formal institutional arrangements to take advantage of such organized and articulate representation is timid, fearful and demonstrates an inability of mainstream development organizations to overcome their aversion, phobia or even non recognition about urbanization which is dumping more and more poor into informality.
What are the real development challenges? When will development interventionist acknowledge that the solution will not come out of business as usual and both climate linked challenges and SDGs need new scalable solution which require new audacious solutions new partnerships and new explorations.
What are the implications? Who will pay this price for denial? What are some emerging indications of the extent of violence this will bring into cities in the near future.
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Participatory budgeting programs can empower the poor to allocate funding to projects that will help them in their daily lives. But when these programs lack legal safeguards, changing political tides can draw funds and commitment away, undermining their effectiveness.
More than 60 percent of workers are members of the informal economy. Instead of ignoring the informal economy, cities should plan for it; doing so will increase sustainability and productivity while protecting some of the world's least-advantaged.