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Category : Livelihoods

  • Asia Dialogue - Greening the kampung: A small but vital step towards sustainable development in Surabaya

    Greening the kampung: A small but vital step towards sustainable development in Surabaya

    Mukta Naik

    Over the last two decades, the awareness of the adverse impacts of climate change has grown and sustainability has become a key objective in urban planning. However, the interpretation of the green agenda in most Asian cities has been literal, with money spent on obvious aspects like parks and tree plantation, while more complex and holistic approaches have been harder to understand, leave alone implement. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - The Grosvenor ranking of urban resilience

    The Grosvenor ranking of urban resilience

    Rowan Fraser

    Finally!  I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a while now and I must say its good to see it’s been done: a global ranking of the resilience of cities.

    There are indices quantifying and ranking cities for numerous other things: quality of life, attractiveness to tourists, air quality, sustainability and economic strength, to name but a few.   But until mid-April there was no ranking of urban resilience, despite mounting attention to the issue and increasingly vocal calls to tackle urban vulnerability.

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  • Asia Dialogue - Spotlight on citizenship: Hope lives in India’s secondary cities

    Spotlight on citizenship: Hope lives in India’s secondary cities

    Mukta Naik

    The recently concluded 2014 Indian national polls were the largest exercise in democracy in the world. However, while franchise is a well-exercised right in the country of 1.2 billion people and over 800 million voters—60% was the voter turnout in 2009—this doesn’t translate into active citizenship. Nor does it ensure citizens access to basic rights enshrined in the Constitution.

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  • Asia Dialogue - Restoring lakes to benefit the ecosystem: The case of Mysore

    Restoring lakes to benefit the ecosystem: The case of Mysore

    Mukta Naik

    Late in the 1980s birding enthusiasts in the city of Mysore, located 140 kms southwest of India’s IT capital Bangalore, noticed a sickly green coating grow over the surface of the lakes they frequented. Awareness about the ill effects of pollution was growing and they began to worry about their city. Particularly, they worried about the wetlands and water bodies that they saw as critical habitats for wildlife and birds. They were pained by the increasing amount of raw sewage that was finding its way into these waters as the city grew. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - Revision needed of stereotypes about women and climate change

    Revision needed of stereotypes about women and climate change

    Rowan Fraser

    ‘The problem with stereotypes,’ said novelist Chimamanda Adichie in a powerful TED talk, ‘is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.’  This incompleteness is dangerous, according to Adichie, because it leads to one-sided views which deny complex realities.

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  • Asia Dialogue - Stuck in the middle, going whither? The predicament of small cities in Pakistan’s Punjab

    Stuck in the middle, going whither? The predicament of small cities in Pakistan’s Punjab

    Mukta Naik

    Discussions about the politico-economic geographies of South Asian nations invariably hinge around the urban and the rural. On one side, we envisage the metro, that large city that is the playground of deep divides, that space that the super rich and the slum-dweller cohabit. On the other is the village, that quaint repository of the old way of life, where the majority still lives and draws its identity from. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - Negotiating rights in the Indian city: Voices from women across the class barrier

    Negotiating rights in the Indian city: Voices from women across the class barrier

    Mukta Naik

    Urban women in India, regardless of class, face considerable danger and discrimination. Two urban women—Shruti, who is privileged, educated and well-employed and Sarita who is far less educated, informally employed, and struggling to live decently—share with Mukta Naik their awareness about rights and their candid experiences of negotiating with the government to access these. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - Backyard produce: Food for your tables. Cebu and Naga, Philippines

    Backyard produce: Food for your tables. Cebu and Naga, Philippines

    Rowan Fraser

    Having got used to thinking of the city as being all concrete, iron and burgers, I was surprised to discover a series of vegetable gardens in Manila recently.  Lodged on a south-facing hillside, out towards Eastwood City, below a flyover, beside a jeepie stand.  The first time I was running late, but the second time I stopped in and looked over the garden.  A boy darted in and picked a cucumber. READ MORE

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