Archive for October 7, 2011

MAYORS IN SHELTER ACADEMY

October 7, 2011

MAYORS IN SHELTER ACADEMY

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

A gladdening news about an annual event called Shelter Academy had the latest update about the gathering of senior local government officials from the South. The event, the first of its kind, was kicked off in Rotterdam, held on 13-15 of September 2011.

The event is focused on threshing out the challenges posed by climate change on the cities. Take the case of coastal cities that, in the worst case scenarios, can sink below sea level in the aftermath of rising sea levels. Addressing climate change as a threat has surely become a major task of Local Government Units or LGUs managing the cities.

Below is the special report from the UN Habitat of the Shelter Academy.

[Philippines, 06 October 2011]

Source: http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=10383&catid=7&typeid=6&subMenuId=0

Port cities under the microscope
Rotterrdam, 15 Sept 11
Mayors and senior local government officials from Africa, Asia and Latin America gathered for the first “Shelter Academy” held 13-15 September 2011 held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
The Shelter Academy which will be an annual event provides participants with a unique opportunity to engage with high-level experts and each other on some of the most vexing urban challenges of the day. This years’ theme focuses on the challenges and opportunities climate change presents port cities.
“For the residents of Banjul, climate change is a reality today for the residents of the capital of the Gambia. Coastal erosion is a real threat and we need practical and affordable solutions to solutions to withstand raising sea levels” the Mayor Mr. Samba Faal. Despite the threats involved, we should also look to use climate change can involve opportunities, he added.
In a statement made on his behalf of UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos praised this important partnership. “Cities can only hope to address rapid urbanization if they plan at a scale that is commensurate to the challenge. Sustainable development is not an accident; it depends upon the concerted efforts by citizens, business, and political leaders aided by their technical staff to develop long-term policies which can accommodate smart-growth supported by a series of short-term action plans. We often underestimate the role urban policies and legislation can play in stimulating economic growth to fund needed expansions in critical infrastructure and neighbourhoods.”
Harrie Noy, CEO Arcadis N.V., welcomed the participants at the global company headquarters in Amsterdam recognizing the importance of on-going collaboration with UN-HABITAT. Over the past two years, this partnership has involved providing technical expertise to almost a dozen countries affected by climate change and natural disasters such as Haiti, the Philippines and Senegal. “Arcadis has a longstanding commitment to working with government for development,” he said.
Founded in 1888, initially as a non-profit organization to transform marshlands into agriculturally productive areas as a means of stimulating employment creation Arcadis today provides a range of engineering, planning and environmental services across five continents. “Our mandate is very complimentary to the work of UN-HABITAT through its projects in countries around the world and as a partner to the World Urban Campaign”, the CEO observed.

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CITIES’ CRIME PREVENTION GUIDELINE BY UN AGENCIES

October 7, 2011

CITIES’ CRIME PREVENTION GUIDELINE BY UN AGENCIES

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Cities can be made safer as shown by big cities such as New York and Manila where crime rates have significantly dropped in recent years. Such local peace & order initiatives just recently received a greater boost as United Nations agencies launched a Safer Cities Program.

The UN-Habitat and UNODC in particular officially released the guideline for crime prevention in urban areas entitled Introductory Handbook on Policing Urban Space. The guideline is tailor fit for rapidly growing cities in poor and middle income developing countries.

In my opinion, this book is a must-read by the police and LGUs of affected cities. The report is reflected below. Relevant agencies as well as policy & governance think-tanks better take hold of the book by contacting the UN agencies concerned.

[Philippines, 06 October 2011]

Source: http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=10375&catid=7&typeid=6&subMenuId=0

UN-HABITAT and UNODC release guidelines to help prevent crime in urban areas.
Nairobi, Kenya, 14 Sept 11

Under the Safer Cities Program, UNODC and UNHABITAT have issued a handbook to help prevent crime in cities and towns. The handbook, entitled Introductory Handbook on Policing Urban Space provides policy makers and practitioners, including government officials, police, municipal planners and members of civic groups, with strategies and good governance practices to help understand crime and crime prevention patterns in order to better control crime trends in rapidly growing cities in low- and middle-income countries.
Among the promising practices highlighted in the handbook are: state officials must establish links between police and other state institutions in order to effectively incorporate security concerns into wider government efforts; city planners should contribute to discussions about security and develop relations with police; and collaboration between urban planners, civil society, government officials, police and communities is essential in combating crime.
The handbook examines a variety of crime control strategies, including community-oriented policing, problem-oriented policing, intelligence-led policing, situational crime prevention and crime prevention through environmental design. It also addresses broader principles of managing urban spaces to control crime and strategies for evaluating crime control programmes.
The handbook includes references to efforts to control crime in the following countries: Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.

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