Planning support to the Afghan Ministry of Urban Development for the safeguard & regeneration of urban heritage (Anna Soave)

In November 2008, Anna Soave and Mona Khechen (DPU 2000) completed a 6-months assignment for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Historic Cities Programme (AKTC/HCP), funded by the Italian Trust Fund for Culture and Sustainable Development (ITFCSD), to assist the World Bank in its urban heritage-related activities in Afghanistan.

New book on multilateral organisations (Desmond McNeill)

Desmond McNeill has recently published a new book, co-authored with Asun Lera St Clair, critically assessing what multilateral organisations say and do in the realm of ethics and human rights. (Global Poverty, Ethics and Human Rights: the role of multilateral organisations, 2009).

Formalising informal areas in Greater Cairo: management training for senior Governorate officials (P Wakely, B Mumtaz, S Meikle)

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In February 2009, Patrick Wakely, Babar Mumtaz, and Sheilah Meikle conducted a series of workshops on the decentralisation of the planning, management and upgrading of informal settlements for some 40 professionals and technicians from four of the five Governorates of Greater Cairo. They also ran a parallel course of seminars for the staff of the GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) in Egypt. Both events raised interesting issues concerning the implementation of national decentralisation policies and strategies for participation.

Neighbourhood Planning in Kabul’s old city (Anna Soave)

Seconded in 2003 by the DPU to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Historic Cities Programme (AKTC/HCP), Anna Soave has been working in Kabul for 5 years as an urban planner engaged in hands-on planning in the low-income and war-affected areas of the Old City, in support of AKTC’s on-going rehabilitation programme in Afghanistan.

Historic home after renovation

Historic home after renovation


People in the old city

People in the old city


Community workshop

Community workshop


Presentation material for workshop on road improvements

Presentation material for workshop on road improvements


Bazaar on the riverbank

Bazaar on the riverbank


Self-help reconstruction

Self-help reconstruction


Informal settlements, Cairo

Informal settlements, Cairo


Informal street of Cairo

Informal street of Cairo


PW 2009 photo edited

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PW 2009 photo edited


Successful land delivery for low income housing in Iran (Michael Mattingly)

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Michael Mattingly, Hamid Majedi (DPU PhD 1996) and Ramin Keivani (DPU PhD 1993) have recently published an account in Urban Studies of Iran's little-known experience in improving access to land for housing through large scale public land banking. Using the research of Hamid Majedi, the article examines the first 10 years of the implementation of a policy that adds to the debate surrounding the widely accepted notion of market-enabling in order to improve low-income housing provision in developing countries. This action of the Government of Iran effectively provided an alternative to land markets that have hitherto failed to serve low-income and even lower middle income households.

Making the project research: doing-by-learning with expertise (Michael Mattingly)

Michael Mattingly hopes to generate a debate by arguing in the latest issue of Public Administration and Development that, if a development project is destined to reach only a selection of its intended beneficiaries or to give them only momentary or uncertain benefits, there is a strong rationale for making it recasting it as a research project from which lessons can be learnt from the impact that it may not otherwise have.

New Strategies for Savings and Loans Provision for Low-income Households (Diana Mitlin)

Diana Mitlin, who works at IIED, has been collaborating with Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI) to understand the contribution of Urban Poor Funds to SDI’s own work and the wider issue of financing shelter improvements.

Reflections on project preparation: ADB Secondary Cities Project, Pakistan (Babar Mumtaz)

Over the last year Babar Mumtaz has been the Team Leader and Institutional Development Specialist of the proposed ADB (Asian Development Bank) Sindh Secondary Cities Improvement Project, which has raised several interesting and complicated political issues, which he discusses here.

Urban development support in Somalia (Katja Schäfer)

Since February 2006, Katja Schäfer has been working with UN-HABITAT’s Somali Urban Development Programme [SUDP]1 as an Urban Planner in the Somaliland and Puntland regions, giving technical and planning support to a number of Local Authorities through on-the-job training on small strategic projects as a catalyst for wider urban development.

Traditional Buul construction in urban areas

Traditional Buul construction in urban areas


Hargeisa - household posessions, ready to evacuate floods

Hargeisa - household posessions, ready to evacuate floods


Hargeisa - Ayaha II returnees community construction

Hargeisa - Ayaha II returnees community construction


Hargeisa - Ayaha II returnee settlement

Hargeisa - Ayaha II returnee settlement


Fragile states and post conflict peace building (Keith Sargent)

Over the last ten years Keith Sargent has been increasingly involved in the post-conflict reconstruction of fragile states. This has led him to undertake research at the Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies. Here he describes some of the issues that he has been confronting.

Tuy, Carracas, Venezuela

Tuy, Carracas, Venezuela


Ulan Battar

Ulan Battar


HCMC flood photo

HCMC flood photo


Maps of HCMC

Maps of HCMC


JBeall Afghan recent news photo2

JBeall Afghan recent news photo2


JBeall Afghan recent news photo1

JBeall Afghan recent news photo1


Urban Livelihoods in Afghanistan (Jo Beall)

Two major studies led by Jo Beall for the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)1 were among the first to highlight the unprecedented and largely unplanned urbanisation that now characterises the country, as well as the realities of urban poverty and vulnerability for growing numbers of Afghans. Together the reports draw on two years of research conducted in Kabul, Heart, Jalalabad, Mazar-i-Sharif and Pul-i-Khumri, with the second study tracking the life paths of poor urban households over an entire year.