Innovative Practice of Inclusive Urban Development and Poverty Reduction
Supported by a grant from the International Development and Research Centre (IDRC), the Innovative Practice of Inclusive Urban Development and Poverty Reduction Project is part of a broader collaboration including the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba, The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Manitoba Research Alliance, The KIP International school Universitas Programme, the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, Community Education Development Association and the Province of Manitoba. The purpose of this knowledge-sharing project is to identify, analyze and document a number of experiences, tools and methodologies through which communities have shaped the way cities are planned and developed, considering issues such as immigration, migration from First Nation communities, housing, safety, education, employment, access to services, infrastructure and to recreation and culture, and others that are central to creating inclusive and vital urban areas.
The project will allow us to share the results of many encouraging experiences being taken forward by community organizations, women’s groups, local and provincial government, universities and research centres in Winnipeg and to build knowledge and practice networks with similar experiences in Canada and around the world. It will contribute to documenting experiences that could be potentially adapted to other developmental contexts that are facing similar challenges and help build a broad network that can share and exchange knowledge and practices in the future. This international dialogue is crucial because experience and our research indicate that while many groups have experimented innovative solutions to individual problems, comprehensive solutions have yet to be put in place.
Knowledge, and that of poor communities in particular, is often not acknowledged and thus one important and unique objective of the project is to help existing local knowledge emerge and gain legitimacy in local, national and international policy arenas. One such arena is the current discussion on the post 2015 international development objectives. A second such arena is the international debate around inclusive urban development to be highlighted at the seventh World Urban Forum to be held in Medellin, Colombia in April 2014. The theme of World Urban Forum 7 (WUF7) is “Equity in Development – Cities for LIfe” and provides an excellent forum for us to introduce the projects that we have selected to systematize.
Throughout the year we will work with our community partners to develop case studies, in visual and written format that can be incorporated into university curriculum and capacity building efforts. Stories and tools will be available through a special issue of Universitas Forum in January 2015.